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Bugs

The Conservation Imperative

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Posted (edited)

Since my retirement, I made a promise that I would pursue a worthwhile conservation cause. It may have taken two years and an interesting ride, but I have found a group with of like minded conservationists who are on to something.

 

It is clear to me that wildlife needs to have a value, and they people need to be able to see that value through one means or another. I have always supported sustainable use of wildlife as an option for conservation and am worried that so many NGO's and NOP's are rejecting that practice based on fundamental moral ideology. I have seen first hand the success of these pragmatic conservation principles and the failure of people to recognise this. To make conservation successful - people need to buy into the concept, - particularly when you are dealing with communities who would otherwise see wildlife as a pest.

 

I will use this thread to tell you a little about our group and our focus.

 

Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/theconservationimperative

 

and web page - is still under construction -- http://theconservationimperative.com

 

We produced a film with the help of Osprey Filming company and with Dave Cook as director to promote the lifting of the trade ban on rhino horn. Here is a part of that documentary.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V0cTR_fXKw&feature=youtu.be

Edited by Bugs

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Posted (edited)

and an interview with Michael Norton-Griffiths where he talks about the decline in Kenya's wildlife and the reasons for it. He makes interesting comparison between South Africa and Kenya.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjUrzB2xxIA&feature=youtu.be

Edited by Bugs

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What do wildlife managers of the Laikipia district in Kenya think of the fact that although they are tasked with looking after wildlife they are prohibited from benefitting from the resource?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4Q2N1ubzHg&feature=youtu.be

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Congratulations on getting down to doing what you promised yourself you would do.

 

I am not sure a focus on legalisation of rhino horn trade will bring you very much support or success converting "those who will not see" (as you put it) as it is super-controversial and definitely theoretical.Wouldn't it be better pushing more real success stories out there to begin with unless you want to attract the already converted in the conservation area?

 

Of course I may be jumping to conclusions due to my fundamental(ist?) doubts about your cause. You may mean to attract other groups via this route and maybe that is better for your cause anyway.

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@@pault time is running out for the rhinos. If we don't find a workable solution to present to CITES at this conference of the parties - we will simply be party to watching their demise.

 

There is a very strong argument for lifting the trade ban, and I don't believe it will be detrimental to the future of the rhino at all. Lifting the ban may be a theory as you say it, but the current situation is a fact. How long do you want to stare at statistics for before you decide to try something different?

 

I cannot stand back and watch the next four years of worsening statistics without doing what I believe in. Apart from the late Dr. Ian Player, there are many highly respected conservationists and economists who are working to lift the trade ban. In time, I will post more interviews.

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Time to add another video. It seems the debate about whether or not to legalise the trade in rhino horn is hotting up. Dr John Hanks has been my mentor for a number of years. His experience and knowledge is unquestionable. Here is an interview where he explains his stance on the trade issue.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP73-wuE0HA&spfreload=10

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Well done for following your dreams! I agree with a lot of your points.

However, I don't believe in legalizing of rhino horn trade. The vast majority of rhinos roams on state lands and are state owned, even if trade is legalized, the horns from rhinos in national parks can't be harvested (or if you do it would decrease calf survival), and government won't allocate enough resources to protect a source they can't monetize. Since the demand is so huge, and the supply so little, the price will remain high, thus the incentive to poach rhinos will stay high. Privately owned rhinos will receive proper protection, but the (current) majority of rhinos won't.

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Well done for following your dreams! I agree with a lot of your points.

However, I don't believe in legalizing of rhino horn trade. The vast majority of rhinos roams on state lands and are state owned, even if trade is legalized, the horns from rhinos in national parks can't be harvested (or if you do it would decrease calf survival), and government won't allocate enough resources to protect a source they can't monetize. Since the demand is so huge, and the supply so little, the price will remain high, thus the incentive to poach rhinos will stay high. Privately owned rhinos will receive proper protection, but the (current) majority of rhinos won't.

 

Eglio - they don't have to harvest horns from state owned rhinos. Between the private sector, stockpiles and natural deaths we are able to supply more horn than is currently being lost to poachers. The economists working on a trade model are working on ways to ensure its totally transparent and that percentages go to protect rhinos in national parks. Also remember that Intensive protection zones IPZ's are already set up where rhino are being moved to for better safety - the areas are secret and rhinos horns will be removed to reduce risk of poaching - these are state rhino.

 

Also take a look at Zimbabwe and you will see that today most rhino are now under private curatorship - this, all under the trade ban. This is the same progression we will see in SA should we not lift the ban.

