Investigator environmental investigation agency
EIA Investigator Autumn 12
Yahoo! still making blood money from deaths of whales and dolphins
EIA tackles appalling bias of pro-trade ivory report
Itâ€™s time to pull the plug on tiger farming in Asia
Chilling Facts helps spread climate-friendly refrigeration
EIA Investigator Autumn 12
A message from our Executive Director, Mary Rice It’s been yet another busy six months for EIA with a number of key successes, as highlighted in the pages of this edition of Investigator. But while it is important to reflect on those successes – and take stock of all the brilliant work of the entire team – I can’t help but feel somewhat anxious about what lies ahead of us in the next six months, and what it could mean for threatened wildlife everywhere. Next March, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will hold its triennial Conference in Thailand, a conference which is increasingly mired in polarised views on trade in tigers, elephants and rhinos. Once again, we will sit through two weeks of political and often hostile wrangling around whether to allow resumed international trade in wildlife; wildlife that has already teetered on the brink of extinction at least once in my lifetime. Despite the acknowledgement that 2011 was the worst year ever for both elephants and rhinos since the ban on the sale of their respective tusks and horns, and despite the situation continuing into 2012, the clamour of a relatively small lobby of invested individuals and parties is gearing up to dominate the proceedings yet again; in order to stay, it apparently has to pay. A proposal for a Decision-making Mechanism for future trade in ivory will be tabled. There may be more proposals for downlisting and trade from Tanzania and Zambia unless the voice of reason prevails; after all, given the rampant poaching of elephants in Tanzania and the theft of tonnes of ivory from Government stores in Zambia, who could sanction another sale when the last one seems to have been the catalyst for the current crisis? China will continue to dodge the issue of its apparent complicity in the ongoing tiger trade within its borders, and a small but extremely vocal and powerful lobby from South Africa will advocate the resumption of an international trade in rhino horn to Vietnam and China based on the model of the ivory system (because that has been so successful, right?). Regardless of whether you are philosophically opposed to, or supportive of, sustainable (read ‘lethal’) utilisation of wildlife, it does not require a PhD to recognise that where elephants, rhinos and tigers (as well as pangolins and a myriad other less iconic creatures) are concerned, the current and increasing demand for either medicinal (efficacy unsubstantiated) or vanity purposes can never be satisfied in the current economic climate. A complete and total ban on all trade is the only rational response to the crisis. It provides a clear and simple message that can be understood by even the most obtuse. And it is the message that the EIA delegation to CITES will be shouting from the rafters – armed, of course, with our own particular brand of evidence and lobbying skills. Wish us luck. Mary Rice Executive Director
Contents Written and edited by EIA Designed by: designflavour (www.designflavour.com) Printed by: Emmerson Press (www.emmersonpress.co.uk) Cover main image copyright Lucy Molleson / WDCS, small images © EIA All images © EIA unless otherwise shown Printed on 100% recycled paper
A huge and heartfelt thanks to our members and supporters. Without you we would not be able to carry out our vital work.
Yahoo! still selling whales and dolphins short on the internet
Positive results for cetaceans at international meeting
Pro-trade ivory report ignores reality with appalling bias
High-profile tiger event crackles with positive energy
Time to pull the plug on tiger farming in Asia
London skills me – helping communities help themselves
Palmed off – crime, corruption and the failure to enforce
Global Environment Campaign update
Climate-friendly supermarket refrigeration goes mainstream
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Environmental Crime update
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Yahoo! still selling whales and dolphins short on the internet AFTER the astonishing international success of our February campaign for Amazon to permanently ban all whale and dolphin products, EIA returned its attention to another internet leviathan – Yahoo!. Amazon had been allowing the sale of cetacean products through its wholly owned subsidiary Amazon Japan, even though some came from endangered and protected species, and many were contaminated with dangerous toxins. Despite being the subject of a 2010 EIA exposé for its whale and dolphin sales via Yahoo! Japan, Yahoo! appeared inflexible on the issue; would Amazon’s swift action show it the way forward? In June, we updated the earlier report with the new briefing Killing for Commerce. Once again, we urged
supporters to let Yahoo! feel the sharp edge of their outrage, whether by protesting directly via social media and emails or signing a petition. At the time of going to press, we’re still looking for any sign of movement or to hear from Yahoo! management, despite more than 103,000 signatures on an online petition calling on the company to stop selling all cetacean products. In some respects, Yahoo! is a tougher nut to crack; unlike Amazon, Yahoo! only part-owns its Japanese operation, and its US headquarters – despite barring cetacean products from its own marketplaces after our 2010 report – insists its influence is limited. We understand that such a major international company wants to avoid potentially embarrassing public spats with subsidiaries, but frankly that’s just not good enough.
Whaling should not only be consigned to the history books, it would be there already if it were not being kept alive artificially. Japan’s domestic market for cetacean products is shrinking all the time and what remains is largely propped up by internet outlets. International condemnation of the country’s whale and dolphin hunts, plus food safety concerns, have already led Japan’s leading supermarket chains, retailers and seafood companies to drop cetacean products. Amazon was sufficiently savvy and environmentally responsible to realise early on that its reputation could be damaged by its profiteering from the slaughter of whales and dolphins. EIA and its campaign partners intend to keep up the pressure on Yahoo! until it clears its virtual shelves of these products for good.
IN May, a new report co-written by EIA UK Director Jennifer Lonsdale called into question the position of Denmark in the Presidency of the European Union due to its pro-active support for whaling. Breaking Ranks accused Denmark of causing conflict within the anti-whaling EU by actively promoting commercial whaling. Its actions go beyond its duties to its overseas territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which conduct non-commercial whaling, and ignore EU regulations and Denmark’s responsibilities as an EU member. “Especially when holding the EU presidency, a country is expected to conduct itself in a transparent and coordinated way, seeking common ground rather than divisive action,” said Jennifer. The report, written with Pro Wildlife’s Sandra Altherr and released with the support of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and Humane Society International, called on Denmark to reconsider its whaling policy.
