Investigator environmental investigation agency
EIA Investigator Summer 10
success at CITES
Oscar winning film exposes hunt
Year of the Tiger?
EIA Investigator Summer 10
A message from our Executive Director, Mary Rice In this, the United Nations Year of International Biodiversity, intended as “a celebration of life on Earth and of the value of biodiversity for our lives”, it is ironic that the UN convention tasked with ensuring that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival failed so many marine species. After all the hype, expectations and build-up to the 15th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Doha in March this year, many of the decisions were disappointing. Yet we managed to hold the line on the ivory issue – just. The fact that it is also the Year of the Tiger did little to strengthen protection for tigers – but again we held the line. EIA’s role was critical in both these achievements. You may have read in the press about the total failure to implement any kind of increased protection for highly endangered species like the Atlantic blue fin tuna and some species of shark. Observers and participants alike viewed the emerging discussions and final decisions with incredulity and disgust. Science, it seems, is being ignored in the face of vested commercial interest. Pro-trade lobbyists turned out in force. Japan had a delegation of over 50 officials to ensure their fisheries interests preceded any conservation imperative; the issue of livelihoods and sovereignty were wheeled out ad nauseum as principle reasons for supporting any trade request; logical or otherwise. At CITES, the European Union (EU) have to vote as a block which requires that they either reach consensus on an issue or abstain. The EU vote, representing 27 countries, is crucial in any decision. Despite three EU co-ordination meetings every day during the conference, the EU was often still in deadlock over many issues the night before decisions had to be made and, as a result, they often had to abstain. But in the case of the blue fin tuna issue, the UK broke ranks from the EU and cast an independent vote. The consequences could include legal action, but it was a heartening sign that some still place principle above procrastination. Unfortunately, the weakness of the EU voting system is likely to rear its head again soon. The next meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) is looming and there are moves to emulate the same voting system there. This does not bode well. While the UK has shown leadership in defending the ban on commercial whaling, the EU states are likely to fail to reach absolute consensus. So it could take just a few pro-whaling votes in the EU to force the whole bloc to abstain – a ridiculous situation. It promises to be an intense and difficult meeting with the current moratorium on commercial whaling at stake. As usual, EIA’s cetaceans team will be there to challenge the pro-whaling lobby. We have had some major successes in the last six months and we should celebrate those. But we have some challenging times ahead as we strive to protect the incredible biodiversity of this planet. EIA’s role has never been more crucial nor your support more vital. Together we do make a difference and will continue to do so. Mary Rice Executive Director
Written and edited by EIA Designed by: designflavour (www.designflavour.com) Printed by: Emmerson Press (www.emmersonpress.co.uk) Cover images © Forests © Dave Currey Elephant © EIA Dolphin © James Gritz Tiger © Robin Hamilton All images © EIA unless otherwise shown Printed on 100% recycled paper
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Biodiversity and TEEB
Biodiversity; CITES and ivory
The Cove; exclusive interview
Year of the Tiger
Our Partners; JET
12-13 News in brief 14-15 Fundraising news
Valuing biodiversity The United Nations (UN) has proclaimed 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity in a bid to rally support for the drastic actions needed to halt the current level of species loss. One such action is a revolutionary concept of placing an economic value on biodiversity. Known as The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) project, this novel approach seeks to quantify the economic impact of the things which wildlife and the environment ‘do for us’ – socalled ecosystem services. Headed by Deutsche Bank economist and old friend of EIA Pavan Sukhdev, pictured right and conducted under the banner of the European Union and the UN, TEEB seeks to quantify the value of ecosystem services like water purification, climate regulation or soil production. In 2002, the UN committed to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Yet humanity’s failure to appreciate the value of nature is all too evident; 60 per cent of the world’s ecosystem services that have been examined have been degraded in the last 50 years, with human impacts the root cause. Human-caused rates of species extinction is estimated to be 1,000 times more rapid than the “natural” rate of extinction typical of Earth’s long-term history and one in four mammal species worldwide are at risk of extinction. While environmentalists are naturally nervous about reducing the environment to a commodity, the idea behind TEEB is to provide a coherent valuation of ecosystem services for policy makers and the private sector, and so communicate the crucial importance of the natural world. It is a direct riposte to the so-called “tragedy of the
commons”, under which self-interest leads to the depletion of shared but limited resources. As an example, TEEB estimates that the global loss to the economy from the destruction of the environment amounts to around seven per cent of global GDP per year, far more than the global financial crisis. In another study, the value of coral reef ecosystems was estimated at $115,000 per hectare per year, and they support the livelihoods of 500 million people. As climate change causes the oceans to warm and acidify this critical habitat will be at risk of destruction. Coral mining or coastal development can also lead to devastating loss of reefs, and hence long-term economic losses. Similarly, protecting forests and wildlife has a value which can be worked out under TEEB, and a forest with tigers will be worth more than a forest without. Alasdair Cameron of the Environmental Investigation Agency said: “Obviously, in one sense the value of the environment is infinite. The interesting thing about TEEB is that it puts environmental destruction in a language which a lot of politicians and economists understand. Sadly, they might be unmoved by the loss of wildlife or habitat, but when you say that there is a net loss of billions of dollars, they will pay more attention.” Part of the difficulty with ecosystem services is that they have generally been provided by nature for free and are under common ownership, and so do not make money for individuals or companies. Even if TEEB does manage to put a value on these ‘commons’ how will this be accounted for and what difference will it make? Although it is early days, groups such as EIA are using the new arguments to try and highlight some of the contradictions we face in everyday
© UNEP TEEB
communicating the crucial importance of the natural world
campaigning. The World Bank, for example, is a lead partner in the Global Tiger Initiative (of which EIA is an observer, not a member). While the World Bank is undoubtedly committed to working to protect the tiger, many other aspects of its work mitigate against this, from funding climate changing coal power stations to providing loans for roads, dams and other infrastructure, often in environmentally sensitive areas. When these issues are raised, the default argument is that it is too expensive to change the plans. EIA, along with other groups, is deploying the economic language of TEEB to communicate that far from being expensive to change plans, it is more economically damaging to ignore the long-term consequences of these actions. The hope is that environmental issues can become factored into the thinking of governments and corporations at the earliest stage, rather than as a ‘sustainability’ or ‘responsibility’ afterthought. Only then will biodiversity be truly valued and protected.