 

What everyone is not realising is that there is a trade in rhino horn - like it or not. It relies on killing the animal and all benefits go to the criminals, and rhino keepers are left with the bill. What is abundantly clear is that you cannot switch the trade off, and in order to wrestle control away from the criminals you have to provide a legal conduit and an incentive for people to be legal.

 

I will add that the statistics show only failure - how long do we have to stand and watch our once rescued specie being brutally slaughtered back to extinction.

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For those who haven't seen our 15 minute presentation please take time to view the shortened version of the 90 minute film..

 

http://theconservationimperative.com/?p=49

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@ Bugs:

 

I am philosophically sympathetic to your position. However, success will heavily depend upon the accuracy of your statement that "between the private sector, stockpiles and natural deaths we are able to supply more than is being lost to poachers". One should also add that demand shouldn't rise as more stock becomes available.

 

There may be some hope because, elsewhere, we have been informed that horn reaching Vietnam is no longer primarily used for traditional medical products and instead is sold to rich Chinese as jewellery. If the medical use is actually shrinking - as opposed to merely forming a smaller proportion of a growing trade, you could be on to a winner.

 

I noted that you were critical of the alternative synthetic horn approach to address poaching. If successful, this would obviously impact to the economic detriment of the private horn producers. Does this explain your hostility? Alternatively, you might have thought that synthetic horn would never achieve the standard of being indistinguishable from the real thing and would thus fail, having sucked in and wasted funds from donors who might otherwise have spent on a more practical conservation approach. Finally, you might take the view that game ranching and rhino horn production is good for Africa and for wildlife conservation over and above the poaching issue.

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@ Bugs:

 

One should also add that demand shouldn't rise as more stock becomes available.

.

Thanks for making this point and allowing me to respond.

 

This point I hear again and again. There is remains a theory and in my opinion a fear tactic from the Anti-trade campaigners. I remain convinced that the biggest real fear that the anti-trade advocates have is that a trade model will succeed.

 

As I have said above - There is a trade in rhino horn already! They control the demand and supply and demand to the point where they are even speculating (holding onto stock in the hope that the market goes up). They have their own marketing and supply chain. They have no competition. And worst of all - they are killing the rhino and are making all the money. How will a legitimate trade increase demand - if illegal trade hasn't done so already?

 

Rhino keepers are expected to foot the bill for keeping rhino with zero help from CITES (who wrote the rules in the first place) and other people. Private owners and national parks spend vast amounts on protection and despite this the poachers have the upper hand. Our group has access to a number of scarce resource economists - most notably Michael Eustace who has worked tirelessly and unselfishly towards trade model that will work. Michael Eustace's expertise is not limited to economics, but has huge interest in conservation - being a founder member of African Parks. http://www.african-parks.org

 

The current situation leaves the rhino worth more dead than alive. By a country mile. And until that situation is reversed - I see no reprieve from the poaching onslaught. And rhino will go extinct as it has in so many other African Countries.

 

Also remember that a trade model is not separate from the interventions we are currently busy with - all existing efforts should continue and even be reinforced.

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Posted (edited)

@ Bugs:

 

 

I noted that you were critical of the alternative synthetic horn approach to address poaching. If successful, this would obviously impact to the economic detriment of the private horn producers. Does this explain your hostility?

 

Absolutely not. It would be great if it did work. I just think we are scraping the bottom of the barrel for solutions (other than legitimate trade).

 

But a synthetic horn appeals to a completely different market, and shouldn't have the slightest impact on the genuine market. As is the case with Rolex - also note - there are a number of alternatives available already - most notably Aspirin and Cow horn to deal with fevers, and a multitude of other substances which can be carved into whatever you want to look a whole lot more spectacular than rhino horn.

Edited by Bugs

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@@Bugs - I know we've discussed this elsewhere also, but what then happens to the rhinos that are not in private custody? Or are you saying that poachers will have no need to poach because there will be an adequate supply of horn always on the market? Could that not then impact the market on the downside? By that, I mean if you theoretically set the price of farmed horn at x per kilo (similar to your diamond/oil cartel model), could not the poachers sell poached 'wild' horn for more and perhaps drive down the price for 'domestic' horn to much lower levels, thereby upsetting the cartel principle? I say this because unlike a government that can cordon off a whole diamond producing area (as Namibia) or private owners that can set very rigorous inspections for miners leaving the mines etc., it would likely be physically and financially impossible for African governments to provide that level of protection to their parks.

