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The illegal trafficking of wild animals and plants affects numerous countries, mainly those in the South and poor countries, and affects a very large number of species.
It is a tragic demonstration of the absolute lack of respect that some people have for Nature, which they consider to be their property, without any consideration for the survival of the plants and animals in question.
This contempt of the right of future generations to take advantage of biodiversity in a respectful manner is a serious threat to animals and plants and also to humanity.
This trafficking comes in several forms, ranging from the removal of plants, poaching, the hunting or fishing of animals for their meat, their skin, their fur, their horns, their protective defences, etc.; going as far as catching living species for laboratories, collectors or pet shops and even extending to the pure and simple destruction of biotopes.
In order to fight against this trafficking, which is estimated by specialists to be the third most important in the world after drugs and weapons, more than 170 countries have joined the Convention on the international trade of wild fauna and flora species threatened with extinction, more commonly known as CITES or the Washington Convention (Launched in 1975).
In order to understand how much is represented by the trafficking of wild animals and plants, take note that CITES protects some 5,000 animal species and 28,000 plant species.
Behind these figures, there is a sad catalogue of biodiversity in danger:
Mammals: (General examples) Gorilla, Wolf, Panda, Cheetah, Lion, Tiger, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Bear, Whale, etc.
Birds: (General examples) Ostrich, Ibis, Flamingo, Swan, Eagle, Vulture, Parrakeet, Toucan, etc.
Reptiles: (General examples) Tortue, Alligator, Crocodile, Caméléon, Lézard, Varan, Boa, Python, etc.
Amphibians: (General examples) Salamander, Frog, Toad, Dart Frog, etc.
Fish: (General examples) Coelacanth, Sturgeon, Barbel, Shark, Catfish, Hippocampus, etc.
Plants: (General examples) Cactus, Orchids, Aloe, etc.
What are the solutions to help fight against this trafficking?
In addition to surveillance, police and customs operations, it is indispensable to inform and improve awareness of the maximum number of people in the maximum number of countries, because in order for trafficking to exist, smugglers as well as clients are needed.
We need to understand the empirical situation existing every day for numerous species under the threat of extinction, particularly in poor countries. How do we explain to the local population that they need to preserve them, because the less (Animals or plants) there are, the more valuable they become! Often faced with extreme poverty, these people do not see any other solution for survival than the trafficking of species that are in fact protected.
By thus contributing to the loss of biodiversity, they endanger and jeopardise the future of their children and future generations, but how can you think of tomorrow when there is hunger today?
The fight against poverty is therefore also a direct weapon against traffickers, an international mobilisation with a view to eradication that should be established concretely and rapidly.
In addition, traffickers and other smugglers should be heavily condemned; no area of soft law should exist for the pillars of biodiversity, of which commerce represents hundreds of billions of dollars every year!
To see the cartoon on the trafficking of wild animals, click here.
To do the quiz, click here.
For the game, click here.
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