© Staci McLennan
© Staci McLennan
© Staci McLennan
© Staci McLennan
EIA Investigator Summer 10
CITES – Conservation versus commerce While habitat loss exerts the largest pressure on biodiversity, the global trade in wildlife also poses a severe threat to the survival of a host of threatened species. Rampant wildlife trade targeting biodiversity hotspots can give rise to the so-called “empty forest syndrome”, where healthy ecosystems are stripped of key species. Global wildlife trade is regulated under the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). EIA has been active at CITES conferences since 1989, fighting to protect a host of species, notably tigers, elephants (see opposite page) and cetaceans, from excessive and illicit trade. EIA’s investigations and reports stir up controversy and force parties to CITES to consider the reality on the ground of the decisions they make. Our investigations prove that there is insufficient investment in effective enforcement of CITES decisions and that all too often political trade-offs lead to commercial interests triumphing over conservation. This was certainly the case at the most recent CITES conference, which took place in Doha, Qatar in March. While the EIA team lobbied successfully to prevent further legal trade in elephant ivory and to secure commitments for better enforcement and action against the illegal trade in tigers, a host of proposals to protect marine species, notably blue fin tuna, failed. EIA has been in the vanguard of efforts to pressure relevant CITES parties to curb trade in tiger parts but all too often commitments on paper are not reflected in actions on the ground. At the Doha meeting, the CITES Secretariat’s Chief of Enforcement Assistance openly questioned whether the parties really wanted to save the tiger, because he did not see them taking the basic steps required. One example he used was the failure of tiger range states to submit tiger-related criminal intelligence to Interpol, the international police organisation, for analysis. Countries had committed to provide such information in December 2009, but only Vietnam did so. At the CITES meeting a second deadline was agreed in the hope that the provision of meaningful data will allow Interpol to provide a confidential analysis of the international trade to law enforcement officers and an accurate picture of illicit trade trends to relevant governments ahead of the Global Tiger Summit in September 2010. Also on the tiger front, the upshot of dialogue between the UK (on behalf of the EU), India, China and the CITES Secretariat was an agreement to keep a previous CITES decision from the 2007 meeting which stated that “tigers should not be bred for trade in their parts and derivatives”. The decision should provide the impetus for CITES to call for the phase-out of tiger farms on the grounds they stimulate demand and illegal trade.
On other enforcement matters, the parties endorsed the creation of the International Consortium to Combat Wildlife Crime (ICCWC). Under this initiative the World Customs Organisation, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Interpol, the World Bank and the CITES Secretariat will develop a collaborative framework to bring together skills, experience and strategies to combat illegal wildlife trade. Between them these agencies can deliver on intelligence analysis, coordination on joint cross-border operations, and training of enforcement personnel, as well as using anti-money laundering and asset-recovery methods to tackle the biggest wildlife criminals. Of course, money will be needed to make the consortium effective, but if the key law enforcement bodies within ICCWC are better funded to focus on wildlife crime, CITES-listed species will be better protected. . Elsewhere on the CITES agenda, much of the media coverage has been devoted to the abject failure of the meeting to increase protection for threatened marine species, especially blue fin tuna. Yet the fisheries lobby, led by Japan, may have shot themselves in the foot by stating that existing regional fisheries management agreements will somehow – miraculously – be better enforced from now on. Although Japan succeeded on this occasion, even going as far as serving blue fin tuna at a reception before the vote, the inevitable further fall in stocks will make the case for a total trade ban inexorable. Yet the question is: how far must a population of a species fall before conservation is put before commerce? This question lies at the very heart of CITES. Too often at CITES, commercial self-interest, influence-peddling and questionable political alliances win out over proper consideration of the proposals. This has led to some commentators questioning whether CITES has a role to play any more. From EIA’s perspective, it certainly does. When CITES works as it should the results are clear. For instance, the decision to ban the ivory trade in 1989 led directly to a decrease in elephant poaching, and trade controls on ramin timber agreed in 2004 have also effectively curbed illegal trade. So EIA will remain committed to push CITES to be an effective mechanism for protecting wildlife from the ravages of over-exploitation, rather than protecting narrow commercial interests.
how far must a population of a species fall before conservation is put before commerce?
