NATION

Social Media Compounds Wildlife Crime: Naiqamu

The use of social media is compounding criminal exploitation of Fiji’s endangered species which are becoming more and more vulnerable. Those were the comments made by the Minister for Forestry
30 May 2017 11:00
Social Media Compounds Wildlife Crime: Naiqamu
Minister for Forest Osea Naiqamu (seventh from left) and CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon (with garland) during the opening of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at the DoubleTree Sonaisali Island Resort in Nadi on May 29, 2017. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The use of social media is compounding criminal exploitation of Fiji’s endangered species which are becoming more and more vulnerable.

Those were the comments made by the Minister for Forestry Osea Naiqamu yesterday during the opening of a workshop on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at the DoubleTree Resort on Sonaisali Island in Nadi.

Mr Naiqamu said this further allowed the exploitation of the flora and fauna of Fiji’s endangered species.

“A few of our endangered species such as the Fijian branded and crested Iguana species, are at the fore front of wildlife crime in this region, further exacerbated by the use of social media,” he said.

“We need to be ahead in our planning and tracking. Our monitoring capabilities and alert systems in the region need to be established and advanced to a level that recognises effective co-ordination and collaboration, flow of information, strengthening local expertise, and establishing effective institutional capabilities for research in the region.”

Mr Naiqamu said under CITES, Fiji’s endangered flora and fauna continued to attract the international market.

He said there was a need to work together within the country, regionally and internationally to make sure that the convention remained intact despite the current mechanism of trade being used by the illegal traders.

Fiji also this year marks the 20th year been aligned with the convention.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretary GeneralJohn Scanlon said, “CITES is the most powerful international legal instrument have to protect wild life.”

He added CITES existed to ensure trade, did not result in the over exploitation of wild animals and plants, either terrestrial or aquatic.

“We do that by making sure that legal trade where happens is legal sustainable but also combat the illegal trade. The convention put obligation on source countries, transit countries and destinations country,” Mr Scanlon said.

“We all need to work together right across the supply chain whether it is combatting illegal trade or supporting legal trade if we are going to make the convention work successfully.”

He said CITES had been increasing termed to by the international communities over recent years to ensure sustainability in Fiji’s forest and oceans.

“We need to work together if we are going to combat wild life but also world regulated trade. We need co-operation within a country, within a region, and globally,” he said.

The weeklong workshop will end on Friday and welcomed participants from 16 nations in the region including various agencies.

Meanwhile, the event is co-hosted by the governments of Fiji and New Zealand.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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