CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. It fails totally.
In Bangkok there is a market where every Sunday some shops openly sell wildlife which in theory is legally protected. It’s been this way for 10-20 years. Over a million animals are believed to have been sold through this market which is literally in walking distance from the CITES Thailand office.
The Chatuchak market is notorious. There must be dozens if not hundreds of news reports on Google making reference to illegal wildlife openly on sale.
Why CITES and the local police allow the shops to remain open. Why? We can only guess. Anyone who has lived or worked in Bangkok is likely to know.
Please will you now join us in signing this petition? It’s easy to do and takes less than two minutes to do. When you do it automatically triggers a letter to fifteen key CITES officials who have a responsibility to close down these shops.
On behalf of the animals, our sincere thanks for caring and helping.
European Commissioner for the Environment.
Dear Mr Potocnik,
I am aware you have awarded CITES a grant of US$3,512,500.
An extremely generous sum given that CITES actually achieves little if anything of note and is lacking in results, accountability and transparency.
It is well known that many CITES offices throughout the world are at best ineffective or worse, corrupt. None are ever punished.
Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, to name a few, repeatedly ignore CITES at the expense of protected species. The CITES Secretariat try to turn a blind eye to the inconvenient truth confronting them most days.
The current Secretary General of CITES is considered by many to be completely ineffective, as is the organisation itself, which outside of its CITES network is perceived to be ‘unfit for purpose’.
Top of a long list of CITES abject failures is the Chatuchak market in Bangkok where illegal wildlife traders sell protected species openly – within walking distance of the CITES Thailand office. These shops alone are estimated to have sold in excess of one millions animals. One million animals Mr. Potocnik; and the organisation you give money to does nothing to stop this trade - nothing. It is arguably the greatest scandal involving wildlife currently in existence and if CITES won’t deal with it (and they won’t) what hope is there for other animal trade issues?
Please will you assure me:
- no further taxpayers money will be given to CITES? To do so would be to reward failure.
- you will insist CITES responds to public criticism. It is in receipt of over 1000 complaints in the last week alone.
- you will insist UNEP shares the responsibility for the failure of CITES. UNEP are already responsible for CITES and the current Secretary General of CITES is a former UNEP employee, but once again UNEP does nothing to hold CITES accountable.
- you will insist CITES accounts fully and transparently for all its expenditure, including expenses on an individual basis.
- you will give serious consideration to switching CITES funding to INTERPOL to help them tackle the illegal wildlife trade? This is very urgent and important. INTERPOL are much better equipped and motivated to deal with the illegal wildlife trade and their effectiveness will be able to be measured, unlike CITES.
- you will ensure CITES is reviewed annually by an independent wildlife trade expert to assess what CITES achieved the preceding year and if it gave the EU etc good value for money. It is utterly pointless anyone assessing CITES effectiveness based on what they tell you – a major benefactor, isn’t it?
It would be impossible to exaggerate the public disappointment in CITES. It is seen as little more than an organisation which holds lots of international meetings, requiring a large amount of travel at tax-payers expense, and yet it seemingly achieves nothing. In recent years we have seen an explosion in the volume of trade in illegal wildlife.
I very much look forward to hearing from you.
A Very Concerned Conservationist