Monday, July 23, 2012


TO EXTINCTION’ IN S. AFRICA - WWF - Asia’s prolific black market in animal parts is pushing elephant, tiger and rhino populations to extinction at an unbridled rate, reports WWF. Exotic animal parts are highly valued in the region,coveted for their supposed curative properties. In a report released on Monday, the WWF cited record killings of animals in Africa and 23 countries in both Africa and Asia where the animal parts were bartered for trade. The document will be presented at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Geneva this week. 
Vietnam, Laos and Mozambique are the countries that do the least in the fight against animal killings, according to the report. "Last year had the largest number of elephants poached in Africa on record," said Wendy Elliott, WWF Global Species program manager in an interview. She added that “there is a growing involvement of organized crime in the trade,” alluding to the multiple seizures of elephant ivory of more than 800kg in Africa. The document said that Vietnam was a major destination for animal parts poached in Africa, as well as China and Thailand.

The WWF accused the countries of not doing enough to crack down on the thriving black market trade of endangered species and thus proliferating African poaching. "It is time for Vietnam to face the fact that its illegal consumption of rhino horn is driving the widespread poaching of endangered rhinos in Africa," said WWF's global species program manager, Elizabeth McLellan. The report traced the rhino horn trade back to South Africa, which it branded as the epicenter for rhino poaching with a record 448 killed in the country in 2011. 
This year could be worse as 262 rhinos had already reportedly been poached from January to June. The WWF criticized a Thai law that allows the trade of domesticated elephant ivory, saying that it was almost indistinguishable from African ivory.The report signaled that the rapidly diminishing tiger population was of special concern. Separately, members of WWF Spain on Saturday voted overwhelmingly to remove the Spanish King as their honorary president, after it emerged he had visited Botswana this year to hunt elephants.

Many Asian cultures highly prize elephant ivory and rhino horns for the decorative and supposed medicinal properties. Conservationists say conspicuous consumption from a growing middle class in Vietnam is opening a new market in the illegal wildlife trade and driving the catastrophic poaching of rhino horns in South Africa. The WWF conservation group underlined that China along with Thailand are the world’s worst offenders in the black market of elephant ivory. Forest and wild animals means the entire world. We are also part of that forest and must respect every life there.

The life of a rishi, a holy person, is meant to be one of self-control and penance, through diet, simple living, renunciation of belongings and meditation. The rishi must live in a place which is apart from the bustle and passion of worldly life, a place pervaded with the presence of God - this is tapovan, the forest of penance. If one wished to meet with such advanced souls one had to go to the forest where their ashrams, or hermitages, could be found. ... The presence of these sages also guaranteed the protection of the forest. No animal or tree could be harmed near where they lived. Even kings who violated the sanctity of the area by hunting could be punished. Nowadays it is necessary to establish sanctuaries by force of law and keep them under constant guard against poachers and vandals, but previously the mere presence of holy persons ensured the safety of all around them.

Ranchor Prime (Śripad Ranchor Dasa) :
“Hinduism & Ecology”
Chapter Two: “The World Forest”
Friends of Vrindavan (FOV) - WWF

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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