Wed, Jan 09, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Africa divided over ivory trade ahead of wildlife meeting
象牙買賣管制 非洲各國意見分歧

Confiscated ivory items and carvings are displayed during an ivory destruction ceremony at Beijing’s wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center, in Beijing, China on May 29, 2015. The majority of ivory bought and sold in China is imported from Africa, and is widely considered as a status symbol in Chinese society.
被沒收的象牙製品和雕刻,在二○一五年五月二十九日中國北京野生動物救護中心舉行的象牙銷毀儀式中展示。大部分在中國買賣的象牙都是由非洲進口。在中國,象牙廣被視為社會地位的象徵。

Photo: EPA
照片:歐新社

Several African countries with some of the world’s largest elephant populations will push this year for looser controls on legal ivory trade, while another group of countries on the continent says more restrictions are the best way to curb the illegal killing of elephants for their tusks.

The dueling proposals reflect divisions within Africa over how to safeguard a species that has been killed in massive numbers by poachers over the past decade and to what extent elephant parts, including ivory, skin and hair, can be sustainably traded as commodities. They pit southern African countries including Botswana and Zimbabwe that say commerce will help them pay to conserve elephants against Kenya, Gabon and others that believe even limited trade fuels demand and drives up illegal killing.

The proposals were released by the office of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES. They will be discussed when member countries of CITES meet May 23 to June 3 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. At the last meeting in Johannesburg in 2016, CITES rejected appeals to relax an international ban on the ivory trade that has been in place for decades.

“There isn’t really any appetite in the international community to agree to this,” said Colman O’Criodain, a wildlife trade expert with the WWF conservation group. He said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Saturday that the Sri Lanka meeting should focus on enforcing anti-trafficking measures instead of engaging in “sterile debates” about whether to trade legally. An illegal ivory market in Vietnam and other countries is feeding demand in China, which banned its domestic ivory trade, according to O’Criodain. Meanwhile, the main exit points for African ivory from the continent are the Kenyan port of Mombasa, the Tanzanian region of Zanzibar and to a lesser extent Maputo, Mozambique’s seaside capital, he said.

TODAY’S WORD
今日單字

1. ivory n.

象牙;牙質 (xiang4 ya2; ya2 zhi2)

2. tusk n.

象牙;獠牙 (xiang4 ya2; liao2 ya2)

3. poacher n.

偷獵者 (tou1 lie4 zhe3)

4. convention n.

公約 (gong1 yue1)

5. trafficking n.

非法販運 (fei1 fa3 fan4 yun4)


A southern African proposal said Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa have about 256,000 elephants, or more than half of the total estimate for Africa. Protecting elephants as human populations increase and wildlife habitats shrink comes at a big cost, and a closely regulated trade in government-owned stocks of ivory will help to alleviate the burden, it said. “CITES has acted as an inhibitor and not an enabler of progress,” the proposal said.

Zambia made a similar proposal, saying elephants are competing with people in rural areas for resources and that Zambians would be more tolerant if they see “economic returns earned from the sustainable use of elephants.”

(AP)

擁有世界上最多大象的數個非洲國家,今年將爭取鬆綁象牙的合法買賣;而另一些非洲國家則表示,要遏制非法獵殺大象、盜取象牙,最佳的辦法是採取更多的限制措施。

在過去十年中,大象被偷獵者大量獵殺,這些意見對立的提案,反映了非洲內部的分歧立場,包括如何保護大象,以及在什麼樣的範圍內可以將象牙、象的皮膚和毛髮等身體部份做為永續商品來交易。這些問題造成不同立場的國家針鋒相對:波札那、辛巴威等非洲南部國家表示,商業交易會有助於支付大象保育的經費;而肯亞、加彭等其他國家則認為,即使是有限的商業交易也會刺激需求,使非法殺戮的數量上升。

這些提案,是由《瀕臨絕種野生動植物國際貿易公約》(簡稱「CITES」或「華盛頓公約」)辦公室所公布。五月二十三日至六月三日,華盛頓公約締約方將在斯里蘭卡的可倫坡舉行會議,屆時將會討論這些問題。二○一六年在南非約翰尼斯堡舉行的上一屆會議中,CITES拒絕放寬已實施數十年的象牙國際貿易禁令。

保育組織「世界自然基金會」的野生動物貿易專家寇曼‧歐克李奧丹說:「國際社會對此〔放寬禁令〕並不感興趣。」他在週六接受美聯社電話採訪時說,斯里蘭卡會議應該集中精力在打擊非法販運措施的執行,而非對是否可做合法交易進行「沒有結果的辯論」。歐克李奧丹說,越南和其他國家的象牙黑市餵養著中國的需求──中國禁止其國內的象牙交易。他並說,非洲象牙的主要出口點是肯亞的蒙巴薩港、坦尚尼亞的桑吉巴,其次為濱海的莫三比克首都馬普托。

非洲南部國家提出的一項提案稱,波札那、納米比亞、辛巴威和南非有大約二十五萬六千頭大象,佔非洲大象估計總數一半以上。提案中說,隨著人口的增加和野生動物棲息地的萎縮,大象保育的成本很高,因此將政府庫存的象牙進行嚴格監管的交易,會有助於減輕大象保育成本的負擔。該提案稱,「華盛頓公約已成為一種抑制進步,而非推動進步的因素」。

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