華盛頓公約護大象 象牙合法貿易提案拒通過 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

華盛頓公約護大象 象牙合法貿易提案拒通過

2016年09月28日
摘譯自2016年9月27日ENS南非,約翰尼斯堡報導;姜唯編譯;蔡麗伶審校

於南非所舉辦的第17屆約翰尼斯堡華盛頓公約會議上,那米比亞、南非和辛巴威提出的象牙貿易合法化提案,在布吉納法索、肯亞、剛果共和國和查德等國的強勢主導下,被大多數締約國所拒。華盛頓公約會議秘書處提給常委會之繼續探討象牙貿易合法化決策機制的提案,終未獲得2/3締約國同意,代表們似乎傾向更積極保護大象。


大象。圖片來源:Deneys De Beer(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

2007年華盛頓公約會議啟動象牙貿易合法化決策機制談判,談判結果可能導致重啟象牙國際貿易。這持續多年的談判引發諸多爭議。2013年華盛頓公約會議上延長了談判期限,並組成合法化決策機制談判工作小組,不過談判至今仍未產生任何機制。

「這個討論已經持續9年沒有任何結果,該做個了斷了。」生而自由基金會會長崔維茲(Will Travers)表示。儘管26日晚間華盛頓公約決定結束談判,這個議題仍可能在下週全會重新被提出。不過締約國代表們似乎傾向更積極保護大象。

「非洲大多數國家斷然拒絕合法化決策機制,因為他們親眼目睹自己國內的大象因盜獵而快速消失,該是停止這一切的時候了。」牛津環境與發展組織(Environment & Development Group, EDG)保育生物學家、肯亞安博塞利大象信託(Amboseli Trust for Elephants)合作研究員林賽(Keith Lindsay)說。

美國國家經濟研究所(National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER)曾發表研究指出,2008年的一次性合法象牙貿易與目前1/3非洲象消失的盜獵危機之間有直接關係。稍早,華盛頓公約秘書處發表非法獵殺大象監控(Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants, MIKE)報告反駁這項研究。

不過這份非法獵殺大象監控報告也馬上引來許多華盛頓公約締約國和保育團體質疑。烏干達、肯亞、國際人道協會和安博塞利大象信託認為非法獵殺大象監控報告不夠公開透明、缺乏專業諮詢和同儕審核機制,而且美國國家經濟研究所報告的作者實際上也已回應了非法獵殺大象監控報告的批評。

國際人道協會野生物專案經理何燕青(Iris Ho)表示,美國國家經濟研究所的研究顯示,貿易合法化,哪怕只是一次,都會造成難以承擔的風險。以色列也認為非法獵殺大象監控報告的計畫未達到其初衷。

根據美國國家經濟研究所網站所述,非法獵殺大象監控報告的目標是提供大象棲地國妥善管理與執法所需的資訊。以色列代表指出,非法獵殺大象監控報告不承認一次性合法象牙貿易和目前盜獵危機之間的關係,阻礙了打擊盜獵的效果。不過也有部分國家肯定非法獵殺大象監控報告。代表南部非洲發展共同體的南非環境部長莫萊瓦(Edna Molewa)認為,沒有證據顯示一次性合法貿易和盜獵危機之間有關。

莫萊瓦坦言過去三年間,南非克魯格國家公園的盜獵事件的確有激增的現象,光是2013年一年就有36頭大象因象牙遭到屠殺。美國代表亦指出,大象盜獵速度正快速接近美國國家經濟研究所的三代減少50%的保護等級上修標準。目前,南非大象屬於附錄二物種,可在管制之下貿易。若移至附錄一,全面禁止商業貿易,南非大象將可受到最高等級的保護。

Legal Ivory Trade Rejected in Heated Debate
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 27, 2016 (ENS)

“Imagine if all the people in the world could fit into one stadium. Sadly, all the wild rhinos in the world can, with room to spare.” So begins the WildAid demand reduction commercial, “Whole World,” starring Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, David Beckham, and NBA star Yao Ming. The public service announcement is aimed at Vietnamese and Chinese consumers of rhino horn products. 

Life or death decisions are being made in Johannesburg at the triennial meeting of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. From September 24 – October 5, delegates from 182 countries and the EU meet, debate, and determine the fate of wild species of all kinds – from the tiny natal ginger plant to the massive African rhinoceros.

Rhino decisions are informed by a 2015 rhino status-conservation-trade analysis, prepared jointly for CITES by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and TRAFFIC. 

With a “ninety percent confidence level,” the study reports that 25,628 wild rhino live in Africa, an increase of 201 animals since the 2012 count. While an increase of a few hundred animals may not sound like much, given the precarious state of rhino populations, everyone celebrates each additional animal even as the cause of the increase is debated. 

