Saturday, March 13, 2010

CITES Kicks Off with a Bang (literally, with rifles)

So far, the opening ceremony is much better than CoP14. Sorry for the poor photo quality. There is some sort of traditional dance going on - and it looks like the dancers are using rifles and/or some sort of sabre to make their points. Actually it’s definitely rifles. AND SABRES.

I am absolutely struck by all the Japanese delegates and associations here. I’m sitting right behind the Japanese Fisheries Association. There also seems to be a large Japanese contingent behind me. I hear that 80% of REGISTERED PRESS are Japanese outlets. The bluefin discussion is going to be an almighty fight. A country representative told me today that the “lobbying is already starting. Free lunches, the whole works.” It's going to be an interesting two weeks. We hear that Costa Rica, Cameroon, Australia are all supporting red and pink coral!

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