South Africa’s Positional Play at CITES is Poor Form

Written by Dr Ross Harvey, PhD (Economics)

On 6 November 2019, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), provided feedback to interested stakeholders on the outcomes of proposals submitted to the 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Meeting in Geneva in August 2019, due to tragic circumstances preventing the meeting from taking place in Sri Lanka in May, the South African delegation doggedly fought for its version of ‘sustainable use’ to be adopted, but was roundly defeated, much to its chagrin. Stakeholders in the wildlife ranching industry were at pains to moan about how ‘western’ NGOs have ‘captured CITES’, which in their view is a trade convention as opposed to a conservation convention. It might be worth reminding everybody that the very first part of the preamble to the Convention text recognises ‘that wild fauna and flora in their many beautiful and varied forms are an irreplaceable part of the natural systems of the earth which must be protected for this and the generations to come.’ Every element of the trade regime is premised on this need for protection.



The EMS Foundation Visits The Overstrand Whale Boxing Club

On 28 of October 2019 the EMS Foundation has visited the Overstrand Whale Boxing Club (OWBC) in Zwelihle, Hermanus, South Africa. Liz Steyn and Michele Pickover joined the team and Liz even boxed and sparred for a few minutes with coach Mzi.

The Club, founded by Mzi in 2007 has achieved phenomenal success, not only regionally but also nationally. As a matter of fact, among his boxers there are six South African champions.



EMS Presentation to the Parliament Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs:

The state of captive lion breeding in South Africa and the Economics thereof”, by Dr Ross Harvey, econimist.

On the 22nd of October, economist Dr Ross Harvey presented to the Portfolio Committee (PC) an analysis called “Bred for the bullet: Why big cats should not be bred in captivity”, which was a summary of the current state of the predator breeding industry in South Africa in an effort to empower portfolio committee members to hold the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) to account.



MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Pressure mounts on governments to stop baby elephant imports

16 October 2019

The Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ZNSPCA) has been denied access to the country’s captive elephants, reportedly about to be sent to captive facilities in China. This suggests that welfare concerns are being ignored. The ZNSCPA is constitutionally permitted to access any part of the country if they suspect cruelty to animals. An urgent chamber application for access is likely to be submitted today.



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