The Dernogalizer

March 23, 2010

Nations Prioritize Salamander over Coral Reefs at “No-ha”

Filed under: National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 11:23 pm
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Not that Salamanders aren’t cool, but this seems like a pretty stupid decision to not move to protect coral reefs given the threats they’re under.  At least the US was one of the good guys here.  Notable excerpts below

“Delegates at a global wildlife conservation conference voted Sunday to protect a coveted salamander but rejected a more sweeping proposal that would have regulated the trade of red and pink corals worldwide.”

“The latest round of voting at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) underscored nations’ unwillingness to forgo immediate economic gains from exploiting natural resources, even when these activities are putting plants and animals under intense pressure.”

“But delegates declined to adopt a proposal offered by the United States and Sweden that would have regulated, for the first time, red and pink corals that are targeted for the jewelry, home decor and homeopathic medicine market. The 31 species that would have received new protections are taken primarily from the Mediterranean and are used in the production of high-end jewelry in European countries such as Italy and Croatia, as well as cheaper decorations and souvenirs in Taiwan and China.”

“Environmentalists and scientists argue that corals, which are living animals and seriously threatened by rising carbon dioxide emissions that are warming the ocean and making it more acidic, cannot afford the added pressure of a commercial harvest. Nearly 30 percent of the world’s tropical coral species havedisappeared since 1980, mainly because of warming, and an even larger percentage may have disappeared by the end of the last century. As coral species have struggled, the harvest has declined sharply, dropping from 450 tons annually in the 1970s to 50 tons a year today, according to the advocacy group Oceana.”

“Last week, delegates at CITES denied protections for the polar bear and Atlantic bluefin tuna; ocean advocates are becoming so disillusioned with the Doha conservation conference they’ve started calling it “No-ha.”

No-ha it is

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