The campaigning Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is calling on international policy-makers to Stop Stimulating Demand for critically endangered species.

The London-based NGO cautioned that conflicting decisions and top-level discussions regarding trades in the products of endangered species such as elephants, tigers and precious woods create consumer confusion and ultimately drive poaching/theft by criminals to supply rising demand.

EIA will be promoting its Stop Stimulating Demand message at the 16th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP16) to the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Bangkok, Thailand, from March 3-14, 2013.

Executive Director Mary Rice said:

International criminal networks are decimating key species worldwide to feed a growing demand for wildlife products that is being stimulated by contradictory signals and messages which undermine existing prohibitions or fuel the anticipation of future legalised markets.

“Both actions serve to confuse consumers as to the illegality of a product, working against demand-reduction initiatives and effectively encouraging stockpiling by those speculating on future trade.”

The Stop Stimulating Demand message frames EIA’s key goals at CITES CoP16, pressing Parties on:

Elephants:

  • close down all ivory markets, both legal and illegal;
  • amend policies that currently stimulate demand for ivory products;
  • tackle the criminal networks behind the illegal ivory trade.
Tiger by Dick Mudde (PD)

Tiger by Dick Mudde (PD)

Tigers:

  • stop all trade in parts and products of captive-bred tigers;
  • commission an independent body to review implementation of existing resolutions and decisions relating to tigers and other Asian big cats;
  • enact trade suspensions against countries found to be in non-compliance with the letter and/or spirit of CITES resolutions.

Forests:

  • support the proposal by Thailand and Vietnam to list Siam rosewood on Appendix II of CITES to allow for more rigorous monitoring of regulated trade;
  • support proposals for listing Malagasy ebony and rosewood, Honduran rosewood, black rosewood and granadillo rosewood.

Image by Dick Mudde (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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