© Mary Rice/EIA
Success at CITES as ivory proposals rejected Every meeting of the parties to CITES sees increasing polarisation in the discussions surrounding ivory trade, and the March meeting in Doha was no different. Once again the pro and anti-trade lobbies went head to head in the battle over whether or not to allow further legal ivory sales. This situation of déjà vu happened despite a commitment at the previous CITES meeting in 2007 that there would be a ‘resting period’ with no further proposals to downlist elephant populations or apply for trade in ivory for nine years. This agreement did not deter Tanzania and Zambia, with both countries ignoring the spirit of that decision by submitted proposals to sell a combined amount of 112 tonnes of ivory. Based on previous investigations and intelligence from contacts on the ground in Tanzania and Zambia, EIA had good reason to believe that in-country elephant poaching and ivory trafficking was on the increase again in both countries. In January and February 2010, despite severely limited resources, EIA conducted undercover investigations in Tanzania and Zambia to verify our suspicions and to obtain irrefutable evidence. The findings from these investigations were presented at CITES in our report entitled Open Season: the Burgeoning Illegal Ivory Trade in Tanzania and Zambia. In a nutshell, EIA exposed widespread availability of illegal ivory at a domestic and international level in both countries. The investigations also uncovered allegations of complicity by the relevant authorities as well as the widespread involvement of Chinese and other Asian nationals. The relevant government agencies in both countries appear unwilling, or unable, to exercise control and EIA has reason to believe that government officials are implicated in the poaching and international trade of illegal ivory. Incidents of illegal ivory trade are rarely followed up by meaningful prosecution and convictions; and even when implicated in criminal or corrupt
activities, officials and senior officers remain in post, often in influential positions. Under its procedures CITES had to commission a Panel of Experts to assess the situation on-site and provide full written reports on both of the proposals to sell ivory ahead of the meeting in Doha. These assessments play a key role in assisting parties to determine their positions and many rely almost exclusively on these findings. Despite requirements to visit and report back in a timely manner, both panel visits and subsequent reports were significantly delayed – the report on Zambia was delivered only days before the conference actually began – and meant that many parties were still considering their decisions at the eleventh hour. The panel is mandated to consult with relevant authorities and stakeholders in gathering information to feed in to these reports. Yet an atmosphere of secrecy and fear prevails in Tanzania and Zambia in relation to the transparency of wildlife management in general and the effectiveness of the enforcement authorities in particular. Several stakeholders were excluded, or obstructed, from accessing the panel and in some instances were warned off speaking to them or from saying anything detrimental about the proposals or the situation at the sharp end. In the case of Tanzania, the panel had serious concerns about enforcement and poaching levels, but bizarrely still recommended support for the downlisting of the elephant population and sale of 90 tonnes of ivory. In the case of Zambia, the panel gave
a green light for downlisting and sale. EIA findings in Tanzania, especially systemic weaknesses in enforcement against elephant poaching, were echoed in the panel’s report. Zambia was a different story altogether, with the findings of the panel prompting significant support for downlisting of the country’s elephant population. The findings in EIA’s report, which were damning and totally contrary to those presented by the government of Zambia and other ‘experts’, became the main obstruction to the country joining Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe on the list of countries approved to sell ivory to China and Japan. In the face of predictable hostility and opposition from many quarters, the EIA team had to petition long and hard to ensure our information was taken seriously. Needless to say, it was a difficult and challenging two weeks in Doha. Ultimately, hard evidence and sense prevailed, but it was only on the last day of the meeting that both proposals were finally rejected by secret ballot. The Minister of Environment for Zambia branded EIA ‘malicious liars’ and has vowed that they will be back next time with another proposal, as will Tanzania and probably other range states. Botswana’s Minister for Environment is already gathering the Southern African Development Community (SADC) troops to develop their strategy for the next CITES meeting. In defiant mood and even threatening to leave CITES, their goal is to have all SADC elephant populations down listed with resumed international trade in ivory. As always, we will have our work cut out for us over the next few years but can reflect on a job well done in Doha.
EIA Investigator Summer 10
EIA keeps the pressure on Japan’s porpoise hunt
In March 2010, EIA visited Japan to film the Dall’s porpoise landings in Iwate and to develop key contacts working on that country’s whale and dolphin hunts, particularly in relation to toxic whale and dolphin meat. EIA found mistrust and aggression in Iwate – ‘Are you filming the next Cove?’ demanded one market worker. Although we could not film for long, we secured enough new footage to spark two TV news reports on the hunt, highlighting the fact that the Dall’s porpoise hunt is actually the world’s largest ‘dolphin’ hunt. Our visit was wholly depressing – we observed about 60 porpoise carcasses in the market and hundreds of packets of fresh Dall’s porpoise meat in supermarkets – but we had a very productive week in Tokyo, meeting individuals and groups who have been doing important work in Japan for some time. Chief among these is Sakae Hemmi, an amazing woman who works for Elsa Nature Conservancy – one of very few Japanese NGOs tackling the dolphin-hunting issue – at great personal risk. She introduced us to a scientist producing a report on contamination in seafood that will likely make big headlines when it is launched later this month. It clearly shows that whales and dolphins have dangerous contamination levels but also raises concerns about tuna.
Thanks to ‘The Cove’ documentary, there are now many individuals in Japan wanting to do something about the dolphin hunts and we intend to ensure they are equally concerned about the Dall’s porpoise. The challenge is to develop a strategic approach and greater coordination in Japan to fully utilise the opportunity provided by the film. We have a huge battle ahead; Japanese government scientists are deliberately underplaying the mercury risks of dolphin meat, while rightwing nationalistic groups seek to prevent The Cove from being screened. EIA will continue to provide new scientific data exposing the high contaminant levels in cetacean products, and is working with several organisations to implement a longterm strategy supporting those aiming to end the dolphin and porpoise hunts.
Crucial IWC meeting looming EIA is also busy preparing for the annual International Whaling Commission meeting in June, likely to be both crucial and difficult. To resolve the impasse between countries working for greater protection for cetaceans and those demanding a resumption of commercial whaling, it has been proposed that Japan, Norway and Iceland be granted legitimised commercial whaling quotas for 10 years. The proposal would effectively end the moratorium on commercial whaling and reward these three countries for decades of intransigence and abuse of IWC decisions. While the deal has positive elements such as expanding of conservation-oriented work and greater NGO participation, it does not achieve any control over whaling under special permit (‘scientific whaling’) nor prevent countries such as Norway and Iceland from deciding their own whaling quotas by registering objections or reservations. Although the catch levels are not yet published, it is clear they will be based on political expedience and not science. The 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling is one of history’s greatest environmental achievements. EIA is extremely concerned that once lost it would be gone forever, and while countries might stick to agreed quotas for the 10 year period, these would inevitably increase. Although the deal is meant to limit whaling to Japan, Norway and Iceland, Korea has already made clear its determination to resume commercial whaling. Korea has a market for the meat of whales caught in fishing nets. Recent scientific evidence shows this market is being supplemented by an illegal trade from Japan; scientists have matched the genetic profile of fin whale meat on sale in a Seoul sushi restaurant with fin whale products purchased in Japan. The team also identified Antarctic minke whale (clearly not caught by Korea in the North Pacific!) and
sei whale, which also likely originated from Japan’s hunts. But it’s not just Korea – the same scientists, led by Dr Scott Baker, also matched the DNA profile of sei whale sold in a prominent Los Angeles sushi bar to products from the same individual sei whale purchased in Japan. These findings show whales caught in Japan’s ‘scientific’ research programme are being illegally shipped to Korea and the US, undetected by authorities. So what likelihood does this deal to save the whalers (not the whales) have of success? Despite united NGO condemnation, it has a very real chance unless the European Union (EU) holds a strong position. The European Commission has ruled EU IWC members must take a common position in important votes on whales, so the 25 EU IWC members form a crucial voting block. However, EU IWC members have differing opinions and if they cannot agree there is a strong possibility that all EU members will have to abstain on any vote, effectively allowing the proposal through. In the lead-up to the IWC meeting, EIA will work tirelessly to have this proposal rejected and ensure conservation efforts within the IWC are developed and expanded. The information from Japan trip will help us persuade delegates that instead of aiding three countries seeking to kill whales, they should turn their attention to the 85 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises urgently needing their protection.
proposal could effectively end the moratorium…
Q & A: Louie Psihoyos, Director of “The Cove”
Louie Psihoyos is one of the world’s top photographers and co-founder of The Oceanic Preservation Society. His first film “The Cove” exposes the brutal slaughter of dolphins in a remote cove in Taiji, Japan, and won the 2009 Oscar for Best Documentary.