 

I know that you have said time and again that we need to try something else because the old model is not working (rhinos are getting poached in national parks anyway), but the other big fear for anti-traders is that by legitimizing the use of horn, there will be no way to distinguish illegal wild horn from domestic horn, thereby further worsening the situation for rhinos, until eventually, there are no wild rhinos left at all, and instead just a farm commodity under private ownership.

 

Have pro-traders ever considered sharing the cost of wild rhino protection with their profit from the legit sale of horn? That may help change some minds and move people from their hardened positions. I also think that Rhino charities should be donating 90+ percent of their fundraising revenues to proven organizations like AP etc for their rhino conservation efforts in the wild.

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Posted (edited)

The incentives to poach will be less - the price for poached horn will be less - because of the risk factor.

And the legal trade will police the illegal trade more efficiently - being the fact that the people trading legally will have an incentive to stay legal and thus report illegal activity as it will be in competition to them. This should reduce all poaching in private and public reserves alike.

 

If the illegal trade were a water tap and the demand were people who needed to drink, and you switched the tap off - what would happen. We need a legitimate trade to replace the existing trade - thats all. It can be done and it can be transparent and it can be regulated and I share the opinion of many credible and experienced specialists who believe it will work. Things are getting worse and out of control - a regulated trade will take control away from the poachers, it will benefit communities who are recruitment grounds as poachers, it will satisfy the demand without killing a single animal, and it will reduce poaching, and it will create an incentive to protect the rhinos and as a result other animals will benefit.

 

http://theconservationimperative.com/?p=28

 

I can't see what the anti-traders are so afraid of we all want to save the rhinos, but they would rather the rhino go extinct than agreeing to trade. They have offered no solution that encourages communities to become custodians rather than poachers, they have offered no solution to the 25% of the rhinos in private hands and the solution they are offering is failing in government reserves, and in other range states who have rhino. Their only solution worth any salt is moving rhino to Texas and to Australia or to IPZ's, but that can only be regarded as hedging their bets.

 

There is one thing for sure - the current situation is not sustainable. Not for private owners and government rhinos or rhinos is any other range states. The bubble will burst and it is probably the first to go will be the private rhinos - like the canary in the cola mine and then there will be a total collapse.

Edited by Bugs

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My 2 cents worth - 2 things that strike me as idiotic about the way the whole SAVE THE RHINO campaign is being waged.

 

1>

I know it has been said before and it will be said many times again but the fact that something is declared illegal does not prevent it from happening. Nor is making something illegal a way to tackle the demand.

As long as the demand exists, all that is achieved by making something illegal is that people go outside the law to satisfy their demand.

 

Just look at prohibition in the USA. What a total disaster. Not only did it not succeed in preventing people consuming alcohol, it created an opportunity for criminals to build empires that then soaked up staggering amounts of money in law enforcement costs.

Do any of us think that prohibition made sense or that those people who still enjoyed a drink were criminals? No, the prevailing thought now is that whole premise behind prohibition was ill conceived and doomed to failure because it focussed on supply and did nothing to reduce demand.

 

Is the trade in rhino horn really any different in principle?

We cannot stop the demand, so we try and outlaw the supply. But the demand is still there and all we are doing is creating an opportunity for criminals.

 

2>

Surely, if the goal here is to SAVE THE RHINO then we should have a strategy that embraces all those engaged on the same side in this battle. That should include private rhino breeders/farmers. They have a huge stake in this battle.

Yet, they are all too readily dismissed by the anti trade people as being 'in it just for the money'.

I do not know any of these breeders/farmers personally so I cannot really comment on whether they should be called conservationists or whether they are businessmen who have invested vast amount of money in a gamble that legalisation will come. But, as I said a moment ago, if they are engaged in the same battle to save the rhino does that matter?

 

It seems to me that the attitude of some anti trade people is so entrenched that they would rather see the rhino become extinct than join forces with people who have demonstrated success at increasing the rhino population.

It is not a matter of principle, it is just pig-headed.

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The same rhetoric keeps getting repeated, so I repeat myself again too, until this argument is countered.

 

Even if the trade is made legal, the price of rhino horn will remain high as the demand will not drop (more likely it will even increase) and the supply will not increase (maybe momentarily by the release of stockpiles, but those are one-off sales, only leading to an increase in demand, like what happened with ivory), thus the price will remain high, thus the incentive for poaching will remain high.

Without adjusting penalties for poachers, increasing risk for poachers, and a continued high price for rhino horn poaching levels will likely not decrease, especially not on public lands where most rhinos roam.

