“Please, let’s stop talking about illegal trade in wildlife. It’s not illegal trade – it’s crime,” says John Sellar, an independent anti-smuggling, fraud and organised crime consultant who spoke at a breakfast seminar organised by the South African Institute of International Affairs and the Conservation Action Trust in Cape Town last month.
By working on a proposal to CITES to legalise trade in rhino horn, South Africa could actually be fueling rhino poaching....
Last month, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) announced a committee to investigate legal trade in rhino horn. If approved, a trade proposal will be presented at the next CITES congress in 2016.
International trade in rhino horn has been banned by CITES since 1977.
The decision to investigate such a proposal was made two years ago by the South African government, and a “secret” committee has been meeting since April 2014. The original 10 members were never revealed, but journalists uncovered the identity of five, all of whom turned out to be pro-trade.
Now the publically announced committee includes the original pro-trade members, plus other even more dubious appointments, such as committee chair Nana Mangomola, who was suspended from the National Gambling Board after irregular audit findings....
The founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange has told an an audience in London that governments and security agencies need to be policed by the public. His lecture was part of the 'Web We Want' Festival which runs this weekend at the Southbank Centre.
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