EIA Investigator Autumn 12
Positive results for cetaceans at international meeting EIA campaigners Jennifer Lonsdale, left, and Clare Perry at the IWC
ABORIGINAL whaling quotas, ‘scientific’ hunts, pollutants and marine debris were on the agenda at July’s 64th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Panama. Once again, EIA campaigners were in attendance; here’s their summary of the key issues: South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary Last year, the democratic process was derailed as whaling nations and their allies walked out when the vote was called on this issue. This year, the Latin American countries got to vote once it was clear there was no consensus. In the first IWC vote on the issue in four years, a majority favoured the sanctuary but not the 75 per cent required for adoption. Renewal of the Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling quota Proposals for subsistence whaling quotas from the US, Russian Federation, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Greenland were one of the most controversial and potentially divisive issues. Many countries requested the proposals be considered separately, but the US, Russian Federation, St Vincent & the Grenadines insisted they be treated as a package, which was duly approved. Greenland’s proposal to expand quotas was overwhelmingly rejected amid strong criticism of whale meat being sold to tourists in restaurants. Conservation Committee This year was a coming of age for the committee, which effectively addresses issues such as ship strikes, whale entanglement, critically endangered populations, whale watching and conservation management plans.
Pollutants in cetaceans Cetaceans have accumulated heavy burdens of pollutants through the food chain, resulting in potential threats to their health and to those consuming them. The meeting backed a resolution initiated by Germany highlighting the issue and the importance of continued scientific research, and called for more cooperation with the World Health Organisation. Save the vaquita The Mexican vaquita is on the verge of extinction, with fewer than 250 porpoises remaining. The Chair of the Scientific Committee warned that if it is to be saved, all gill nets must immediately be removed from the upper Gulf of California. Real science versus sham science The remarkable Southern Ocean research programme led by Australia demonstrated the enormous amount of essential scientific information to be obtained from non-lethal research – and shamed the paltry results of Japan’s so-called ‘scientific whaling’ which kills thousands of whales. Korean ‘scientific’ whaling plan Korea forced this year’s most controversial debate by announcing plans to start its own scientific permit whaling, claiming minke whales were increasing in its coastal waters and it needed to study their feeding habits. Korea already has a significant bycatch from this minke whale population, which is endangered as a result. Following widespread negative coverage of the proposal and international pressure, Korea appears to have dropped the plan. Japan bid for new coastal whaling quotas rejected Japan’s bid for quotas in its coastal waters under a spurious new category of whaling was
firmly rejected. In response, Japan proposed an IWC-endorsed group to work on the issue; this too was rejected, demonstrating clearly that most IWC members have no interest in discussions which could lead to resumed commercial whaling.
Marine environments choking on human debris WHILE at the IWC, EIA presented its research into the impacts of marine debris on cetaceans to the Scientific Committee, in a report by Sarah Baulch. Waste, from plastic bags to the microplastic particles in cosmetics, is killing and damaging the health of an increasing number of cetaceans worldwide. Whales, dolphins and other marine species can become entangled in debris or ingest it, causing injury, disease and, frequently, long and painful deaths. Such debris interactions have now been documented in more than 44 per cent of all known cetacean species. Humans currently dump 6.4 million tonnes of marine litter every year, leading to more than 3.5 million items of litter per sq km of ocean in some regions. These quantities are set to rise. The IWC agreed to fund a workshop to assess and mitigate the impacts of marine debris on cetaceans – but it’s also important to consider the major role we can all play by reducing, re-using and recycling our waste.
Pro-trade ivory report ignores reality with appalling bias DESPITE 2011 being declared the worst for elephants since the 1989 international ban on ivory trade, EIA and others were appalled to see a blatantly pro-trade report submitted to July’s Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), in Geneva, Switzerland. The report on possible mechanisms for future international legal trade in ivory proposed the creation of an ivory sales body modelled on the De Beers diamond cartel. We were so concerned by the report’s clear bias and failure to fully comply with its terms of reference that our campaigners arrived at the meeting armed with a stern and detailed rebuttal. The work of EIA was instrumental in putting the 1989 ivory trade ban in place; our expertise in this field has made it very clear to us that any ‘legal’ trade in ivory sends mixed messages which confuse consumers and provides an opportunity to launder black market ivory. Advocates of an ivory trade have previously predicted that supplies of ivory from ‘legal’ CITESsanctioned stockpile sales in 1999 and 2008 would either satiate demand or reduce prices and so render poached ivory financially untenable. However, the report Decision-Making Mechanisms and Necessary Conditions for a Future Trade in African Elephant Ivory ignored the reality that the opposite has happened, with demand stimulated and
poaching out of control. Our critique strongly urged the committee to reject the recommendations of the report on the grounds it had failed to address the core issues identified in the terms of reference and the fundamental reasons for the failure of the current ivory trade system.
EIA remains deeply concerned that any more ‘legal’ sales – or discussion of ‘legal’ sales – of ivory will further stimulate the ivory market Executive Director Mary Rice
After almost three days of wrangling, and given the strength of feeling about the report, it was decided that the Secretariat would provide another document, based on the report and with further input from stakeholders. The issue will now be discussed at the Conference of the Parties to CITES in Thailand next March. It is now crucial that all stakeholders provide compelling arguments for shelving the report.
