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ECO (GOOD) NEWS CORNER Us Eco-Campaigners and Activists get very busy ..being active and campaigning..  And the one thing that can get us down ..are losses and defeats.  Well, we expect that to start with..(or we won’t need to be fighting, do we?)  So it does our moral some extreme good to hear GOOD NEWS once in a while..  With that in mind, here are some. Enjoy..!   -Mani Navasothy 

US bans commercial trade of ivory within its borders!!

Taken from The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Link: White House Press Release

On 11th February 2014, the United States announced a National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.  The Strategy will strengthen U.S. leadership on addressing the serious and urgent conservation and global security threat posed by illegal trade in wildlife.

In addition to the strategy, we are also announcing a ban on commercial trade of elephant ivory, which will enhance our efforts to protect iconic species like elephants and rhinos by prohibiting the import, export, or resale within the United States of elephant ivory except in a very limited number of circumstances.

Taken together, these actions will help ensure that the United States is not contributing to poaching of elephants and illegal trade in elephant ivory.

THE STRATEGY

The National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking establishes guiding principles for U.S. efforts to stem illegal trade in wildlife.  It sets three strategic priorities: strengthening domestic and global enforcement; reducing demand for illegally traded wildlife at home and abroad; and strengthening partnerships with international partners, local communities, NGOs, private industry, and others to combat illegal wildlife poaching and trade.

THE IVORY BAN

Today we are also announcing a ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory, which will enhance our ability to protect elephants by prohibiting commercial imports, exports and domestic sale of ivory, with a very limited number of exceptions.  This ban is the best way to help ensure that U.S. markets do not contribute to the further decline of African elephants in the wild.

To begin implementing these new controls, federal Departments and Agencies will immediately undertake administrative actions to:
 

  • Prohibit Commercial Import of African Elephant Ivory: All commercial imports of African elephant ivory, including antiques, will be prohibited.
  • Prohibit Commercial Export of Elephant Ivory: All commercial exports will be prohibited, except for bona fide antiques, certain noncommercial items, and in exceptional circumstances permitted under the Endangered Species Act.
  • Significantly Restrict Domestic Resale of Elephant Ivory:  We will finalize a proposed rule that will reaffirm and clarify that sales across state lines are prohibited, except for bona fide antiques, and will prohibit sales within a state unless the seller can demonstrate an item was lawfully imported prior to 1990 for African elephants and 1975 for Asian elephants, or under an exemption document.
  • Clarify the Definition of “Antique”:  To qualify as an antique, an item must be more than 100 years old and meet other requirements under the Endangered Species Act.  The onus will now fall on the importer, exporter, or seller to demonstrate that an item meets these criteria.
  • Restore Endangered Species Act Protection for African Elephants: We will revoke a previous Fish and Wildlife Service special rule that had relaxed Endangered Species Act restrictions on African elephant ivory trade.
  • Support Limited Sport-hunting of African Elephants:  We will limit the number of African elephant sport-hunted trophies that an individual can import to two per hunter per year.

The United States will continue to lead global efforts to protect the world’s iconic animals and preserve our planet’s natural beauty for future generations.  Combating wildlife trafficking will require the shared understanding, commitment, and efforts of the world’s governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, corporations, civil society, and individuals.   At this week’s London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, we hope other countries will join us in taking ambitious action to combat wildlife trafficking.  In the coming months, we will take further steps to implement the National Strategy, and will work with the Congress to strengthen existing laws and adopt new ones to enhance our ability to address this global challenge.

India Declares Dolphins "Non-Human Persons", Dolphin shows BANNED.

    The Good News (May 2013) that escaped a lot of media attention..  Glad we found it now in a blog - [Ed]

Dolphin

“India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has decided to forbid the keeping of captive dolphins for public entertainment anywhere in the country.

In a policy statement released Friday, the ministry advised state governments to reject any proposal to establish a dolphinarium “by any person / persons, organizations, government agencies, private or public enterprises that involves import, capture of cetacean species to establish for commercial entertainment, private or public exhibition and interaction purposes whatsoever.”