Q: What was the motivation for ‘The Cove’? I started the Oceanic Preservation Society with my friend and diving buddy Jim Clark. We’ve seen the life in the oceans drop dramatically since we started diving and it was our idea to use film to create awareness. I had been travelling to marine mammal conferences around the country to understand the issues and Ric O’Barry was supposed to be a speaker at one. At the last minute, he was pulled by the event’s sponsor, Hubbs Research Institute, the non-profit arm of Sea World, because he was going to talk about the captive dolphin industry and how it relates to the largest slaughter of cetaceans on the planet. I asked who was working on the issue and he said very few people; Clare Perry, of EIA, was the first I heard of. I had never made a film before so I took a three-day crash course. Driving into Taiji was like driving into a horror movie – everything about the town made it seem like they loved dolphins and whales; there was even at sign at a dolphin park that said in English “We love Dolphins!”The tragic irony of this movie is that the dolphin is the only wild animal throughout history known to save the lives of humans. The only way we can save them now is to prove that we have made their environment so toxic that we should not be eating them.
Q: What was the immediate reaction to the film, especially in Japan? The film was incredibly well received at the Tokyo Film Festival. Japanese and Asian audiences love the film. The negative reactions come mainly from nationalists who have not seen the film and react only as a knee-jerk.
Q: Will you be following up the effects The Cove has had in Taiji?
Q: Were there occasions where you or the team faced real danger?
We hope to release the film for free in Japan over the internet. We are starting to get censored from screenings in universities and teachers are being threatened with expulsion if they show it.
We were always facing arrest. There are arrest warrants out for the OPS team in Japan. I get death threats by email. We were run out of town twice by the police.
Q: With the International Whaling Commission coming up in a few months, do you think The Cove will have made an impact there? Is the IWC likely to include small cetaceans within its remit? With Japan having bought so many votes at the IWC, I think it is unlikely to get a vote for small cetaceans any time soon. IWC delegates unfortunately vote with their wallets, not with the science and their hearts.
Q: With the real possibility that commercial whaling could be legalised again, is the IWC an effective body for dealing with these issues? The 1986 moratorium on whaling was one of the great ecological achievements of the last century. Erasing the moratorium would erase 25 years of some of the best environmental work accomplished by humanity. We must fight like never before – the whales are not yet saved; there are dark forces out there trying desperately to get them back on the menu. If the IWC declares open season on whales again, we will see blood baths like The Cove all over the world.
Q: What do you think it will take to alter the mentality of a country that seems set on a path of total marine destruction? Mitsubishi is stockpiling blue fin tuna for the day they are commercially extinct and they will own the only surviving market. The only thing the Japanese fisheries worry about is money.
Q: Are there any efforts being made to at least highlight the plight of captive cetaceans to the wider public? I think there are tens of millions of people who have seen The Cove now that will never go to a dolphin park. Jacques Cousteau once said: “The educational benefit of watching a dolphin in captivity would be like learning about humanity by only observing a prisoner in solitary confinement”.
Q: What impact do you think receiving the Oscar for best documentary will have? The Oscars are the most widely watched show on Japanese television; people know about it now. The Cove has won some 60 awards now and they are the collateral in trying to get the real reward, shutting down the demand for dolphin meat and eliminating dolphin parks. The EIA has been the boots on the ground in this effort way before we came to the fight. Meeting like-minded individuals has given us the science and the support to move forward and advance the fight into the mainstream.
A full version of the fascinating interview with Louie Psihoyos can be read in EIA’s website: www.eia-international.org
EIA Investigator Summer 10 www.eia-international.org
This year EIA’s Chilling Facts campaign has gone from strength to strength, with more supermarkets committing to go HFC-free. HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) are potent greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and air-conditioning. In the UK the supermarket sector is the largest single source of HFC emissions. The second Chilling Facts survey was released in February and created a stir in the media with coverage on “Sky News” and in “The Guardian”. Despite some positive commitments, the results also revealed that some supermarkets are falling behind the pack by failing to take their environmental responsibilities seriously. Top of this year’s table was Waitrose, which impressed EIA’s judging panel with a commitment to go HFC-free in all new stores and a pledge to phase out HFCs in all stores by 2020. Sainsbury’s, which ranked fourth, also made a commitment to stop using HFCs in all new stores. Tesco came second due to its ambitious near-term roll out of HFC-free refrigeration. Marks & Spencer, last year’s winner, came third this time, based on its continuing expansion of climate-friendly refrigeration in its stores. Not all supermarkets were so proactive about addressing their use of HFCs. Aldi came bottom of the table for failing to complete the survey. Iceland just avoided bottom rank, as it participated in the survey but showed a total unwillingness to adopt HFC-free freezers, despite many of its competitors having already made the switch. The biggest surprise came from the Co-operative Group, which came a lowly ninth due to its recent heavy investment in HFC-based technology and reliance on ozone-depleting HCFCs, which are subject to increasingly stringent control in Europe from January 2010. EIA was disappointed with Asda’s response. The UK’s second biggest retailer has been trialling HFC‑free refrigeration for several years now but has decided not to switch to these climate‑friendly alternatives across the board. Clearly, this is a step in the wrong direction.