Assurance from the Lords that UK will oppose ivory sales TWO weeks before the CITES Standing Committee, the issue of the international trade in ivory was raised in the UK’s House of Lords. Lord St John of Bletso, briefed by EIA and Kenya-based Space for Giants (www. spaceforgiants.org), asked the Government what measures it planned to support at CITES to address the increase in elephant poaching and illegal sales of ivory to the Far East. He further sought assurances that the Government would use its influence to ensure the European Union rejects any proposals for further ivory sales, including stockpiles, and the down listing of elephant populations. Conservative House of Lords whip Lord Taylor of Holbeach replied: “Yes, I can give the noble Lord that assurance. We certainly cannot be confident that smuggling and the poaching of ivory are currently under control. “The Government take very seriously the threat to elephants and other wildlife from smuggling and the international trafficking of wildlife products. Richard Benyon, the Minister responsible, announced last year that the illegal trade under CITES, in particular the trade in elephant ivory, is a UK wildlife crime priority for the National Wildlife Crime Unit.”
EIA Investigator Autumn 12
High-profile tiger event crackles with positive energy OUR friends at the TigerTime campaign have been working tirelessly to raise awareness about the plight of wild tigers, generating a petition to China which has so far collected over 123,000 signatures.
wild tiger sighting, fearing that it may be the last he sees, while committed campaigner and actress Joanna Lumley challenged everyone present “to do something that is a bit dangerous … make the commitment in our heart to catch a piece of fire as it passes” and act now for the tiger.
In March, EIA campaigners Debbie Banks and Alasdair Cameron joined some of the campaign’s activists and high-profile supporters for a special event at the House of Lords , pictured above.
Peter Carroll, the mastermind behind TigerTime (www. tigertime.info), called for people to sign up to the campaign, spread the word and generate support to reach a target of £5 million to support anti-poaching, education and investigations into the illegal trade.
The event was hosted by the Speaker of the House of Lords, Baroness D’Souza, at the invitation of Lord and Lady Blencathra, and attended by HRHs Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Ricky Gervais, Robert Lindsay, Simon Evans, Claire King, Wincey Willis and Abi Titmuss. Famed wildlife artist and conservationist David Shepherd CBE spoke movingly of his most recent
EIA had the chance to mingle and bounce around ideas with the well-informed, creative guests – if just half of the leads generated can be pursued, TigerTime should go very far in its objectives. “It was particularly thrilling to be invited to join the Q&A session,” said Debbie. “More used to dealing
with the criminal end of the tiger trade, I had one of those fish-out-of-water moments ... responding to questions from Princess Michael of Kent, with Joanna Lumley and Ricky Gervais in the room and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg just a few feet away! “The vibe was positive and electric – it felt like anything is possible.” Following the event, the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s TigerTime team and EIA met with the Special Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister to share our concerns over the threat to wild tigers from trade in parts from captive-bred animals. We look forward to ongoing dialogue over what action, if any, the higher echelons of Government can take to ensure a zero tolerance on all trade, in all parts and derivatives, of tigers from all sources.
State visit a chance to air concerns for black tigers EIA took advantage of the May visit to the UK of Naveen Pattnaik, Chief Minister of the Indian State of Odisha, to raise concerns about the destruction of his State’s precious environment and threats to the rare tigers inhabiting it. Odisha is home to Simlipal National Park and the elusive melanistic, or black, tigers. Mr Pattnaik was in Britain to promote his home state and to discuss development issues with the UK Government; since 1999, the UK has invested £183m in Odisha projects. When our campaigners visited Simlipal in early May, they were alarmed to find security staff unarmed and without proper equipment, training or support – and yet still expected to protect the forest from poachers, illegal logging and encroachment. These
vital frontline staff are paid less than $50 a month and lack even basic necessities such as mosquito nets, anti-malaria medicines and food rations.
the situation in Simlipal is a poignant reminder that the survival of the wild tiger is in the hands of the State governments and their political whims.
“This is not a question of money,” said Campaigner Alasdair Cameron. “The crisis at Simlipal is due to a failure of political will. There have been several studies highlighting the steps that need to be taken, but there has been very little action on the ground.
Several other tiger reserves in India could bounce back if the State governments were willing to address the variety of complex social, economic, management and law & order situations that plague the likes of Palamau Tiger Reserve in Jharkhand, Indravati Tiger Reserve in Chattisgarh, Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal and Valmiki in Bihar, to name a few.
“At the most basic level, how can a man with no jeep, no weapons, little training and no malaria nets be expected to look after some of the world’s most precious habitats?” While the National Tiger Conservation Authority proudly presents advances in high-tech surveillance to deter poachers, and highlights the recovery of sub-populations of tigers dotted around the country,
Perhaps some well-regulated, community-led, responsible wildlife tourism could improve the livelihoods of the forest communities on the fringes of these protected areas and help bring these reserves back from the brink.
Time to pull the plug on tiger farming in Asia
Our Tiger Campaign team also urged China – which has the world’s greatest number of tiger farms – to terminate its ‘legal’ domestic trade in tiger and leopard skins as an indication of genuine commitment to ending the tiger trade and reducing demand. Under CITES regulations, international trade in parts and products of wild and captive bred tigers is prohibited. In 2007, the CITES Parties voted by majority for this restriction to apply to domestic trade too. However, some operations holding captive-bred tigers in China are understood to be stockpiling skins and bones, pictured right, fuelling speculation that they are being held in anticipation of a ‘legalised’ trade, and that some of these ‘products’ may already be entering the domestic market under a licensing scheme. As well as China, there are tiger farms in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos; traders and operations in these countries have been involved in international illegal trade within South-East Asia. In addition, EIA asked CITES to urge China to comply with the letter and spirit of earlier resolutions by withdrawing its controversial scheme allowing trade in the licenced skins of captive-bred tigers and leopards.