 

Legal buyers will possibly be part of the illegal trade too. If someone offers them illegal rhino horn they have a strong negotiating point with the person who offers, driving the price for which they buy that horn down, but they can sell it for a similar price as legal horn, thus increasing their profits.

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In the case of diamonds - much noise is made about a parallel illicit trade. We asked Gary Ralfe from de Beers what they estimate the illicit trade was worth and he said it was less than 1% of the entire diamond market. De Beers have achieved what they did because the control more than 50% of the supply and have thus been able to control demand by the price. It may sound pretty simple economics - but I can assure you that a multi-billion dollar industry does not function on simple economics, it works because it works.

 

An illicit trade will always be at a fraction of the genuine trade. In the case of Be Beers - should any registered trader be found to being involved in an parallel illegal trade he will forfeit certain benefits - in the case of rhino horn - he will be liable for prosecution.

 

Reference to the ivory once off sale keeps surfacing - and we all agree that this once off "auction" to two buyers every 10 years is a great example of how things should not be done. All that happened is that the two buyers colluded and bought the ivory at a low price - they then controlled the market by drip feeding supply at vastly inflated prices. However - there is no evidence that linked the sale to an increase in poaching that we see today.

 

Back to the point where a parallel trade will have to exist at a fraction on the price of a legal one - wouldn't you say that immediately that would reduce incentive to poachers by half? One should also remember that the consumer and indeed Chinese people would happily embrace a legitimate route of acquiring horn as opposed to being party to the bad publicity that is about at the moment. So they will have an incentive to use legally acquired horn - all of which have a genetic DNA blueprint. If you see Rhodis - they have already got DNA material from a vast number of rhinos and are able to track the horn from source to destination. In the event that a trader is caught with horn from a dubious supply - DNA tests will be able to prove conclusively where the horn came from and will provide strong proof when it comes to prosecution. It is far easier to be legal, and there is an incentive to do so.

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@Bugs:

 

Thank you for replying to some of my queries. I wonder if you could provide some idea of the magnitude of the rhino horn trade? I would guess that it would be technically possible to farm as many rhinos as necessary to meet current demand or even a doubling or trebling of current demand. As one who has a lot of experience in farm animal management, I would also think that the exercise should be very profitable even if horn value fell by half. Clearly, profitability would fall once supply reached or started to exceed demand.

 

If my guesses and assumptions are correct, there would appear to be very strong reasons to support your position. @@egilio has mentioned the disappearance of one-off stockpiles as a potential downside to the proposal you are forwarding. I think it may be necessary to have built up one or two years demand-worth of stockpiles and a strong ongoing breeding programme before legalising the trade. This might require bank loans or, better, grants from conservation donors which could be returned subsequently and ploughed into other conservation programmes.

 

Rhino horn and elephant ivory poaching should not be addressed in the same way because of the relative values of the two products. It is potentally much easier to control the former because farming (and possibly synthetic horn) offers a financially viable solution for rhinos which is unavailable for elephants.

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Posted (edited)

I understand that there is in the range of 15 tons of horn in Government stockpiles and there is 4 tons in private hands. There are 5000 rhinos in private hands of which it may be safe to say that 4000 can utilised for horn sales. Current demand is around 5 to 6 tons a year. Rhino produce on average 900g per year. Natural mortalities are around 4% of the gross population per year. It is not unreasonable to assume that the rhino that will be moved to IPZ's under government management will also be dehorned and can contribute. It would be responsible for government to keep at least 1000 rhino in IPZ's. Other countries also have access to rhino horn from confiscation and natural deaths as well as dehorning they did for protection.

 

Combined with natural mortalities, stockpiles, dehorning programmes, and sustainable harvesting, we can sustainably provide substantially more horn than what is currently reaching the market without killing a single rhino. This can all be done without dehorning a single rhino in any national park, although I am thinking it may be a good idea to dehorn them anyway (trade or no trade).

 

I will add that as exciting as it was to see a rhino with a enormous horn the other day, I can't help wondering how safe that rhino is, and it still haunts me that a rhino was killed in that park at the same time we were there. When visiting another reserve recently, I remembered a few years ago a close encounter while on foot with a big rhino and its calf. This reserve has lost 80% of its rhino and I can't help thinking how many of the ones I saw are now dead, and if the one that we had such a close encounter with is still alive; all because the appendage on the end of its face - which may be nice for me to look at, but has cost the rhino its life. In hindsight - I would have felt better seeing the rhino with no horn at all.

