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  A Different Perspective
From: Regferns at aol.com on 2001.07.27 at 11:55:48(7153)
We are indeed immersed in a difficult subject. I would like to be on the side
that says "the law is the law." But, being who I am I also realize that at
one time "laws" were created to prevent me from drinking out of the same
water-fountains as those from a different race. Laws also prevented me from
voting, laws also prevented my grandparents from obtaining an education. I
like to think of myself as one who recognizes the need for rules and order,
but I am also a person who is not blind, my eyes are wide open.That said,
this is what I have seen.

The CITES agreement is haphazard at best. Those of you who have never
stepped foot in a jungle nor visited a foreign country to witness for
yourselves what is happening to not only the rainforest, but forests or even
woodlands, are living in a dreamworld, if you think that the creators of
CITES know best.

As Betsy mentioned, just listening to the chainsaws in the distance is
chilling. Seeing huge numbers of barges floating down the Rajang River in
Sarawak (Borneo) is mesmerizing, flying over Peninsular Malaysia and looking
at the thousands, upon thousands of newly planted acres of oil palm groves is
enough to bring a tear to your eye. And if you really want to drop to your
knees and weep, go through an area where the legal loggers (from other
countries who have paid HANDSOMELY) are working. Notice how they take down a
century old dipterocarp. Notice how many epiphytes: orchids (CITES appendix
1), aroids, ferns are stripped from the trees and are allowed to bake in the
sun and ultimately die. Then it dawns on you that once these magnificent
trees are gone, the understory quickly vanishes because of lack of
protection. Once the understory vanishes, the fauna that depended on the
understory now vanishes.

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From: Aroideae at aol.com on 2001.07.27 at 14:00:42(7157)
Well put, Reggie!! We have our nice little system for picking nits in order
while an asteroid approaches the earth. The Law will not sway the asteroid.

lynn

From: Phil Bunch pbunch at cts.com> on 2001.07.27 at 20:16:04(7171)
I think we need to keep the purpose of CITES in mind. It is only meant to
regulate the international trade in some species, it is not a blanket
conservation measure. It is true that habitat destruction is the major
known cause of endangerment and probably extirpation. This however is not
amenable control through treaties. CITES represents an effort to control
one small part of a much greater problem. As collectors I think we have a
responsibility to do our part, small though it may be.

Phil Bunch

On Friday, July 27, 2001 11:57, Regferns@aol.com [SMTP:Regferns@aol.com]

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From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2001.07.27 at 20:16:15(7172)
Bless You, Reggie for so poignantly writing from
the Heart. Indeed, yours is a
different perspective. As Joe reports, in 14 years it
will all be gone. Is it then the inexorable helplessness of
watching ones most beloved die? So do we all resign ourselves
beforehand to the inevitable? Do we rather do all in our power it should
not be so? 14 Years? I am choked & numb &
have no words. Without Wild Nature Man has no Heart to cry, no
Spirit to pray.

Ron Iles

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From: Betsy Feuerstein ecuador at midsouth.rr.com> on 2001.07.27 at 21:47:27(7174)
I have heard many opinions and suggestions on this wonderful subject of
CITES and I want to commend those who have so passionately given their
perspectives. I, for one, have enjoyed seeing the diversity of approach,
pro and con, to this subject. It might just be that each of us, if willing,
will learn as we go down this alley. Just one suggestion, let's not do
it forever.
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From: Betsy Feuerstein ecuador at midsouth.rr.com> on 2001.07.27 at 21:47:37(7175)
You know it is funny how what you say could mean either don't obtain that which
is being destroyed in situ or get it at all cost because it is going to be gone
in so few years. Think about that one and come to your own conclusions. You
just made an argument that could go both ways. Is there a right or wrong? As a
few have alluded to, this really is a power and control issue and really has so
very little relevance to the saving or destroying of habitats and species.
Perhaps when we see a bigger picture, like survival of ourselves, we will look
back and realize by saving what is, we by all rights, save ourselves, but it
just may be tooooo late. At that point fear of our own survival or that of our
offspring will take on a precedence that has true relevance to so many that the
power and control will be in the hands of those many who are in this day and
age ignored and not cared about. It may come down to saving ourselves before we
wake and see the bigger issue and let go of the old greed and control and
callous nature of humanity and come to a respect of all that lives and that is
on this planet. Does that sound philosophical? WEll, at some point, philosophy
is likely to play out in reality and then where will we be? Each of us, in our
own ways, wants the same thing. Tolerance and caring and sharing and helping
and being there to assist each aspect in the chain, will potentially enable the
chain to function and survival to result. Weak links, of which there are many
now, make the outlook bleak. I, for one, hope that we wake up and start working
together to not save individual plants, but those all along the chain from
human, to animal, to plants so that it all will be there, to share. Is that not
what we all hope for?

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From: Phil Bunch pbunch at cts.com> on 2001.07.28 at 07:49:52(7179)
I personally support the CITES treaty and it's enforcement. I also work as
a consulting biologist to a utility company and manage the day-to-day
implementation of an endangered species/habitat conservation agreement with
both the state and federal government (U.S.). I deal with this problem
everyday and am constantly in between powerful interests. At times NO one
likes what I say or do as part of my responsibilities. This is may be why
my post appears to argue both sides of the issue. The realities of the
problem are indeed painted in shades of gray. Effective solutions are
rarely within the province of ideologues on either side.

I have a rather pessimistic view of our real capacity to stem the tide of
extirpation before we realize what we have lost. This is based on
personal/professional involvement with environmental issues in Colombia and
Mexico as much as my current job. Development is going to occur and with
it, much additional habitat will be lost. There is no clean solution to the
active interface between human needs/desires and habitat destruction. We
are a short-sighted species with a great capacity to invent and an
inability to see the long-term consequences of the implementation of our
creative ideas.

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