Campaign news Chilling Facts report card – supermarkets must do better
Despite some impressive HFC phase-out commitments in Chilling Facts II, the climate change impact of supermarket refrigeration is still unacceptably high. Our research found that emissions from leaking refrigeration in eight of the supermarket groups were the equivalent of
09 at least 1.13 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. This roughly equates to over one billion car journeys to a supermarket, or taking a return flight to Australia over 300,000 times. Overall, still just half a per cent of all supermarkets across the UK are running on climate friendly refrigeration – so there is some way to go in achieving our campaign goal in getting all supermarkets to commit to going HFCfree by 2015! This year’s survey has once again highlighted the need for government intervention to create a level playing field. Some supermarkets are investing heavily in HFC-free technology whilst others are failing to prepare for the much-needed switch. Over the last year EIA has been working in Westminster with Clive Efford, Member of Parliament for Eltham and Plumstead, to build support for a bill regulating HFC use by supermarkets. It will continue this work after the election, regardless of which parties form the next government. Since we launched the Chilling Facts campaign last year, EIA has been actively engaged in bringing together supermarkets, government and the refrigeration industry in order to encourage a more rapid transition away from HFCs. In addition to speaking at various seminars to spread information about our work on supermarkets, we have facilitated a meeting between the Minister responsible for HFCs and supermarket
representatives. Yet despite clear support from some of the leading supermarkets, the government has so far been reluctant to support this important cause. Not to be deterred, EIA will redouble its efforts with the new parliament to build on the support achieved so far. It was EIA’s work which prompted Clive Efford to table a private members bill and an early day motion on HFCs in 2009, and we will use the results from Chilling Facts II to keep pushing for regulation. As well as lobbying for change here in the UK, EIA has used the information gathered through our supermarket refrigeration surveys to push for a global technology shift. Although the pace of change should be quicker, the supermarkets at the top of EIA’s Chilling Facts league table deserve credit for using pioneering technology that has the potential to set global standards. By working with multinational supermarkets such as Asda and Tesco, our work has the potential to drive the development of climate friendly technology across the world. For example, Tesco told us how it has introduced HFC-free system in stores in Korea, Thailand and Hungary. Later this month we will be attending a meeting of refrigeration policy makers from Eastern and South Asia where we will present the progress made by British supermarkets in order to encourage these countries to adopt HFC-free technologies.
the climate change impact of supermarket refrigeration is still unacceptably high Action Point
Please let the new government know how important action on HFCs is. Write to your MP and urge them to show their support for a supermarket HFC phase-out by contacting the Minister of State for Food and Farming.
Cold blast from Copenhagen In the last issue of Investigator, EIA Campaigner, Fionnuala Walravens previewed the international climate negotiations. Here she reports on a disappointing summit in Copenhagen: “We went with high hopes and came back…well, stunned. You may have suspected that the media outrage surrounding the Copenhagen climate talks was over- hyped. It wasn’t. Just trying to get into the meeting venue was a daily chore. We braced sub-zero conditions and registration queues that lasted for days - no joking! Once finally inside, the situation wasn’t much better, with severely restricted access to meeting rooms. And that wasn’t just for non-governmental organisations such as EIA – I even saw a group of high level delegates scrabbling on top of each other just to get into a crammed plenary session. It was as if an air of momentary madness had taken over the talks. I managed to catch up with
a Peruvian delegate, who has been working on climate since the Kyoto Protocol’s inception in 1990, and he said he’d never seen anything quite like it. Now the dust has settled, there is time to think about why this mayhem ensued. There have been many explanations offered, but I think on a more profound level it feels like global expectations were unrealistic. I’ve been following the climate talks since 2007 and have been shocked by the growing mistrust and lack of progress on issues during that time. Following months of formal negotiations in 2009, countries had still only managed to agree on a handful of topics. Looking back, it was wishful thinking to expect that failure to agree on so many fundamental issues would be resolved in two crowded and sleep-deprived weeks at the Danish capital. The question of where to go next is hard to answer. It feels as it the climate talks have become too big and complex, with progress in one area overshadowed or held ransom by lack of progress in others. EIA’s campaigns
only cover very specific issues, so perhaps we’re not qualified to suggest vast sweeping remedies. But certainly the lack of progress under climate so far builds an even stronger case for regulating hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol. This could be done in order to compliment UN climate talks, with HFCs staying in the greenhouse gas basket created by the Kyoto Protocol, and simply using the Montreal Protocol to phase out their use and thereby reduce their emissions. With the revised time-line for the full climate deal stretching out to 2011 and probably beyond, we need to ensure that the world doesn’t wait until then to act. Phasing out HFCs as a matter of urgency is just one of a series of actions which can help buy us much needed time in the battle to help slow down climate change, irrespective of the formal climate talks. As many politicians fret about their inability to make a global climate pact, low cost and relatively easy climate mitigation in the form of an HFC phase-out may become increasingly attractive.”
EIA Investigator Summer 10
Year of the Tiger? Valentine’s Day 2010 marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year of the Tiger, but will there be enough love for the wild tiger to see it through to the next one in 2022? Tiger range and consumer countries have been clamouring for centre stage, renewing their vows to end the tiger trade and secure enough habitat to double the global wild tiger population in the next twelve years. In a series of meetings that started in Kathmandu in October 2009 and which will culminate in a Global Tiger Summit in Vladivostok in September 2010, governments will pledge to implement action plans to save the wild tiger as part of the Global Tiger Initiative. But what will they bring to the table that is different from previous global tiger get-togethers? Back in 1986, also the Year of the Tiger, The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Minnesota Zoo hosted a symposium on the biology and conservation of the tiger, focusing on habitat management, conflict resolution and the science behind monitoring populations. At that time nobody really knew how many wild tigers remained. By the end of the decade it had become apparent that despite a global ban on trade in tigers, poaching for illegal international trade was beginning to take its toll on tiger populations. During the 1990s the tiger crisis intensified, with the seizure of hundreds of kilos of tiger bones in Delhi reflecting rising demand. China banned domestic trade in tiger bone and derivatives after trade sanctions were threatened by the US. In 1996, EIA launched its tiger campaign focusing on the lack of political will in India, home to half of the world’s wild tigers. By this time the global tiger population was estimated to be 5,000 – 7,000, though independent scientists cautioned
that these figures were based on over-inflated government estimates. In 1999, CITES took a lead role in specifying tangible actions to improve enforcement at the national and international level through a series of missions. Tiger conservation landscapes and intelligence-led enforcement were the buzzwords as we entered the new millennium. Out of the series of meetings and exposés of the tiger trade, a series of excellent recommendations from governments and NGOs have emerged. Some have even been implemented. We now have a comprehensive means to monitor the health of tiger populations, some countries have innovative tourism schemes to benefit communities, multi-agency enforcement units, participatory management schemes, targeted antipoaching operations, but most countries have failed to implement all the actions that they have repeatedly committed to. Yet as we entered this Year of the Tiger, the wild tiger population is believed to be fewer than 3,500. We are now at the “tipping point”. The question that must be answered before the Global Tiger Summit convenes in September is what will governments do differently this time to turn promises into reality. Indeed, there is a very real risk that this year’s Global Tiger Summit will just be another round of congratulations to all for committing to the same actions they committed to over a decade ago. What has to be different is the money and commitment the world leaders put on the table. They have to put the right people, in the right place, with the right resources and training to combat the tiger trade. Simple as that. In the lead up to Vladivostok, EIA, as usual, will be the thorn in everyone’s side, setting out our expectations and benchmarks for what we believe are indicators of real commitment to save the tiger, particularly when it comes to combating the trade.