 

I will leave you with another link about the myths created around rhino horn trade http://russlamberti.com/rhinonomics/

Edited by Bugs

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@Bugs:

 

Thanks for the precise information.

 

It would seem that the 5000 rhinos in private hands are alone capable of generating 60%-70% of current demand annually. As you mention, other sources can eke out the rest while sufficient extra animals are bred to meet any potential shortfall. Thus, a delay in legalising to create further product would appear to be unnecessary.

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The same rhetoric keeps getting repeated, so I repeat myself again too, until this argument is countered.

 

Even if the trade is made legal, the price of rhino horn will remain high as the demand will not drop (more likely it will even increase) and the supply will not increase (maybe momentarily by the release of stockpiles, but those are one-off sales, only leading to an increase in demand, like what happened with ivory), thus the price will remain high, thus the incentive for poaching will remain high.

Without adjusting penalties for poachers, increasing risk for poachers, and a continued high price for rhino horn poaching levels will likely not decrease, especially not on public lands where most rhinos roam.

 

Legal buyers will possibly be part of the illegal trade too. If someone offers them illegal rhino horn they have a strong negotiating point with the person who offers, driving the price for which they buy that horn down, but they can sell it for a similar price as legal horn, thus increasing their profits.

 

Yes, the same arguments are being repeated - on both sides - and will probably continue to be repeated until something changes.

Surely even you will accept that the current situation cannot be allowed to continue and if the debate just drags on and on as it has done so far the change that occurs will be the one none of us want - the demise of the rhino.

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This is the presentation Michael Eustace did at the Committee of Enquiry - I have permission to publish it.

 

 

COMMITTEE OF ENQUIRY. 25/26 March, 2015.

A paper read by Michael Eustace.

SMART TRADE

 

CITES (The Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species) banned trade in rhino horn in 1977, but trade did not stop. All that happened was that trade went underground, where it flourishes.

 

Our rhino are under threat and it is costing us hundreds of millions of Rand (12 Rand=1US$) every year trying to protect them. We are not winning the war. There is a feeding frenzy going on and a need for urgency. If we are to put a proposal to CITES on trade it needs to be next year.

 

 

Law enforcement, while essential, is not going to win, on its own. It is expensive, and difficult to manage over vast areas. The huge rewards to poaching encourage corruption, and corruption undermines law enforcement.

 

Demand reduction will also not work. There are 1 billion people in China that use traditional medicines but because of the high price, only 1 million use rhino horn. (1 million buyers who buy a course of 6 grams p.a. totals 6 tons of horn or the equivalent of 1,500 horns.) If you change the mindset of that 1 million there are still another 999 million in the queue, at lower prices. It is a futile exercise.

 

Last year about 1,500 horn-sets were sold from Africa to the Far East. 1,500 horns were sold and 1,500 bought. That was the extent of the trade. 1,400 rhino were killed, and 100 horns came out of stocks. (These numbers assume that Kruger Park lost 100 animals in addition to the 827 carcasses found, and that 75 rhino were killed in the rest of Africa.)

 

Supply and demand were brought into balance at a price of $60,000 per kilogram. In total the value of the trade was R4.3 billion ($360 million), almost all profit, and all for criminals. The high price limited demand.

 

The current situation is bad and all indications are that it will worsen.

 

Is there a better plan?

 

Well, we can satisfy the market, on a sustainable basis, by selling horn from stocks, and from natural deaths, and from farmed horn. There is no need to kill even one rhino, in order to satisfy the demand. All the killing is absurd.

 

Sensibly, South Africa is considering putting a proposal to CITES to permit a legal trade. It should help the decision making process if there is a clear idea of what form trade will take. There are some important choices.

 

At the one end of the spectrum is free trade, and at the other end is a highly controlled trade of a monopoly selling to a cartel of retailers, which I like to call “Smart Trade”.

Free trade implies that any one in possession of legal horn would be able to sell to anybody wanting to buy. Most goods are traded in that way and buyers benefit from the competition amongst the sellers. Competition leads to lower prices.

But, in the rhino horn market you don’t want competition amongst the sellers, if it leads to a drop in the horn price, because that will lead to higher demand-- demand that cannot be satisfied in the long term. Again, price is critical.

 

A Central Selling Organisation, or CSO, that controls volumes and prices, would be a better plan. The CSO can sell 400 horns per annum from stocks, 300 from natural deaths, and 500 from farmed horn. That makes 1,200 horns. Some poaching will continue, maybe 200 horns, and speculators will turn sellers of, say, 100 horns. That will mean a total supply of 1,500 horns which will satisfy the market, at $60,000 -- the same position as in 2014.

