Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hands off endangered species

7 May 2010, The Gulf Today

THE authorities in the emirate of Dubai have decided to curb the trading of souvenirs and samples made from parts of endangered wildlife species.
Dubai Municipality (DM) has launched a special campaign against the buying and selling of such items in the emirate in line with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), said a senior civic body official.
The campaign titled "Think twice before buying souvenirs," has been launched on Wednesday at Arabian Centre in Mushrif.
Salah Amiri, assistant director general for environmental and public health services department at the DM, said that the campaign will create awareness about the conditions for the application of the CITES.
"The public as well as traders in different markets of the city will be educated by the civic body, not to buy or sell any sample of endangered species in order to preserve wildlife", he added.
According to him, the DM officers will inform the residents about the conditions of the process of trading in such animals and their derivatives. "The municipality will block the ways for smugglers and manipulators, closing in on them to curb this illicit trade and reduce legal violations committed by some traders who sell and buy those species and their derivatives," Amiri pointed out.
He said that the campaign will last the whole year to cover all the schools, universities, organisations, shopping malls and Souqs in various parts of the emirate. The DM has also set up tents to display samples of confiscated materials, and create awareness, educate and teach the campaign objectives.
"It's the third consecutive year the municipality is participating in the campaign in cooperation with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)," he noted.
Amiri urged the residents and traders to contribute to preserve the environment by not buying or trading such samples.
"The DM has implemented conditions of the international conventions and treaties on environmental preservation, and has been cooperating with international and regional organisations in order to spread awareness and knowledge in various fields," he explained.
"The international trade of wild animals and plants, threatened with extinction, has been regulated strictly in Dubai based on the Federal law No.11/2002. The civic body also controls international trade of wild flora and fauna at risk of extinction," Amiri said.
"The civic body monitors and penalises incidences of violations of Federal Law, and conditions of the CITES in stores that sell birds and ornamental fish and pets in the emirate," he added. "The conditions also cover souvenir and gift shops in the shopping malls and Souqs, to be monitored during activities of shopping festivals and other occasions to ensure that no such materials are sold at stalls and other market venues."
The awareness programmes on the importance of preserving endangered wildlife and non-acquisition of its products, will cover students, schools and women's associations.
"Dubai Municipality also supports the international associations concerned in preventing the practice, in addition to confiscating stray animals or those [that] are badly kept and deliver them to the Dubai Zoo," said Amiri.

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