In August 2009, EIA conducted its latest investigation into the Asian big cat trade. Our carefully planned operation uncovered tiger and leopard bones for sale, a trade that was previously believed to be impenetrable. Traders talked openly about how and where they source bone from, revealing a well-established transnational network of dealers. During the four week investigation across five cities, EIA investigators were offered four well-prepared tiger skins, 12 leopard skins and 12 snow leopard skins. The primary purpose of the skins was clearly for home décor and taxidermy. Some of the tiger and leopard skin traders stated categorically that the Chinese military are among the buyers. EIA’s findings are just a snapshot, but they perfectly illustrate how enforcement to end the big cat trade is eminently possible if the political commitment is there. That’s the message in our latest report, released at the Kathmandu Global Tiger Workshop in October 2009. You can download a copy of “A Deadly Game of Cat and Mouse” on our website. EIA’s investigation and subsequent campaigning are the subject of an hour-long film to be broadcast on National Geographic Wild on May 24th at 10pm.
Tiger Appeal! A big thank you to all those who have donated. So far we have raised over £15,000 and the total is still rising. If you haven’t done so, it’s not too late to donate.
Meet EIA’s partners: the Journalists’ Environmental Association of Tanzania EIA is privileged to work in close cooperation with partner organizations around the world, and our work in Tanzania is no exception. EIA and JET have worked together since 2006, and recently carried out a joint investigation into the ivory trade. Here, JET Chairman Deodatus Mfugale, pictured top right, explains the work of his organisation: “The Journalists’ Environmental Association” of Tanzania (JET) was established in 1991 and next year it will be celebrating 20 years of raising public awareness on sustainable management of natural resources with the ultimate aim of raising the quality of life of the common Tanzanian. The association draws membership from media practitioners and uses newspapers, radio and television to mobilize Tanzanians to conserve the environment for their own benefit. We now have 80 members scattered across the country who pay their dues and have an interest in reporting environmental issues. Features, radio and television programmes are the tools of our trade, backed up by visits to the rural areas, interviews with experts on specific environmental subjects and, of course, meeting people on the cutting edge of environmental issues. The plight of those who suffer due to environmental degradation has been a main focus of our work.
We also work to nudge the government and other authorities where we see that laws and regulations are flouted or there is gross weakness in enforcing legislation that governs the management of the environment and natural resources. Often we do not portray ourselves as adversaries of the government but rather as partners who look at things from a different perspective. This makes the government sit up, but also leads us to be branded as troubleshooters. This has only strengthened our resolve as whistleblowers, because we believe that without an alternative view no one will check the government’s performance. In any case the public, particularly the rural poor, never have an opportunity to tell the government what it should do for its people. Another area of JET’s work is the training of journalists in environmental reporting. This is important because if we are to inform and educate the public, then we have to package that information so that it is accessible to our audience. It is about providing skills to our members and non-members so that they send the right message of environmental conservation and sustainable development to both the rural and urban public. To fulfill our objectives, we work with partners within Tanzania and outside. Currently, we are working with the British High Commission in Tanzania on a climate change awareness programme. This involves publishing stories in the association’s magazine, JET News, on local and international issues on climate change. The magazine is distributed freely to all diplomatic missions in the country, civil society organisations,
secondary school libraries, district councils and some government offices. In 2009 alone, we trained over 70 journalists in climate change issues, raising the quality of environmental reporting in the country. Our cooperation with EIA started in 2006 when we met to discuss and identify areas of cooperation. In August 2008, we started a joint three-year project to address the issue of forest governance in Tanzania, in response to the problem of weak forest governance, systematic corruption in both the timber industry and the government and the general apathy of civil society organisations in Tanzania to respond to these threats. The project focuses mainly on building the capacity of civil society organisations to document issues relating to natural resource management, and is already having an impact on the ground in Tanzania. Between November 2009 and February 2010, JET and EIA carried out an in-depth investigation on the illegal ivory trade in Tanzania. We produced a damning report which was presented at the CITES meeting in March 2010 and was one of the reasons behind Tanzania’s failure to get permit to sell 90 tonnes of ivory. In the future, JET and EIA intend to cooperate in other fields of the environment with the aim of enabling civil society organisations to respond adequately to the challenges of corruption, irresponsibility and ignorance in order to help Tanzanians attain sustainable development.
the plight of those who suffer due to environmental degradation has been a main focus of our work
EIA Investigator Summer 10
Campaign news in brief EU timber controls move a step closer
In March, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee issued a strong response to the weak regulation on controlling imports of illegallylogged timber into EU which was forwarded by EU ministers in December. EIA has been in the vanguard of efforts to put some backbone into the regulation by including a prohibition on trade in stolen timber. We have been working closely with the UK government to persuade other EU states to toughen up the draft regulation. A final agreement is expected in the autumn.