“China has very publically committed to international efforts to double the world’s wild tiger population by 2022,” said EIA Head of Tiger Campaign Debbie Banks. “These words are only toothless platitudes so long as China officially sanctions the trade in skins of captive-bred animals.” EIA also called on CITES to remind Parties of their obligations to formally report on all Asian big cats, not just tigers, and to set a new deadline for all range and consumer Parties of Asian big cats to provide the information required for INTERPOL to conduct a full analysis of trade. At the meeting in Geneva, China was quick to claim that its domestic illegal trade has been well controlled in recent years, that it doesn’t allow trade in tiger bone for medicinal purposes (skirting mention of its legal skin trade), that it has seen no evidence of trade from farmed tigers and is not aware of tiger farms affecting wild tiger conservation. A subsequent offer from the Global Tiger Initiative to pay $100,000 for a thorough investigation of the tiger farm situation promptly sent the Chinese delegation into a tailspin.
with” them. We congratulate India and the UK for their efforts to raise this issue, and then persisting when their requests were not adequately recorded in the summary record of the meeting.
Words are only toothless platitudes so long as China officially sanctions the trade in skins of captive-bred animals EIA Head of Tiger Campaign Debbie Banks
When all the negotiations and horse-trading were done with, it was agreed all Parties to CITES will be reminded of their reporting obligations for all Asian big cats. Also agreed was the need for proof that the Parties are complying with the CITES decision from 2007 to phase out all tiger farms. Specifically, Parties are to report the number of breeding operations and also the total number of tigers, and to declare stockpiles of captive-bred or confiscated tiger body parts and derivatives, along with actions proposed to “deal
©Belinda Wright / WPSI
In the countdown to the 62nd meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in July, EIA called for all countries with operations farming tigers and other Asian big cats to shut them down and destroy stockpiled body parts and derivatives.
EIA Investigator Autumn 12
London skills me – helping communities help themselves SHARING campaigning skills with our partners in other countries is a cornerstone of EIA’s ethos and in May we returned to the Dayak forest community of Muara Tae to continue helping it combat the devastating encroachment of palm oil plantations. The training sessions were also something of a baptism of fire for our capable new Visual Communications Officer Emma Clark – after just two days in the job, she found herself working on the ground in the East Kalimantan village! EIA has been working to raise awareness of, and support for, the indigenous Dayak Benuaq community’s confrontation since November 2011 and was back to meet with villagers and activists to supply the equipment and training they need to capture visual evidence of the destruction of their environment and expose these abuses to a wider audience. More than 800 families in Muara Tae rely on the forests for their food, water, medicine, culture and identity, but in the past two decades they have lost more than half of their land to mining companies and are currently under assault from palm oil companies aggressively expanding into ancestral forests. Although EIA is best known for its groundbreaking undercover investigations and exposés of environmental crime, we also have a long track record of carrying out training in the field with local groups and individuals. A key strategy of our long-standing campaign against illegal logging and the illegal timber trade in South-East Asia has been to build the capacity of civil society in Indonesia
through a project delivered alongside local partner Telapak, which is also working with us in Muara Tae. Visuals specialist Paul Redman – who has previously trained activists in India, Indonesia and Tanzania – headed up the workshops in Muara Tae, giving instruction on the use of research techniques, photography, film, GPS tracking and security. “Sharing our knowledge though training is a vital part of the way EIA works,” said Paul. “We’re not the kind of organisation that turns up and starts telling people what to do – it’s far more productive to give them the communications tools they need and so empower people to campaign effectively for themselves.” Blogging for our website on her return, Emma, pictured right, added: “I interviewed several of the participants for the training film I was making, and was really interested to find out more about why they had come on the workshop and what they hoped to do with their new skills.”
The past two weeks have gone really fast – I’ve met some incredible and inspiring people, survived a tropical downpour while sleeping in a tree house and fallen off a moped, bringing home some pretty impressive bruises! Visual Communications Officer Emma Clark
Palmed off – crime, corruption and the failure to enforce THE growing use of palm oil in foodstuffs and as a biofuel is driving a rapid surge in global production which threatens rainforests, the orangutans inhabiting them and local livelihoods.
are being utterly exploited in legally questionable oil palm land deals that provide huge financial opportunities for international investors at the expense of the people and forests of West Papua.” We were back in July with Testing the Law, another investigation undertaken with Telapak which revealed how systemic law enforcement failings were enabling oil palm plantation companies to destroy carbon-rich peatlands with impunity.
A key concern is the widespread corruption and failure of forest governance legislation associated with the steady rise of the palm oil industry, critical flaws in the system we exposed in two new reports this year.
Our evidence showed how well-connected oil palm firm PT Suryamas Cipta Perkasa (PT SCP) has been allowed to continue operating in Central Kalimantan in clear breach of the law for almost five years, and that Government officials had been aware of it for years and have failed to act.
In May, Clear-Cut Exploitation revealed how an Indonesian oil palm plantation in which the Norwegian state pension fund has a financial stake had paid Papuan tribal landowners as little as $0.65 per hectare for their forest land. EIA and our Indonesian partner Telapak exposed the woefully low payments by PT Henrison Inti Persada (PT HIP) to marginalised Moi tribe clans for land and timber; industry analysts have estimated the plantation would be worth 7,812 times as much. The report showed how Norway has a stake in the plantation via the multi-million dollar shareholdings of its sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, in Hong Kong-based commodities conglomerate Noble Group, which owns a majority stake in PT HIP. This is despite Norway being internationally feted as a climate change leader following its significant political and financial investment in efforts to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) in Indonesia and elsewhere.
The crimes of PT SCP, part of the BEST Group, have led directly to the destruction of the habitat of hundreds of endangered orangutans and local livelihoods, generating millions of tonnes of carbon emissions in the process.