The report also announces that a record high number of rhinos were poached in 2015 – 1,342 animals. Most of the poaching occurs in South Africa, home to about 79 percent of the continent’s rhinos. Rhino population growth is a numbers game: births minus deaths minus poaching = growth, if any. 

USA recommends CITES study on bioengineered wildlife products. 

Conservation organizations have been working to ensure that bioengineered wildlife trade is regulated by CITES. As part of that effort, the International Environmental Law Project (IELP) was asked to research CITES’ authority over bioengineered wildlife products. 

Led by two international law experts, Founder and Director Chris Wold, and Clinical Professor of Law Erica Lyman, IELP has been providing legal advice to NGOs and CITES Parties since 2001. 

The IELP legal research was presented to the Parties within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) submission to CoP17 entitled “Regulating ‘Bioengineered’ Wildlife Products Under CITES: Interpreting the Term ‘Readily Recognizable.’ 

On day three of the CITES meeting, U.S. Delegate Craig Hoover, chief of the Division of Management Authority at the FWS, made an oral presentation in Committee II concerning bioengineered rhinoceros horn. 

Hoover explained the FWS interest in the topic: “several companies and researchers are reportedly developing or have developed bioengineered rhinoceros horn and rhinoceros horn powder.” 

The United States recommended that the CITES Secretariat, subject to external funding, undertake a review to clarify the application of CITES regulation to “wildlife products produced from synthetic or cultured DNA with a view to ensuring that such trade does not pose a threat to the survival of CITES-listed species.” 

In short, says Hoover, “We are proposing a process to be sure CITES provisions are sufficient to regulate biofabricated products.” 

Canada, the European Union (EU), New Zealand, and South Africa all expressed agreement with the U.S. proposal. 

China stated its belief that “products produced from synthetics should be encouraged to meet the needs of human society to relieve the pressure on wildlife populations.” 

As a first step China suggested that the impact of synthetics on conservation should be studied. 

At the close of the discussion, Committee II Chair, Jonathan Barzdo, announced that there was consensus to adopt the U.S. proposal. The report and recommendations will be considered three years from today by the delegates in 2019 at CITES Cop18 in Sri Lanka. 

Venture capitalist makes a pitch – support bioengineered rhino horn. 

Side event meetings on September 26 highlighted the sharp disagreements between leaders of the international conservation community and Matthew Markus, co-founder and CEO of Pendient, a start-up based in Seattle, Washington. 

Both constituencies share a commitment to stop illegal rhino killing, but each has a very different vision of the solution. 

Pembient wants to “leverage advances in biotechnology to fabricate wildlife products, such as rhino horn, at prices below the levels that induce poaching” – conservation 3.0. 

In other words, flood the market with bioengineered rhino horn to the point where the poachers lose economic incentive and the product loses its luxury status. 

Pembient knows that its approach is untried, complex and fraught with unknowns – technological, political, and social. Yet, Markus is frustrated at the status quo – after decades of conservation efforts, the poachers are winning the rhino war. 

On the other hand, the conservation community is generally focused on strategies to reduce consumer demand and enhance law enforcement efforts. 

Consumers in Vietnam and China trade in illegal rhino horn primarily for medicinal purposes and to hold as an investment commodity. 

The general belief is that bioengineered rhino products will spur consumer demand and accelerate poaching. 

Although Markus does not agree, he says that he is “always interested in comments and critiques because that makes me think about my model.” 

But not everyone is skeptical of Pembient. In 2015, it became an IndieBio company. Backed by SOSventures, IndieBio, is an accelerator dedicated to early stage biology startups. Companies accepted into the program receive mentorship and an investment package consisting of cash and dedicated lab space that is worth $100,000. 

New Harvest, a non-profit “research institute accelerating breakthroughs in cellular agriculture” is also interested in the Pembient potential. New Harvest is committed to the power of cellular agriculture, to “advancing animal products without animals.” 

The conservation community has many concerns about the introduction of synthetic rhino horn or powder into the world economy. Will it dramatically increase the demand for “wild” rhino horn and thus accelerate rhino extinction? Will the forensic challenge thwart law enforcement? Will it fuel illegal trade activities? 

Markus says that he welcomes the FWS-recommended CITES study of bioengineered products and is eager for the study results and recommendations. 

※ 全文及圖片詳見:ENS

作者

姜唯

如果有一件事是重要的,如果能為孩子實現一個願望,那就是人類與大自然和諧共存。

蔡麗伶(LiLing Barricman)

In my healing journey and learning to attain the breath awareness, I become aware of the reality that all the creatures of the world are breathing the same breath. Take action, here and now. From my physical being to the every corner of this out of balance's planet.