Rhino poaching increasing
Inspiring films from Tanzanian NGOs As winter turned to spring in Europe, EIA’s team in Tanzania had an eventful few months in the hot, dry climate of East Africa. A whirlwind trip saw the team carry out training activities around the country and host a meeting in the main city of Dar es Salaam to mark the end of the second year of the three-year project. In Morogoro, central Tanzania, a second edit training workshop took place where local organisations learned to turn their raw footage into effective campaigning films. The groups, equipped with laptops and editing software, produced films on illegal logging, women’s role in the environment and the impacts of industrial pollution. Next, the team headed to Dar es Salaam to organise a three-day mid-project conference, bringing together all the organisations EIA has trained so far in Tanzania. Over the course of the meeting, 55 individuals shared their experiences of using cameras for visual documentation and agreed on priorities for further training and campaigning in the coming year.
This was the first time most individuals had met each other and all made a commitment to jointly tackle the use of charcoal as a fuel in Tanzania. With only a small percentage of the country having access to electricity, charcoal is one of the biggest threats to Tanzania’s forests. The meeting also provided a platform for the NGOs to engage directly with government, media and donors. This prompted an interesting and passionate debate on issues such as transparency, access to information and the quality of journalism in Tanzania. The conference also showcased five films produced by organisations following our training. The films exposed a range of issues from the impacts of a gold mine on local communities and illegal logging to the brutal evictions of Maasai communities from their lands - leaving the audience deeply affected. To date, EIA and our partners in Tanzania have trained 68 individuals from 49 organisations in documentation and campaigning skills. The project has distributed 15 cameras kits and six laptops for editing.
Rhino in Southern Africa are under increasing pressure from illegal killing, with at least 445 poached in South Africa and Zimbabwe alone from 2006–2009. Although their overall numbers are still increasing, they remain critically low and many populations are isolated and vulnerable. There is also disturbing evidence of the involvement of organised criminal networks, with new silent methods of killing using sedatives and chemicals on the rise. The issue was raised by Kenya at the recent meeting of CITES, with an agreement reached on better international cooperation to tackle the groups behind the trade.
Telapak wins prestigious Skoll award Congratulations to our friends from Telapak, our partner NGO in Indonesia, on being chosen to receive the 2010 Skoll award for social entrepreneurship. EIA attended the ceremony at the historic Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford in April to see Ruwi and Onte, two of Telapak’s directors, receive the award for their efforts to expand community logging schemes in Indonesia.
EU-Indonesia timber talks progress Negotiations for a partnership agreement between the EU and the government of Indonesia on timber and forest governance are moving forward. Our partners Telapak have been on the Indonesian negotiating team and have been pushing for reform in the forestry sector that will result in a legality licence for timber and wood products from Indonesia to our markets in Europe. EIA and Telapak attended the last round of talks held in Jakarta in March and there is another working group scheduled for June in Brussels. Indonesia has stated that it would like to sign an agreement by this summer. When signed, the deal, known as a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), will ensure that all wood products shipped from Indonesia to the EU are verified as legal.
In November 2009, EIA and our Indonesian partner Telapak published “Up for Grabs” - a report and film documenting the expansion of industrial plantations for biofuels and other commodities in Papua, Indonesia, and their impacts on forests and indigenous people. EIA found at least five million hectares of Papua – an area roughly half the size of Iceland – has been targeted by plantation companies in the past three years. Released just prior to Papua’s first International Biodiversity Conference, the report exposed some of the dubious techniques and derisory cash payments companies deploy to acquire forest lands from indigenous Papuans, and uncovered illegal land clearance without relevant permits. The report also revealed how investments in major plantations by large Chinese, South Korean and Indonesian conglomerates are being driven by the anticipated increased demand from developed countries, notably the EU, for biofuels such as palm oil and wood pellets. While biofuels offer potential emissions reductions compared to fossil fuels, biofuels crops produced on cleared forests actually produce more emissions that fossil fuels. EIA is currently working to ensure our information is fed to relevant decision makers in Indonesia and the EU, while also probing the background to specific plantation deals involving foreign investment.
Last autumn EIA was invited to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to talk at an annual meeting for enforcement officers from customs and environment agencies. The meeting covered various types of environmental crime, with a focus on illegal trade in ozone-depleting substances (ODS), hazardous waste, and persistent organic pollutants. We took the chance to inform participants of the change in European laws regarding the import of HCFCs, which will be banned from 2010, and called for continued vigilance over HCFC exports from Asian countries to Europe.
HCFC phase-out funding breakthrough After two and a half years of intense negotiations, the Montreal Protocol has once again proven its ability to unite all countries of the world in tackling an environmental threat. Following the historic agreement to accelerate the phase-out of ozone depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in 2007, parties to the Protocol have finally reached agreement on how the phase-out will be funded. Significantly, they have also agreed to pay extra for replacements that have lower global warming impact, helping to ensure that the HCFC phase-out is beneficial for both the ozone layer and the climate.
© Jason Cheng
EIA presents at Asia-Pacific enforcement network meeting
Indonesian president calls for tougher action on illegal logging Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has expressed frustration at the failures of his country’s judicial system in prosecuting illegal logging. He told reporters at a press conference in April: “I believe there’s a mafia in illegal logging. Our mafia task force should be able to look into the possibility that such a mafia exists and to stop them.” The President has instructed the country’s Judicial Mafia Eradication Task Force to re-examine cases where influential suspects in illegal logging cases have been set free by the courts. EIA and our Indonesian partner Telapak first highlighted the abject failure of the police, prosecutors and judiciary in punishing illegal logging bosses back in 2007 in a report called “The Thousand-Headed Snake”. The report revealed widespread corruption in the country’s judicial system leading to a series of
© Jason Cheng
Papua’s forests “Up for Grabs”
suspicious acquittals. Between 2005 and 2008, out of 49 court cases linked illegal logging only five resulted in a jail sentence of more than two years. Those found guilty have usually been lowly chainsaw operators or truck drivers, with the bosses and financiers walking free. EIA recognises the progress made in Indonesia since 2005 in curbing illegal logging, but believes that successful prosecution of the major perpetrators is vital. It will now bring relevant cases to the attention of the judicial task force.
MP visits supermarket with climate-friendly refrigeration In March, EIA joined MP Clive Efford as he visited one of the latest supermarkets to adopt climatefriendly refrigeration and to highlight his call for the government to face up to its responsibility to tackle emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) from supermarkets. The visit to a Marks & Spencer’s store in west London demonstrated the viability of climatefriendly refrigeration as it is part of the company’s commitment to phasing out HFCs.