Our research highlighted a history of legal irregularities in the plantation’s development and in timber harvesting – crimes never punished by Government officials tasked with safeguarding West Papua’s forests and people.
Four months previously, we submitted a dossier about PT SCP’s illegal conversion of more than 23,000 hectares of peatland and peat swamp forest to a range of Indonesian authorities and challenged them to act. Although the Government has openly admitted the concession is illegal, the illicit proceeds of the crime continue to flow.
To add insult to economic and environmental injury, development benefits such as houses, vehicles and education which were promised to impoverished landowners have failed to materialise.
“This case clearly demonstrates the gulf between the rhetoric on reducing deforestation and the reality on the ground” said Forests Campaigner Tom Johnson.
Senior Forest Campaigner Jago Wadley said: “Papuans, some of the poorest citizens in Indonesia,
Following the launch of our report, the Indonesian Government issued a statement announcing a probe into the issues raised by EIA.
EIA Investigator Autumn 12
Global Environment Campaign update EIA leads NGO charge to end use of HFCs in Europe IN July, EIA and others called on EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard to propose ambitious moves to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and other fluorinated greenhouse gases. The joint call by EIA, European Environmental Bureau, Greenpeace, World Wide Fund for Nature, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Climate Action Network Europe, Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development, Natuur & Milieu, CDM Watch and ClientEarth was sent in response to concerns that the European Commission’s F-gas Regulation review may propose a weak phase-down over a long period, essentially allowing companies to pollute as normal.
Three countries block effort to eliminate super greenhouse gases
We give Olympic aquatics centre a ‘gold’ for eco-friendly cooling
FOR the fourth year in a row, Brazil, China and India blocked formal talks at the Montreal Protocol on proposals to end global production and use of HFCs, some of the most powerful greenhouse gases. The move at July’s meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group of the Montreal Protocol was in stark contrast to a statement all three agreed in June’s Rio+20 Declaration: “We support a gradual phase-down in the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons.”
THE eyes of the world were on the action in the pool, but behind the scenes the stunning Olympic aquatic sports venue led the way in environmentally friendly cooling systems.
“For industry to have the confidence to invest in alternatives, we need clear bans on the use of F-gases on a sector-by-sector basis,” said Climate Campaigner Alasdair Cameron.
Proposals submitted to the Montreal Protocol to initiate an international phase-out of HFCs could prevent approximately 100 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions by 2050 – the same as three years of global fossil fuel emissions.
According to a new report in May, Europe could end its reliance on F-gases within 10 years. Availability of Low-GWP Alternatives to HFCs: Feasibility of an Early Phase-Out of HFCs by 2020, produced by Michael Kauffield of the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences with the support of EIA, showed HFCs can be banned from new equipment in 20 sectors by 2020, with energy-efficient and more climate-friendly alternatives taking their place.
But Brazil, China and India continue to insist any action on HFCs must be taken by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), even though the UNFCCC has no experience of phasing out chemicals, deals exclusively with eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and has no authority over the production and consumption of HFCs or any other greenhouse gases.
“The EU has a fantastic opportunity and a responsibility to phase out the use of HFCs. There is simply no reason for new HFC equipment or products to be allowed on the market when efficient, safe and affordable alternatives are available,” said Senior Campaigner Clare Perry. A separate independent study of the F-gas Regulation highlighted numerous shortcomings, including a lack of implementation and enforcement in many parts of the EU. Italy and Malta have already been warned by the European Commission that they may face legal action for failing to implement the Regulation. However, even with full implementation, the current Regulation will allow HFC emissions to rise by more than 80 per cent by 2050, jeopardising Europe’s climate targets.
“Brazil, China and India need to stop trying to use the Montreal Protocol as leverage in the climate negotiations and sabotaging desperately needed concrete action for climate protection,” said Campaigner Natasha Hurley.
Designed by Zaha Hadid, the Aquatic Centre in London uses ammonia, one of a number of ‘natural’ refrigerants that have either no or low global warming potential. In addition to the Aquatics Centre, the Olympic Energy Centre also uses ammonia refrigerants. However, other venues failed to rise to the challenge, with the Olympic Stadium and media centres relying on HFC-based equipment. The next step will be to build on this experience to make future events such as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow completely HFC-free.
Happy birthday, Montreal Protocol! THE Montreal Protocol, commonly billed as the world’s most successful environmental treaty, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Margaret Thatcher was in power in the UK when the Montreal Protocol was signed by a group of 24 countries – 25 years on it has been ratified by 197 countries, making it the first treaty of its kind to achieve universal ratification. It has also led to an awe-inspiring 98 per cent reduction in the production of controlled ozone depleting substances (ODS), including the now infamous CFCs; because most ODS are also powerful global warming gases, the Protocol has made an invaluable contribution to the fight against climate change.
Climate-friendly supermarket refrigeration goes mainstream SINCE we launched Chilling Facts in 2009, the campaign has gone a long way towards focusing the supermarket sector’s attention on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), powerful global warming gases hundreds to thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). With the release in July of Chilling Facts IV, we were delighted to report that alternative climate-friendly technologies have gone mainstream in the UK and other parts of Europe. Carbon-conscious retailers now recognise that super greenhouse gases have no place in supermarket refrigeration systems and that the writing is on the wall for HFCs. From only 14 UK stores using climate-friendly refrigeration in 2008, the number has blossomed to 344, with thousands of engineers trained to service them and retailer reports of significant reductions in energy use compared to conventional HFC systems. The new report praised Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose for their rapid roll-out of climate-friendly refrigeration (Waitrose now runs a quarter of its estate on HFC-free systems), while Aldi and Lidl have made good progress with HFCfree freezers but have yet to follow suit for chiller cabinets.