““Whereas cetaceans in general are highly intelligent and sensitive, and various scientists who have researched dolphin behavior have suggested that the unusually high intelligence; as compared to other animals means that dolphins should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose,” the ministry said.

    * This item written by Jason Scott Hackman - at Daily KOS*

 

London plays Host Global Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade

From the 12th to the 13th of February London is to host a conference of the highest level of international leaders to date to discuss the growing threat posed by the illegal wildlife trade to global security and the survival of species themselves. Fifty nations including world leaders have been invited by the Prime Minister David Cameron to engage in talks on ways the estimated $19billion-a-year trade in threatened species can be combatted by Governments.  The UK government further demonstrated their commitment to address this important issue in December with a 10million pledge to tackle the illegal trade in wildlife products in a new partnership between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Department for International Development (DFID).

Read the Report by Aurelia Anyika - on this London Conference & circumstances in Africa!

The conference is supported by HRH the Prince of Wales and HRH the Duke of Cambridge, the former having been outspoken about the links between wildlife crime and serious organised crime, terrorism and national security.  Addressing a conference on illegal wildlife trade he hosted in May, Prince Charles described the scale of militarised wildlife crime, ‘’Organised bands of criminals are stealing and slaughtering elephants, rhinoceros and tigers, as well as large numbers of other species, in a way that has never been seen before. They are taking these animals, sometimes in unimaginably high numbers, using the weapons of war – assault rifles, silencers, night-vision equipment and helicopters.”

The aim of the conference in February is to produce an international action plan and political commitment to crack down on the global illegal wildlife trade, a fight which has so far been thwarted by weak laws, a lack of effective enforcement and weak penalties given to perpetrators, making the business of illegal wildlife trade a low risk, high profit opportunity that is very attractive to organised criminals.

link to this blog feature

Adios Shell - GreenpeaceShell scraps 2014 Arctic drilling plans.

Greenpeace Press release - January 30, 2014

Amsterdam, 30 January 2014 - Speaking with investors today, Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden announced that the company would not attempt to drill in the Alaskan Arctic in 2014.

The decision follows a US court ruling last week which demands more detailed environmental information from the US administration, following a legal challenge from a number of environmental and Indigenous groups.

Responding to the news, Greenpeace International Arctic oil campaigner Charlie Kronick said:

"Shell’s decision to gamble on the Arctic was a mistake of epic proportions. The company has spent huge amounts of time and money on a project that has delivered nothing apart from bad publicity and a reputation for incompetence. The only wise decision at this point is for Mr. Van Beurden to cut his company's losses and scrap any future plans to drill in the remote Arctic ocean.

In GT#8 (Aug 2013) we were reporting about various campaigns, in particular one by Greenpeace, to save the Arctic!

Well, the good news is here! -Ed
Gaian Times eco-Magazine -issue 8 - sm-cover

"Shell’s Arctic failure is being watched closely by other oil companies, who must now conclude that this region is too remote, too hostile and too iconic to be worth exploring. In an era of declining profits, increasing costs and unprecedented levels of public scrutiny the Arctic is simply not worth the risk.

"Millions of people around the world have helped to shine a light on Arctic drilling and this has started to affect Shell’s brand [1]. We will continue to increase this pressure as long as the company continues its stubborn pursuit of the fragile Arctic environment. This is one of the defining environmental issues of our time. We are drawing a line in the ice here to say to these oil companies ‘you come no further’.” 

Shell has spent over $5bn on its Alaska program since 2003, and has failed to drill a single well after a series of blunders and near disasters during an accident prone drilling season in 2012.

Since late December alone, over 150,000 people have written to Shell’s new CEO Ben Van Beurden asking him to scrap the company’s Arctic plans and recognise the unique technical challenges of operating in this environment.

Link to this Release at Greenpeace

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