Kalli De Meyer
kdm at bonairelive.com
Wed Feb 16 11:16:16 EST 2000
Whilst I can well understand the frustration of scientists working in
coral reef environments over the inconvenience of having to deal with
CITES documentation every time they wish to move corals between
I think we should not loose sight of some other important issues.
>From my perspective, as a resource manager, CITES does two
things in addition to making reef scientists' life a misery:
The pressure to allow "some" export in corals for souvenir items,
aquaria, or whatever can be great. This is particularly true when
small (poor) countries have to deal with commercial (rich)
enterpreneurs. CITES really helps protect coral reefs from export
driven extraction as it can now be made almightily difficult for
individuals or companies to legally transport the corals and
because, thankfully, Customs officials in Europe and the USA
really do try to enforce these regulations.
Secondly, and to my mind even more importantly, the educational
aspect should not be overlooked. Anyone moving their household
between countries has to be aware of CITES these days. Every
tourist buying souvenirs. Even kids wanting to take just "one coral"
home for a school project have to recogn with CITES. Their
inevitable first question is always WHY is it being made so difficult.
The value of this learning lesson is to my mind incalculable if our
aim is truly to protect coral reefs for the future.
Sorry scientists !
Kalli De Meyer
Manager. Bonaire Marine Park
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