However, concern was expressed over Tesco’s apparent slowdown; despite announcing in 2009 plans for 150 HFC-free stores by 2012, it has so far managed just 60. The retail giant has made some progress outside the UK, with 35 HFC-free stores in Hungary – yet it also recently built 60 new stores in Poland which run on an HFC refrigerant blend with a high global warming potential. “As the biggest retailer in the UK, we’re concerned that Tesco is not on track to meet its target. Tesco should be aiming to roll-out HFCfree refrigeration in all new stores in Europe,” said EIA Senior Campaigner Fionnuala Walravens.
Chilling Facts IV expanded the campaign’s scope to include European retailers and found many of them ready for change, with some voluntarily committing to HFC phase-outs. Feedback from continental Europe also indicated UK retailers are falling behind the times with their negative approach to putting doors on chilled food cabinets. Nevertheless, we found a wide regional variation in prioritising climate-friendly cooling in Europe, with more progressive retailers based in Northern Europe; Southern and Eastern European retailers have done very little to phase out HFCs. What’s needed now is legislation to level the playing field (see stories on opposite page) and encourage reluctant retailers to take responsibility for their climate impacts.
Miami points the way to tackling illegal trade IN July, we were fortunate enough to get a close look at the sterling work being done by various US Government agencies in Miami to curb illegal trade in ozone-depleting substances (ODS). EIA Campaigns Director Julian Newman was in the Florida capital to conduct interviews for a training film on combating illegal trade in ODS, which EIA is producing in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme regional office in Bangkok. Although the threat of chlorofluorocarbons smuggling has waned, illegal trade in hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) is now on the rise. Enforcement agencies in Miami are in the vanguard of efforts to curb the flow and have already scored significant successes with Operation Catch-22, which led to the Miami-based Kroy Corporation being found guilty of illegally importing over 400 tonnes of HCFC22, its director jailed for 30 months and $1.3 million in criminal profit forfeited. Julian’s interviews with agents from the Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency and Homeland Security Investigations highlighted the key elements of an effective enforcement strategy, including genuine interagency cooperation, securing prosecutions and intelligence-led enforcement – valuable lessons we will share via the training film.
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Environmental crime update Suspension of Burma sanctions not a green light to trade THE European Union suspended sanctions against Burma in April, including lifting the prohibition on direct trade of timber and wood products to EU markets – a development EIA’s Forests Campaign cautioned should be viewed as a chance to introduce meaningful reform directly benefiting the Aung San g Suu Ky country’s people. i ad Following democratic reforms introduced by Burma’s Government, supported by National League for Democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, EU foreign ministers suspended sanctions for one year to open the way for trade and investment with Western firms. EIA Head of Forests Faith Doherty welcomed the move as a step towards greater democracy and freedom but stressed it should not give a green light to open trade in timber. “After half a century of corruption and rule by the military and their business associates, Burma simply has no credible infrastructure through which we can verify the legality and sustainability of its timber exports,” she said. “What this historic moment does represent, however, is a unique opportunity to establish a role for civil society in Burma. It must be part of any reform to ensure the invaluable resources of the
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country’s forests are not squandered for the financial gain of a few.” While sanctions were in place, the trade of timber and wood products from Burma went mainly through neighbouring countries, with China a driving force behind the demand for cheap highvalue timber. In early June, Faith – along with friends and many advocates who have supported the fight for freedom and democracy in Burma – was among those invited to Westminster Hall for Aung San Suu Kyi’s historic visit to speak to both houses of Parliament, where she became the first woman from abroad, the first person from an Asian nation and the first person who is not a head of state to do so.
Cambodian campaigner killed PROMINENT Cambodian environmental and human rights activist Chut Wutty was shot dead in April. He was killed in Koh Kong province, in the south-west of the country, while documenting the illegal logging decimating forests across the Mekong. Wutty, 48, led a lengthy and unbending campaign against corrupt politicians, businesses, military and police who have wreaked havoc on Cambodia’s landscape and trampled the rights of its impoverished people.
World Bank forests report presses for enforcement A NEW World Bank report was released at the end of March, calling for law enforcement actions focused on the criminal masterminds behind international illegal logging networks and the corrupt officials who enable and protect them. The plight of the world’s forests is pressing, to say the least – an area of forest the size of a football field is being clear-cut by illegal loggers every two seconds.
Justice for Forests: Improving Criminal Justice Efforts to Combat Illegal Logging argued that countries can effectively fight illegal logging through the criminal justice system, punish organised crime, and trace and confiscate illegal logging profits – but to be effective, law enforcement needs to follow the money past low-level criminals and look to where the profits from illegal logging go. The four-year study in forest-rich Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia and the Philippines found the probability of illegal loggers being penalised is less than 0.1 per cent; it also featured case studies taken from EIA’s 2007 report The Thousand-Headed Snake. Head of Forests Faith Doherty was in Washington DC to speak at the launch, and said: “This is a very timely report. There is a global epidemic of illegal logging and any attention that can be drawn to it is welcome.”
Sadness at activist’s death
Details of his death were confused and contradictory; he had been in the forests of Koh Kong with two journalists from the Phnom Penh Post, documenting rosewood logging near a Chinese-built hydroelectric dam and died from gunshot wounds after being apprehended by a military police officer on behalf of an unnamed company that wanted to stop him taking pictures.
EIA was sad to learn in July of the death of Surjani Alloy, the leader of the Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN, an independent organisation comprising indigenous communities from various parts of the Indonesia archipelago), in West Kalimantan.
Both Wutty and a policeman were killed. Officials subsequently claimed the officer took his own life after shooting Wutty.
Alloy has worked with us for more than nine years, sharing many campaign activities in that time. In 2009, a team from EIA invited and travelled with Alloy and others from Indonesia to the forests in Belgium to make a film on the European Union’s FLEGT initiative.
