Philippines steps up poaching enforcement efforts

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Long criticized for lax enforcement, this week Philippine authorities arrested twelve Vietnamese fishermen who were poaching endangered marine turtles, black corals and Napoleon wrasses in southern Philippine waters. The joint operatives of the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) apprehended the fishermen who were onboard a Malaysian-flagged fishing vessel.  The turtles, black corals and Napoleon wrasses are listed as endangered and/or threatened species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). read more

Sea Shepherd Calls for Removal of Giam Choo-Hoo from CITES Committee

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Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has called for and demanded the immediate removal of Dr. Giam Choo-Hoo from the UN’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).  Dr. Choo-Hoo is the Asian delegate on the CITES Animal Committee.   Sea Shepherd accuses him of being a representative of the shark fin industry. Captain Paul Watson has sent a letter to CITES and many other animal protection groups stating, “Sea Shepherd has initiated a campaign to bring the activities of Dr. Giam and CITES lack of a conflict of interest provisos to the world and this campaign will not cease until these issues are addressed.” read more

Today’s young adults less interested in environmental issues

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A recent article describes a study reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology describes the result of a study concluding that today’s young Americans are less interested in the environment and in conserving resources — and often less civic-minded overall — than their elders were when they were young.   The findings go against the widespread belief that environmental issues have hit home with today’s young adults, known as Millennials, who have grown up amid climate change discussion and the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle.” The environment is often listed among top concerns of young voters. read more

CITES Animal Committee Meets

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The twenty-sixth meeting of the Animals Committee (AC26) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened from 15-20 March 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. AC26 was followed by the Joint Meeting of the AC and Plants Committee (PC), which took place in Dublin, Ireland, from 22-24 March 2012. It had been several years since the CITES scientific committees have had the opportunity to meet for any length of time in tandem, and with preparations for the 62nd meeting of the Standing Committee (SC62) in July and the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16) in Thailand in 2013 gaining momentum, the committees were under pressure to complete their mandate from CoP15 and provide essential advice to the Convention’s decision-making body. The more than 200 participants attending the meetings over the course of two and a half weeks was an indication of parties’ interest in the scientific committees’ deliberations. The Committees completed their work with collegial collaboration and while some of the more contentious issues provided some lengthy and complex debates, the AC/PC delegates left Dublin with some accomplishments under their belts and some work to do to ensure that CITES’ scientific processes continue to provide a strong foundation for the Convention. read more

Calls for accelerated reef restoration in Philippines

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A prominent Filipina scientist said a laid back attitude to ecological restoration may cost the Philippines further loss of its coral reefs, biodiversity and, eventually, source of food. “Within the human-dominated system, restoration have to be integrated within the broader context of all the main driving factors of ecosystem degradation, in which agriculture often has central importance,” professor Rhodora Azanza of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute said, echoing findings of scientists in 2009. Azanza spoke at the National Research Council of the Philippines general membership assembly last week. read more