Friday, November 11, 2011

Head of U.N Convention Urges More Effort in Fighting Illegal Rhino Poaching

A captive black rhinoceros

The world of wildlife had lost Vietnam's last Javan rhinoceros to the ongoing threat of illegal poaching and wildlife trade. But now, it has been confirmed that another rhino has met the same fate as its Southeast Asian counterpart: the Western black rhinoceros, a subspecies of the black rhinoceros. The recent sudden and tragic losses has led to the head of a United Nations-backed convention on endangered species calling for boosting up efforts by nations and international organizations to fight the illegal trade in rhino horns. He is CITES' Secretary-General John Scanlon, who told in an interview that the extinction of the subspecies "is of grave concern." The convention estimates that over 330 rhinos have been killed this year, as a result of poaching and trade in horns. According to Mr. Scanlon, a more assertive multilateral approach needs to be conducted in order to prosecute criminal networks behind this illicit activity. He further added that the engagement of key partners is necessary to tackle the issue. He concluded with a statement saying that these measures are needed to save and protect not just rhinos, but other endangered species as well.
A western black rhinoceros skull

I'm beginning to feel that it is about time the world should step up against this ongoing monstrosity threatening its wild species. Two species of rhinos have been lost because of both poaching and wildlife trafficking, but the real danger does not come from these threats but the leniency in laws of nations that house several critically endangered species. Vietnam and some West African countries are an ideal example of where poaching and wildlife trade function with little or no provocation from law enforcement. This explains what Mr. Scanlon meant by involving both the police and world customs, along with getting the justice system dealing with these major threats. The wildlife of the world is facing a bleak future, especially for the critically endangered species. And it is a matter of time before poaching and illegal wildlife trade will continue the reign of terror and environmental destruction in remote corners perceived as "gold mines," rather than places of discovery and natural beauty.

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