NY Antique Dealer Jailed for Rhino Horn & Ivory Products

This is indeed good news, but sadly still a drop in the ocean. A New York antiques dealer was sentenced on 5 December 2013 for conspiracy to smuggle Asian artefacts made from rhino horns and ivory.

The antiques dealer, Qiang Wang, was sentenced to three years and one month with a further three years supervised release by a United States federal court.

This followed his arrest  in February 2013 as a result of “Operation Crash”, an ongoing nationwide effort led by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Justice Department to detect, deter and prosecute those engaged in the illegal killing of rhinoceros and the unlawful trafficking of rhinoceros horns.

Wang worked with two Chinese nationals to source Asian artifacts made from rhino horn and elephant ivory from auction houses and galleries in the United States for the purpose of smuggling these items to China.

Wang sent these items using the U.S. Postal Service and express mail services. He made false customs declarations, and knowingly exported rhino horn and ivory without USFWS approval or valid CITES export permits.

In a statement released by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe:

This slaughter is fueled by illegal trade, including that exposed by Operation Crash.

We will continue to work relentlessly across the United States government and with our international partners to crack down on poaching and wildlife trafficking.

Article Source: Annamiticus

st lucia estuary zululand

iSimangaliso gets clean audit

The 2013 audit for iSimangaliso has been released, and the Auditor-General has given a thumbs up to a clean audit and performance review.

Covering a financial as well as performance review, the audit confirms iSimangaliso has achieved its objectives committed to in its business plan submitted to the Minister of Environmental Affairs and National Parliament.

Inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999, the iSimangaliso of today is a far cry from its early beginnings in almost every respect.

The majority of land claims have been settled, eco-systems functioning has been largely restored and thousands of hectares of plantations removed, almost all previously existing species including the ‘Big 5’ have been reintroduced, extensive road and tourism facitlities developed and/or refurbished, and over 350 km of big game fencing erected.

This has been underpinned by significant job creation, skills transfer and above average tourism growth.

— iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority

This has been achieved through a careful balance between conservation and development, ensuring the Park’s core universal values of eco systems, biodiversity and natural beauty are honoured.

iSimangaliso has shown us that at a time when conservation budgets are at their lowest, and there are so many other priorities globally, parks can still prevail.

–Dr Ian Player, renowned conservationist

Article Source: iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority

Coral Reef earthtime.org

Reefs In recovery

Coral Reefs have the ability to regenerate should they ever be damaged by storms or any other naturally occurring event. However as the ocean changes as a result of things like warming and acidification it becomes more difficult for coral reefs to recover. Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg talks more about this issue in the latest Seaview Science video.

Protect Africa’s Oldest National Park

Virunga, Africa’s oldest national park needs your help. Today WWF has launched a global campaign to protect Virunga. We need to keep an oil company, Soco International PLC (Soco), out of the park and stop it from exploring for oil.

Add your name

We want to show Soco that the public won’t stand for any threats to the world’s most incredible treasures. You can help us by adding your name to show you draw the line at the exploitation of Virunga National Park.

Virunga, on the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is Africa’s oldest national park and is a World Heritage Site known for its unique biodiversity. It’s home to a greater variety of wildlife than any other park in Africa, including 216 species found in the region which are not found anywhere else on Earth. It is also the only protected area with 3 species of great ape – eastern chimpanzees, eastern lowland gorillas and mountain gorillas.

DRAW THE LINE – Add your name

We’ll use your name to tell business and government to draw the line on oil exploration in Virunga. Some places are just too precious to be exploited.

WWF Oil Exploitation

Seize Your Power With WWF

We believe our future can, and should, be powered by nature.

The energy systems in place across the planet within the next four years will define the world’s climate change path for generations.

Renewable EnergyAll countries have a right to develop, yet we need to invest money now in clean and renewable energy – to limit dangerous climate change, to reduce the risk to human health from fossil fuels, to fast-track access to energy, and to safeguard our collective future.

We call on financial institutions and governments worldwide to act immediately to invest more in sustainable energy powered by wind, water and the sun. They must phase out investments in coal, oil and gas and enable a just transition from the dirty and unsustainable energy of today.

The world needs investment in nature, and there are good reasons to do so now more than ever. We stand for a future in which people live in harmony with nature. Investing in fossil fuels threatens the natural world and the stability of communities and society. Investing in renewable energy will support a clean, sustainable future for all.

There must be no financial reward for environmental and human harm.

We choose to invest in solutions rather than problems:

Join Us. Seize your power.

wwf your power


Catlin Seaview Survey. Day2 False anemonefish

Mapping The World’s Coral Reefs

The world’s reefs are in a dramatic state of decline – we’ve lost over 40% of corals over the last 50 years due to pollution, destructive fishing and climate change.

According to the scientific community the decline is set to continue, it will affect 500 million people globally who rely on coral reefs for food, tourism income and coastal protection.

A passionate and specialised team of marine biologists, fixers, communication specialists, scuba divers, underwater robot operators, multi-media and technology experts have undertaken an ambitious project to monitor this change over time.

The Catlin Seaview Survey is in the process of creating a baseline record of the world’s coral reefs in high-resolution 360 deg panoramic vision. It is hoped that this material can help scientists, policy makers and the public to see first hand the issues reefs are facing, and to find solutions to best protect coral reefs.

The survey started in 2012 with 32 reefs along the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef and out to the remote Coral Sea being mapped. A total of 150km of reef were surveyed  recording 105 000 GPS located panoramic images.

Our aim is to carry out a rapid assessment of reefs around the world and create a scientific baseline record with which to monitor global change.

Article Source: The Catlin Seaview Survey