Wildlife farming puts new animals on menu Farming of rare and threatened species for food will only increase demand for wild animals, according to research conducted at University College London. As part of the study, residents in Hanoi, Vietnam, were asked about the reasons behind eating wild meat. For the majority, the wild meat of rare animals was seen as a luxury item and its scarcity added to its appeal. Because of this, the researchers suggest that farming of endangered species will simply increase the overall demand, and open up new markets and those with the money to pay will always prefer the wild-caught specimen. These findings are of relevance to EIA’s work to end tiger farming for bones and skins. It seems likely that any farmed tiger products will simply feed into a parallel market, in which wealthy customers will still seek to find the ‘real’ thing.
As a valued supporter of EIA, we would love you to get involved. So please get in touch with the fundraising team.
We’ve redesigned these pages specifically with you in mind, so please get involved. If you have any stories to tell, comments to make or photographs to send we would like to hear your feedback, send us your thoughts or ideas about our work to email@example.com
Many of you will find Summer Raffle tickets included with your Investigator. Fantastic prizes up for grabs include £1,000 cash, a weekend stay for two at a fantastic London hotel in Park Lane and also a Tony Husband original cartoon. Tony is one of Britain’s top cartoonists, renowned for his strip Yobs, featured in Private Eye. Tony is a long-term supporter of EIA and kindly designed this fantastic cartoon about the tiger especially for EIA.
© EIA g on Chen © EIA/Jas
© EIA/Jason Cheng
Long term supporter, Ian Gilmour, is organising a fantastic nautical event in the Isle of Wight this summer. The ‘Cayman Islands’ City Racing Challenge is encouraging people to swap the “rat race for the City Race” on the Solent’s challenging waters. EIA are privileged to be the chosen charity. To find out more, check out www.pelican-racing.co.uk
© Tony Husband
So please use the tickets enclosed and sell more to your friends and family. Closing date is the 25th September 2010.
© Pelican Racing
Do you have any fundraising ideas of your own? Ideas are only limited by your imagination and the team at EIA can help you, so ask for a fundraising pack today.
Here are a selection of our TigerTrail competition pictures, Send us your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the past few months we have had a variety of fundraising events; from our Café Spice evening in November – where culinary delights were served and £2500 was raised in the raffle alone – to our Tiger Quiz evening which heralded the Chinese Year of the Tiger, complete with general knowledge tests and specialist subjects, including crisp tasting! The Douglas Adam’s memorial evening at the prestigious
Royal Geographical Society held in March was also a great success. Many turned up to hear Professor Marcus du Sautoy discuss Douglas Adam’s favourite number, 42 and how it really might be the answer to life, the universe and everything!
Douglas A da m’s
Firstly, we would like to thank you for all your support over the years and welcome our newest recruits to the EIA team. It is your support that makes our work possible.
Welcome to the newly designed Members’ Zone, solely dedicated to our supporters and fundraisers.
’ s r e b m e M
© Nicki Ryan
EIA Investigator Summer 10
© Julia Butterworth
I remember the forests and fields where I grew up...
I remember the hunt and I remember the kill
...and I remember my children feeding on the spoils of my endeavours...
A Big Thank You to:
• Sue Spicer has been an EIA supporter for more than 15 years and she continues to fundraise on our behalf. Sue and her team kindly donated £1000 from the London Dive Show.
• Paperchase, through sales of their charity Christmas cards, have donated in excess of £14,000. Thank you to everyone who bought the Paperchase Christmas cards.
© Andy Rouse
• Brian Emmerson, who has been supporting EIA’s Elephant Campaign for over 25 years, saved the day by generously printing our latest ivory report Open Season: the Burgeoning Illegal Ivory Trade in Tanzania and Zambia, which proved decisive in securing continuing protection for elephants at the CITES Meeting in March.
Supporter Profile Nicki Ryan is one of EIA’s newest members. She entered our Tiger Trail Competition and recently held a fundraising cake sale. We got in touch and asked why she joined EIA:
© Nicki Ryan
© EIA/Jason Cheng
• Vintage Roots, who have kindly donated their tasty organic wine for our events.
“I became a member of EIA because of the inspiring dedication and commitment they give to saving animals from international trade and habitat destruction which threatens their survival. EIA is unique as members of their team are willing to risk their lives in the fight against illegal trade. If you read about the history of the EIA, you begin to truly appreciate how far this organisation has come and how dedicated the whole team is. I know the EIA will put every penny donated to them to good use.”
...and I remember the bang... I remember the pain...
...then I remember... nothing
Lastly, Andy Rouse, the highly acclaimed wildlife photographer, has released his latest book on the wild tiger; “Tigers, a Celebration of Life”. It is a stunning book that highlights the beauty of the creature but also raises awareness of its dwindling numbers. You may recognise a few images; two came highly recommended at the BBC Wildlife Photography Competition and have been on display at the Natural History Museum. Inspirational & educational, Rouse is pledging 25 per cent of each sale to tiger conservation including EIA. See www.andyrouse.co.uk for more info.
Gorgeous isn’t it? Cost a fortune mind. You’ll have to be quick if you want one. There’s not many left.
Tune in for tigers! On Monday 24th May at 10pm a one hour special programme called Inside: The Tiger Trade will premiere on the Nat Geo Wild Channel. This dramatic documentary follows the EIA tiger team as they delve into the murky world of the illicit trade in tiger parts. The film conveys the nerve-wracking tension of undercover investigations as the team tracks down traders selling tiger skins and bones in China and Tibet.
The programme is the result of collaboration between EIA and the Londonbased television production company Red Earth Studio and will be shown around the world on National Geographic Channel. The film focuses on EIAâ€™s dangerous reconnaissance missions organised to unravel the inner workings of the illegal tiger trade network. With skins, organs and bones fetching tens of thousands of dollars on the black market, tigers have little defence against organized crime, corruption and poaching. This powerful documentary highlights the unique and dangerous work of EIA; work that your generosity helps us carry out. Please tune in on 24th May at 10pm, and ask all your friends to as well!