Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Selling wildlife


Interesting few days in Doha at the CITES convention. The politics are fascinating. Many species have not fared as well here as conservationists had expected. With the corals and bluefin failing to gain a listing on this trade convention.

I will be chairing a side event today in a room near the press centre.

CITES Roundtable: How business contributes to wildlife conservation

Every day, the planet's nearly 7 billion people are consuming biodiversity without knowing it, ignoring the source. Cancer medicines, food delicacies, lipsticks, chewing gums, perfumes, clothes
and many other products contain ingredients provided by wild nature. When a species arrives on a CITES list, it can be seen as the result of a collective failure. Sometimes those failures rest clearly with unregulated markets, but there are many cases where governments, corporations and consumers are inadvertently pursuing unsustainable agendas with regard to the use of our natural capital. For instance, overfishing and excessive logging are destroying marine and forest
life every day. Sourcing, traceability and reputation are three keyissues that need to be addressed if the world is to manage the business risks to biodiversity in a more responsible manner.

The debate would be articulated around the harvesting, transport and retailing aspects of the business in reptile skins. It will ask what can be done to help business to plot a course from unsustainable to sustainable businesses? How do we rebalance the conservation responsibility along the whole value chain?

James MacGregor, International Institute for Environment and Development
Giannina Santiago, Government of Columbia
Don Ashley, International Alligator Crocodile Trade Study
Burak Cakmak, Director of CSR, Gucci
Eduardo Escobedo, Economic Affairs Officer, UNCTAD BioTrade