The future of the world's species at the mercy of trade if governments fail to act

Press release - 2 October, 2004
Ahead of today's opening of the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), Greenpeace reminds delegates of their task to safeguard the future of the world’s wildlife.

"The world's oceans and forests are in crisis and many species are close to disappearing. One of the greatest threats to wildlife is unregulated trade," said Nathalie Rey of Greenpeace. "Governments meeting here in Bangkok must recognise that CITES regulations are a vital tool to fight illegal trafficking of plants and animals and ensure that trade does not compromise their future existence."

During the 13th Meeting of the Parties to CITES, Greenpeace is calling on governments to support the proposal for the listing of the high-value timber species, Ramin on Appendix II(1). Greenpeace is also seeking support for Appendix II listing for the giant reef fish Humphead Wrasse, the notorious Great White Shark; the transfer of the Irrawaddy Dolphin from Appendix II to Appendix I for CITES trade regulation; and to uphold the listing of Minke whales on Appendix I.

Trade in species such as Ramin and Humphead wrasse not only impacts on the species itself, but also affects surrounding species. Orang-utans, which live in forests where ramin grows, are rapidly losing their forest homes. The use of cyanide to capture humphead wrasse to feed the wealthy few is destroying delicate coral reefs.

"If the Convention is to maintain any credibility, then delegates must vote for the survival of species and not for those who benefit from this multibillion dollar destructive and often illegal trade."

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses peaceful, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems and to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

Notes: [1] CITES was established to regulate and control trade in endangered species. It provides three regulatory options in the form of Appendices. Animals and plants listed under Appendix I are excluded from international commercial trade except in very special circumstances. Commercial trade is permitted for species listed under Appendix II but it is strictly controlled on the basis of CITES permits or certificates. Appendix II includes species that are protected within the borders of a member country.