Southern Africa: How to Save Cites (If It's Worth Saving)

opinion

If the 16 countries of the Southern African Development Community were to withdraw, it would be a body blow to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. To keep parties to the treaty in, animal rights NGOs have to be kicked out.

The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) was founded upon the principle "that peoples and states are the best protectors of their own wild fauna and flora".

The treaty states that this requires international co-operation. Note that it does not say this requires international diktats, imposed upon people and states against their will.

Yet that is exactly what is happening at CITES. As the SADC Declaration at the 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18) makes clear, states that actually have wildlife to protect are sacrificing their sovereignty over their own natural resources, and are being forced to bow to the protectionist ideology that opposes wildlife trade and sustainable use as a matter of principle.

Let's be clear. Animal rights and animal welfare are not the same thing. Animal welfare is a perfectly reasonable goal for lobbying. Animal rights, however, goes much further, and attributes to animals the same fundamental rights...

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