Monday, March 22, 2010

Japan - only one to blame?

I've been feeling a lot of ire for Japan and their 50+ strong contingent at CITES this week and last. I've given the stink-eye to the Japanese Fishing Association sitting in front of me in Committee 1, and have glared at the Japanese Leather Traders Ass [ociation.] to my right. (Its placard really does stop after the 's'.) I even had a line in a blog post earlier today that said Sapporo used to be one of my favorite beers, but now it has a distinctive 'endangered species' aftertaste. (I deleted it because I don't want to be disappointed AND broke - because I've been sued). I still love you, Sapporo!

But Japan is not the only one to blame for the lack of protection for bluefin and corals and corals at this meeting. As a country, they are certainly very powerful when it comes to marine species and have a lobbying machine that has to be seen to be believed, but it's important to remember that they are just ONE vote among many - and a two/thirds majority vote is needed to get something passed at a CoP. Yes, yes, I know they lobby the other countries, increasing their vote count, but we cannot solely blame them for the lack of progress on marine species protection at this meeting. More on this tomorrow (what do Japanese consumers think about their country's hawkish stance?) and more thoughts from Dr. Doukakis on CITES and marine species - Part Deux (check out Part 1 below). P and I were talking this evening - are CITES countries biased against listing species that are consumed for food? Food (see what I did there?) for thought.....

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