Where to now - the Caribbean!
Wädenswil/Santiago, Chile (ots)
- As the 12th meeting of the
Parties of the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species draws to a close today, one thing that has stood out is that
the voting patterns of the East Caribbean island states of Antigua
and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Dominica and Grenada
remain closely linked to those of Japan.
The self appointed leader of this group is Daven Joseph of
Antigua. His aggressive interventions, often insulting to
delegates, prompted the head of the EU delegation to remind parties
that procedurally they could make a formal complaint against this
country; for the sake of business this did not happen.
ECCEA as an international observer at several of the UN
conventions is concerned that these attitudes are alienating friends
at a time when our economies are in serious decline: delegations must
now explain their representation at home.
For the species fortunately the Wider Caribbean states, Bahamas,
Barbados, Surinam, Belize and the Central American countries with
Martinique and Guadeloupe have conservation policies which were able
to ensure the listing of many newly endangered species, such as the
whale shark, basking shark, the Black Sea bottlenose dolphin,
seahorses and feshwater turtle species. Marine Turtles and the great
whales have stood up to the assault on their status and remain on the
highest of the CITES listing: Appendix 1.
Plants and orchids such as the monkey puzzle tree, the lignum
vitae, aloes, cactus and orchids have been newly listed. A major
victory for the Latin American countries was the listing of the
bigleaf mahogany endangered in many of the range states.
We failed though to ensure the future of the African Elephant,
whose demise or use would certainly not alleviate poverty in Africa,
but more likely improve the trading partner - Japan - federal
The Albatross and the petrels, mythical birds faced with
extinction due to illegal pirate fishing of toothfish will still have
to fight for their future. Species need 2/3 of the parties to agree
and where the East Caribbean joins with Japan in the exploitation of
endangered natural resources, the blocking vote is often there. A
secret ballot was consistantly asked for by Japan and the Caribbean
and the reason they say is "intimidation". This is not so: the UN
recognizes the sovereignty of all nations, as do we.
ECCEA and the SCPW published an impartial report on the
Socio-Economic and political aspects of the aid provided by Japan to
the fishing industry in the small independent islands in the East
The author, recognized as one of the region´s leading
economist, points out that the 160'000'000 US$ of Japanese grant aid
to these islands over the past 15 years, does not and never will
probablym fill the true needs of the Caribbean, whereas that of the
EU 3 times this sum does. The EU makes provision for
infrastructures, schools, hospitals and training. An aid which does
not have strings attached to it.
Most of the CITES delegates read this report, commenting that
similar situations existed in Africa and the Pacific. They will be
translating it into other language forms including Japanese for broad
In summing up, CITES and this report, a clear picture has been
forged that transparency and accountability go hand in hand with
conservation, whereas politics do not.
ots Originaltext: ASMS
Head of Operations and CEO ECCEA
Phone: Chile Number gsm: until 15 nov 2002 +56/9/170'58'80
Phone: Martinique +595/596/65'67'25
Chile Number gsm: until 15 nov 2002 +56/9/170'58'80
Phone: Switzerland +41/79/475'26'87