Major Asia award acknowledges fearless forestry campaigning LONG-term EIA partner and friend Ambrosius ‘Ruwi’ Ruwindrijarto has been awarded one of Asia’s most prestigious accolades for his fearless work on the frontlines of the fight against illegal logging in Indonesia. His citation on receiving the 2012 Ramon Magsaysay Award in July recognised his “courageous advocacy of natural resource management based on social and ecological justice, and his committed leadership in offering entrepreneurial alternatives to resource exploitation that place at its center the welfare of the people themselves”. EIA first met Ruwi in May 1999 when investigators travelled to deepest Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, to work for the first time with the local activist group Telapak, checking out reports of chaotic, unchecked
illegal logging in the heart of Tanjung Puting National Park. After Dave Currey and Julian Newman met with Ruwi to scope out the situation in the park, it became evident that local tycoon Abdul Rasyid, boss of the Tanjung Lingga company, was behind the devastation. Julian recalled: “The next stage would mean going undercover; with Dave and I posing as investors and Ruwi playing the part of our fixer, a meeting was arranged with a man called Sugianto. He turned out to be Rasyid’s nephew and was in charge while his uncle was away in Singapore. “It’s never easy engaging in these types of meetings where a pretence has to be maintained, and especially difficult for the person who is translating. Ruwi played his role well and Sugianto was soon spilling the beans about his company’s
illegal business; he even laid on a tour of one of the sawmills … Ruwi was so convincing that Sugianto offered him a job, which was politely declined.” Ruwi’s bravery in the field was perhaps never more clearly displayed than when he and EIA campaigner Faith Doherty were kidnapped by Sugianto and his henchmen while on a follow-up investigation in Pangkalanbun in January 2000. The pair were beaten and held captive for several days while colleagues in London and elsewhere scrambled to do all possible to secure their release. Eventually they were freed, pictured above, and battered but unbowed, Ruwi spoke at a hastily arranged press conference the following day, defiantly showing that activists in Indonesia would not be silenced by the thugs stealing the country’s natural resources.
Meet the Investigator Name: Charlotte Davies
Age: 31 Hometown: Born in Wales, grew up in the Midlands
Education: School, then a degree in politics Campaign specialism: I mainly work on wildlife crime (so tigers, elephants) and forests, with some bits on electronic waste too. What first interested you in environmental issues?: It’s always been like that, due to two things I suppose – growing up in the countryside and my parents, who inspired me with wonder for nature. So, pretty early on in life I was wearing Greenpeace T-shirts and by primary school it was normal to organise sponsored events for environmental causes! What is your most memorable experience at EIA?: It’s great to see how an investigation develops, from gathering the intelligence and going into the field to getting the evidence which shows what’s really going on. So something like Open Season was a big deal; that evidence exposed the illegal ivory trade and
corruption just as CITES was considering elephant downlistings and ivory sales – it raised the alarm and the proposals were rejected. Overall, it’s meeting people who’ve dedicated their lives to conservation of wildlife, habitats and human rights. For me, it’s especially inspiring to see the contribution women make in this field.
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Matt Bidault – 5 skinny men In August EIA was informed that ‘5 skinny men’ were to tackle Lands End to John O’Groats on their bikes, raising money for a number of fantastic causes along the way, one of which was EIA.
Eyes of the Ocean Mariners are the Eyes of the Ocean, going to parts of the oceans that research vessels cannot go and with the potential to record vital information on marine debris, pollution and wildlife. EIA is reaching out to these sailors, asking them to record information and providing a platform for them to report to. Already sailors in the Global Ocean Race have contributed to the programme and it has received support from scientists who work with the International Whaling Commission. As part of the programme, we approached the Year 10 Graphics GCSE students at Fakenham High School, in Norfolk, to design a logo for us to use on materials associated with the programme. Armed with detailed specifications, the students set their creative skills to work and EIA is delighted with the logo design that these talented students have produced.
This is a QR code, the new generation of barcodes. If you own a Smartphone, use your barcode scanner or Google goggles, scan this code and join EIA in our virtual realm…
Skinny man Matt Bidault, Edinburgh University student and environmental enthusiast, came across EIA in a BBC documentary aired in the spring and decided it was a cause he felt passionate about and wanted to support. You can still show Matt and co your appreciation at www.justgiving. com/5skinnymenmattbidault.
Marathon Runners An enormous thank you to EIA supporter Mark Fletcher and EIA’s Head of Tiger Campaign Debbie Banks, who this year ran the London and Brighton marathons respectively, raising over £3,000 along the way. Congratulations to both for their sterling efforts.
Nehls, and Teresa an h o M Bernie
Ja mes Level le
James Levelle ‘’I took on the toughest cycle event for Environmental Investigation Agency because EIA are the toughest NGO that I know.’’ Film-maker and friend of EIA James Levelle took on the challenge of a lifetime in August in aid of EIA, cycling a gruelling Alpine route from Geneva to Nice. The 780km route took him 21,000 feet above sea-level and is lauded as the world’s toughest cyclosportive event. This was an absolutely mammoth undertaking and EIA could not be more proud that it was our cause he chose to support. You can still donate via James’ Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/James-Levelle.
EIA around the World Everyone here at EIA loves to hear from people who have been inspired by the work that we do. Bernie Mohan and Teresa Nehls, two school friends from Dubai, UAE, were this year tasked with working on a school exhibition with the theme Sharing the Planet. Bernie chose the topic of black market animal business and Teresa chose deforestation. While researching their chosen topics, they came across EIA and thought we were the perfect organisation to represent in their assignment. They immediately contacted us for information and even fundraised for us as part of their project. They featured EIA on their exhibition display boards and encouraged others who want to help the environment to seek us out. Thanks to Bernie and Teresa for your passion and hard work.
