Appraisals and the basics of CITES and it’s oversight of Ivory.

Some coaching on CITES and what it’s purposes is.

CITES is a legally binding, voluntary accord, between 176 Party Nations, for the conservation of approximately 30,000 species of wildlife (fauna) and wild plants (flora), in order to ensure their survival. It covers the legal and illegal trade in both living pants and animals, as well as their “products”, which include such things as ivory for carving, pelts for worship and clothing, spleens and bones for medicine and “ego” boosting. Unfortunately, many of these Party countries who are to enforce these rules on the importation, exportation and exploitation of fauna and flora, are also the worst offenders.

If you have never truly considered the incredible number of elephants, rhinos, leopards, tigers, birds of prey, etc. being poached, just look at a few of the images here, burning ivory, and I think you will truly be affected by the real size of the problem and the truth of the impending extinction of these animals, due to a proper lack of enforcement and to their “allowed” illegal trade.

The image immediately below is exactly why severe enforcement of poaching must be increased and large caches of confiscated poached ivory must not be sold, but burned! Something I find very hard to say, but believe is right. This issue is directly addressed in this New York Times article dated August 25, 2009, where this image is from, found at: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/25/amid-legal-ivory-trade-illegal-sales-grow/

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The image below shows what a number of countries do, in this case Kenya, with their confiscated poached ivory caches to protest the killing of their precious wildlife heritage for ivory, rhino horns and hides. I hate to see it burned, as I think it is a slap in the face of each animal’s life and beauty that was poached. However, for the better good of each species, this is the only and best practice, because if there are no new ivory pieces to carve, then demand for them will eventually dry up. This image is from the Animal Connection blog, found at: http://animalconnectionblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/africa-to-torch-seized-ivory-in-show-of.html

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Greg C. Brown, MS, ISA, CAGA.                                                                                                                                                                                    President, Greg C. Brown & Associates, Inc. Appraisal Services.                                                                                                                           Minnesota Sub-Chapter Chairman, The Explorers Club.

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