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Latest news from TRAFFIC


Meeting to develop wild meat monitoring system for Central Africa

Participants at the Douala workshop © Roland Melisch / TRAFFIC en Français

Douala, Cameroon, 9 December 2008—In December 2008, TRAFFIC organized a workshop in Douala, Cameroon, to develop a wild meat trade monitoring system in the Central Africa sub-region.

In collaboration with selected key stakeholders, participants developed a monitoring system that uses available survey information to provide a regular overview through proxy indicators for Central Africa.

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India's wild medicinal plants threatened through over-exploitation

A report into trade in medicinal plants finds species, such as the Himalayan Yew are in decline through over-harvesting Click photo to enlarge © Samir Sinha / TRAFFIC India   Delhi, India, 24 November 2008--India is a hub of the wild-collected plant medicine industry in Asia, but key species have declined owing to over-collection to supply domestic and foreign medicinal markets, and action needs to be taken to ensure the sustainability of supplies, finds a new study released today by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

The study, commissioned by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN), focuses on seven plant species of conservation concern protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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Local agreements sought to prevent forest loss in Ecuador

TRAFFIC runs workshops on governance and transparency in the Amazon basin

A representative of a local chainsaw and logger association shows his documentation for legal timber Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC South America  Quito, Ecuador, 21 November 2008--Local people living in and close to Amazonian forests in Ecuador have been consulted through a new TRAFFIC project to devise the best ways to manage their forests sustainably and prevent forest loss and degradation.

TRAFFIC and local partner Servicio Forestal Amazonico brought together local forestry stakeholders including loggers, timber traders, carpenters, indigenous people, forest authorities, police, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and others.

"People living in or close to forests can have a strong interest to conserve and manage their natural resource sustainably, but all too often their forests are being cleared or over-exploited," said Ulrich Malessa, TRAFFIC South America's Regional Timber Programme Co-ordinator.

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Marine turtle campaign launched in Viet Nam

TRAFFIC is helping run a campaign in Viet Nam to raise awareness of the threat to marine turtle populations caused by illegal trade Click photo to enlarge © Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon  Ha Noi, Viet Nam, 20 November 2008—Travelers through Ha Noi this November might see something strange around West Lake: a line of cyclists dressed as turtles making their way through the traffic.

The cyclists, who will be carrying signs about marine turtle conservation, are part of a month-long strategic awareness campaign to alert the public to the conservation threat posed by illegal trade in marine turtles.

In addition to the bicycle road show, banners are being hung along major thoroughfares in Ha Noi, with messages highlighting the wild status of marine turtles and the illegality of purchasing marine turtles and their products.

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Healing Power from Nature wins international award

Cambridge, UK, 19 November 2008Healing Power from Nature, the TRAFFIC / WWF film launched earlier this year, has won the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic prize at the 35th International Festival of Sustainable Development Films.

 Healing Power from Nature: a new film explains the ISSC-MAP initiative (running time 6 minutes)

NOTE: If you are unable to see a still from the movie above, you can watch the film here.

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Focus on merbau trade

Logging truck carrying merbau logs, Vanimo, Papua New Guinea; much of the merbau from PNG is exported to China and India Click photo to enlarge © James Compton / TRAFFIC   Singapore, 17 November 2008—Merbau, a tropical hardwood whose deep red-brown colour makes it popular for interior finishing, paneling, strip and parquet flooring, furniture, veneer, decorative and novelty items, comes under the spotlight today at an international workshop organized by TRAFFIC Southeast Asia to discuss the sustainability of international trade in this valuable timber.

Participants from Australia, China, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and Thailand, representing the CITES Secretariat, national CITES Management and Scientific Authorities, international organizations, trade associations and research institutes are meeting in Singapore to discuss concerns over excessive logging and unsustainable merbau trade leading to over-exploitation.

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Illegal trade in wild birds highlighted at EU wildlife trade meeting

The illegal European trade in wild birds will be discussed today: small songbirds like the Meadow Pipit are especially targetted Click photo to enlarge © Richard Thomas / TRAFFIC Brussels, Belgium, 14 November 2008—The illegal hunting of European wild birds for food in the European Union was raised during COM45, a meeting of EU government agencies involved in regulating wildlife trade in the region.

Wild birds are killed by highly organized criminals in South-east and Central Europe who smuggle the carcasses to northern Italy and Malta where they are sold as a delicacy in restaurants.

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Huge haul of dead owls and live lizards in Peninsular Malaysia

Almost 900 “oven-ready” plucked owls and other wildlife were seized during raids in Malaysia Click photo to enlarge ©Chris R Shepherd / TRAFFIC   Update: More owls, lizards and bear parts seized in January 2009

In a remakably similar case, Perhilitan staff raided a workshop garage on 10 January 2009 in Jalan Bukit Ubi, Kuantan, Pahang state, Malaysia, and seized 319 freshly skinned Owl carcasses, 25 hind legs & 22 paws of Malayan Sun Bear in a refrigerator and 2,330 live clouded monitor lizards. Three men were arrested.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 12 November 2008—Over 7,000 live Clouded Monitor Lizards and almost 900 dead owls plus other protected wildlife species have been seized in two raids in Peninsular Malaysia.

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State of wildlife trade in China finds consumption rising in 2007

in Chinese

Click image to enlarge Beijing, China, 12 November 2008—China’s traditional medicine trade is rapidly growing; China’s consumption of wildlife is rising; China’s illegal ivory trade is declining; China is the world’s second largest wood importer; whilst China’s trade in freshwater turtles is thriving. These are a few of the key findings of a review of wildlife trade in China in 2007, released today by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

The State of Wildlife Trade in China examines the impact China’s consumption is having on biodiversity and what emerging trends there are in wildlife trade,” explained Professor Xu Hongfa, Co-ordinator of TRAFFIC’s China Programme.

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