A digital archive EIA is considering a project to digitise our complete historical collection of photography and film, and make it available on the web, thereby giving the world access to the 28 year visual history of our investigations. As this is such an important project we want help from our members to decide how the website should look and function, so if you feel you could help please get in touch! We also hope to offer some free training workshops in photography, video editing, oral history recording and basic investigative journalism. Would you be interested in taking part in any of these, or have you got any ideas about any other EIA-related training sessions you might like to take part in? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raffle winners By the time you receive your issue of Investigator, this year’s summer raffle will have been drawn, the winners notified and the prizes will be in the post! Would you like the chance to win £1,000 in this year’s winter raffle? Buy tickets yourself; sell them to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to help raise crucial funds for EIA. This time around there is a £50 prize for the person who sells the most tickets, as well as a fantastic selection of other prizes. Good luck!
Supporter profile – Robin Johnson Robin Johnson is a 16-year-old with an impressive passion for the environment and our natural world. Robin co-founded the World Conservation and Wildlife Trust (formerly known as Respect and Honour Nature), which has so far raised more than £30,000 and was involved in a project that raised a phenomenal £120,000 during the year of the tiger. Here, Robin tells us a little about his passion for the environment and EIA. ‘’From oceans and forests to tigers, elephants and whales, EIA has proven highly effective in the world of conservation, unlike other fat cat charities worried about their next paychecks and not what they actually stand for. Its offices may not be the biggest or the fanciest, but it sure does stand for something great and the message it conveys is the cornerstone of its work, which is a nice refresher from others. “So why EIA? A few years back, I was dragged along to a tiger forum by a friend of mine to report back for the WCWT and, following the hour-and-a-half talk that followed, I found myself drawn to one charity in particular. I remember that it was more like a secret MI5 for animals than a normal charity; secret filming and undercover work, and all for the
Z NE Big Give Christmas Challenge 2012 – help us save tigers from extinction This year, EIA is all set to be involved in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, an opportunity for you to double your donation to EIA in support of our tiger campaign.
sake of saving critically endangered species and, in a sense, the world. It covers all the bases with a low overhead to ensure the money from donations go where it’s meant to – the frontline work. “My group aims to raise awareness about how serious climate change is and fundraise for a variety of conservation projects. The WCWT organises projects to raise awareness and to help combat climate change by reaching out to the younger generation. Recently, we have worked on projects to help save rainforests, tigers, coral reefs and biodiversity. “Now we are looking at oceanic conservation, having launched our Marine Conservation project last September. As part of this, I thought EIA would be a perfect charity to fundraise for as their cetacean projects are outstandingly effective. I recently organised a charity gala dinner in aid of our three main Marine Charities (EIA was the main supported charity). I’m happy to say the evening was a great success and we raised over £3,000.’’
All you have to do is go to our project page on the Big Give website at 10am on December 6, 7 or 8, make an online donation and your gift will be matched, pound-for-pound, there and then. So if you make a donation of £50, EIA will receive £100, no strings attached. This is an amazing opportunity for EIA, as we remain heavily reliant on donations from our loyal supporter base and this is an opportunity to tap into a completely new pool of income. If you would like to be added to the reminder email list, receive relevant links or would simply like to receive more information about the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2012, please contact Ben at email@example.com or 020 7354 7968. Log on to www.thebiggive.org.uk, double your donation and help us double tiger numbers in the next 10 years.
If you fancy taking on a personal challenge, big or small, to raise funds in support of EIA, get in touch with the fundraising team.
We’re getting ready to make some big Tiger Tracks in London next year! EIA is pleased and proud to announce its involvement in what promises to be the world’s biggest tiger conservation event of next year. Tiger Tracks is being organised by Save Wild Tigers and will be hosted by St Pancras International rail station, in London, from March 1-21, 2013. Save Wild Tigers is a coalition set up by Simon Clinton, of The Clinton Partnership, which currently benefits EIA and Born Free Foundation, with a mission to raise awareness of the critical plight of the wild tiger and to generate funds to support global yet targeted tiger conservation programmes throughout tiger range countries.
The event will culminate with an exclusive champagne reception and Black Tie Gala dinner at the five-star St Pancras Renaissance Hotel on March 21. With significant celebrity and media attendance, this looks set to be ‘The night of the year – the cause of a lifetime’. Watch our website at www.eia-international.org for updates on all the activities during March 2013 at St Pancras International. Call us on 020 7345 7960 for tickets.
Speaking of tigers ... EIA Tiger Campaign head Debbie Banks will be a guest speaker at the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s annual Royal Geographical Society event on October 18, hosted by TV presenter Mark Carwardine. Healing Without Harm looks at the trade in animal parts fuelling a multi-million pound industry, devastating wild populations and abusing captive animals. Tickets are £15 from 01483 272323.
During its three weeks, Tiger Tracks will feature tiger-themed activities, promotions, music, entertainment and an international tiger-themed photographic exhibition in the stunning Grade 1 listed building. Many retailers, restaurants and bars at St Pancras International will be joining in, so look out for exciting promotions for all the family to enjoy and take part in.
Do you want to help ensure a future where humanity can still marvel at elephants, tigers and whales?
© Michail Vikers
Conservation of the natural world is the most precious gift anyone can leave to future generations. By remembering EIA in your Will you can support our unique campaigns to save threatened wildlife and precious habitats.
For over 25 years EIA has been protecting the environment with intelligence – using pioneering investigative methods to defend the environment and protect it for the future. With your support we can continue our vital work.
undercover to expose “ Working international crime, EIA brought about changes in international laws and government policies, thus saving the lives of millions of endangered animals and putting a stop to the devastating effects wrought by environmental criminals.
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United Nations Environment Programme
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