CITES stuff

Fernando A. Zapata fazr at
Wed Feb 16 11:25:27 EST 2000

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but paradoxically it was thanks to science
and scientists that conservation of species and habitats became an
important issue. It is a shame that laws and regulations such as CITES are
now preventing  scientists from doing their work, or at least making it
really difficult. I know of at least two instances (one in which I was
directly involved) of international scientific cooperation completely
halted because of CITES. What's worse, at least in my country, while we
scientists try to do things correctly (and therefore go through the hassle
of resquesting permits) almost any one can just go and collect anything
without asking anyone for permits for whatever non-scientific use. And
nothing happens. So something must be really wrong here.

Fernando Zapata

Kalli De Meyer escribió:

> 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
> countries
> 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

Fernando A. Zapata
Departamento de Biologia
Universidad del Valle
Apartado Aereo 25360
Cali, Colombia

Ph.(+57-2) 321-2171/339-3243
Fax. (+57-2) 339-2440

E-Mail:fazr at

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