A Different Perspective
- Subject: A Different Perspective
- From: Regferns@aol.com
- Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 13:55:48 -0500 (CDT)
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.
My point: the CITES agreement does not really work. Many of these countries
require hard cash to operate--and logging is a wonderful source. There are
those of you who talk about working to change the laws--how noble. I have
always hated this saying, but the older I get the more I truly recognize the
meaning: "Money Talks..." you know the rest.
This CITES situation really needs to be addressed, but because there are so
many different agendas at play, ultimately the flora and fauna will lose.
And there will be no plants or animals to save--even with the best
intentions. The jungles are disappearing at an alarming rate. And it is not
due to collectors. 85% of the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo is now
destroyed because of logging. And even though Sarawak has signed a
biodiversity agreement forbidding plants and animals to leave the area, the
loggers still have free reign. Just a view from one of the places I visit.
South Miami, Florida