Richprins wrote: ↑
Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:50 am
Sustainable use does not in any form apply to wild endangered animals!
It is a misconception that domestic use and trade in specimens of TOPS species (pangolin is such a species) is frobidden, it is only regulated and requires a department issued possession and trade permit. SA law and policy has attempted to recognise and promote the sustainable use of wildlife in traditional healing and muthi and regulate it.
The National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act requires all wildlife traders to be registered and to apply for possession permits related to endangered species with restricted trade. As a result the state should have an enforcement plan but obviously has none.
Pangolin, vulture, lion bones are still on sale at the Faraday market and other trading spots or in the rural villages.
What kind of protection does the SA law provide for TOPS species?
- The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, publish a list of TOPS species
- A person may not carry out a restricted activity involving a specimen of a listed threatened or protected species (TOPS) without a permit.
- A person may not import, export or re-export, or introduce from the sea, a specimen of a species listed in terms of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) without a permit.
- The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, prohibit an activity that may negatively impact on the survival of a listed TOPS.
- The Minister may, by Notice in the Gazette, exempt a person or a category of persons from the restrictions contained in sections 57(1) and 57(1A).
- The Minister may make regulations relating to the facilitation of the implementation and enforcement
NEMBA definitions of restricted activity: This generally involves activities that have a direct impact on listed species, such as hunting, catching or killing; gathering or collecting; picking parts of, chopping off, cutting, uprooting or destroying; importing into or exporting from the Republic; having in possession or exercising physical control over; growing, breeding or propagating; conveying, moving or translocating; selling, buying, receiving or donating, or any other prescribed activity involving a specimen of a listed threatened or protected species.
And how is this enforced and is there any punitive action in place to force authorities to take action when offences were reported? It does not help that there are all these regulations and laws in place if it is not enforced because of bribery, favouritism, lack of interest or whatever the case might be.
And more important: Do you get a permit to trade or use TOPS species? That's a question I can not answer for pangolins. But when it comes to protected plant species, it is obviously possible to get permits, you just need to show proof of legal acquisition which is often a letter of consent by the landowner or chief where the specimens are collected. And I don't really understand the system, how can a landwoner or chief issue a letter of consent and "allow" to collect TOPS-listed species? How can there be any legal acquisition? Had the landowner a permit for collection in the first place? One of the mysteries in regulated trade in SA?
IMO it is a contradiction in itself to promote the use of wildlife (esp for magical and status purposes) because it is a growing economic factor and rooted in traditions and any attempt to not only regulate but enforce the law and control the formal and informal industry. But that is my opinion and it is shaped by non-African traditions.
My point here is actually - and it started with the media articles blaming Asian tradition for the possible increase in Pangolin poaching in South Africa - that the sustainable use policy may create more problems than solutions when it comes to endangered species.