 

Private ranchers own 25% of the national herd, and should be given a quota to sell 300 horns. They will pay tax on the profit. The other 900 horns should be sold by Parks. Both Parks and the private sector appear committed to helping communities along the borders of parks to farm rhino. They can be part of the quota.

There will be no room for corruption. Cheques will be made out by the CSO to National Parks, and to the various Provincial Parks, and to the Private Rhino Owners Association, and to nobody else. The CSO will charge a 3% commission and 97% of the proceeds will go back into conservation. The CSO will be owned by Government and act purely as a broker.

 

The plan is for the CSO to sell to a cartel of retailers, probably the Traditional Chinese Medicine hospitals, or TCM hospitals, in China. Those hospitals will be licensed, and in terms of their licenses, they will not be allowed to trade in illegal horn. There will be no laundering of horn from the illegal to the legal market.

 

The assumption is that China will agree to be our partners in trade, subject to CITES first agreeing to trade.

 

The TCM hospitals are owned by the Chinese Government, and will make a profit on the trade of 1,200 horns, of some R1.7 billion ($144 million). They buy at $30,000 a kg from the CSO, and sell at $60,000, to the consumer.

(A word of caution: don’t translate the price of one 10 gram bauble into the average price at which 6 tons of horn traded. Commodity prices have been very weak and it is unlikely that the horn price has risen in those circumstances.)

The Chinese Government, being invested in the legal trade, will have an incentive to close down the criminal trade, and they will do just that. Having the Chinese government as business partners is a critical advantage of “Smart Trade”.

 

I have not talked about Vietnam because it is my understanding that between 70% and 90% of the trade in Vietnam is in fake horn which is of little or no consequence to poaching. I would be surprised if Vietnam represents more than 10% of total trade in genuine horn. After hundreds of years the market has not suddenly moved from China to Vietnam. It is more likely that the Chinese have set up Vietnam as a trade route into China. That is a mechanism to divert international criticism away from China.

Given a Smart Trade, illegal horn is likely to trade at a 30% discount to the legal trade price. That is common in illegal markets and is because of the risk of being caught trading in illegal goods, and punished. Add to that risk, the risk that some of the horn in the illegal market will be fake, or poisoned, and the illegal price is likely to be at a 40% discount to the legal price.

 

The criminal trade will become much less profitable. Speculators will turn sellers because prices in the illegal market will be set for decline. Instead of buying, say, 300 horns they will want to sell, and even if they only sell 100, the turnaround will be 400 horns per annum. Instead of encouraging poaching, the criminal syndicates will want to discourage poaching because poaching leads to more horn entering the illegal market and devaluing their stocks.

 

Given a Smart Trade the poachers are going to find it difficult to find a market for their horn. They will be forced into a small space where there is little volume.

In times of strong demand, the CSO can increase supplies. When demand is weak, it can sell less. Having large stocks that it can access will be a great strength. It can disrupt the criminal trade. It can limit demand to sustainable levels through the all important price mechanism.

A monopoly selling to a cartel is unacceptable in most markets but makes sense for rhino horn. CITES will find it more acceptable than a free trade.

 

You may fear that CITES will vote against our trade proposal. I doubt that. The ban is not working and there is a compelling case for a Smart Trade. But, CITES is a highly politicised organisation and logic and concern for rhino may not prevail. If we do fail, it cannot be “business as usual”. Surely we are not going to tolerate our rhino being slaughtered, in order to humour CITES? There needs to be an alternative plan, a response. Thought needs to be given to what form that response will take.

 

Smart Trade is the simple solution to the poaching problem. It is simple by design because complexity destroys enterprise. It will not remove the need for law enforcement but it will reduce it and Smart Trade offers an extraordinary commercial opportunity for Africa’s parks and people. I think it is the best option for our rhino.

 

Michael Eustace.

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This is so depressing.The pro trade argument is a mass of illogicality. It ignores the moral corruption in selling quack medicine that has no value.It ignores the fact the legal trade in anything of value always brings illegal trade.All a poacher needs is a gun and a saw.The one off sales of ivory have fueled poaching just as the original ban helped elephants recover.To quote the diamond trade is foolish .The illegal diamond trade helped support the atrocities in Sierra Leone.Illegal mineral extraction fuels conflict in DRC, illegal logging destroys forests.Can anyone point to an endangered creature being saved by legalising trade in that creature?Please help me out here!

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