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Calls For The King Of Swaziland To Withdraw Trade In Rhino Horn

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Twenty-eight leading wildlife organisations have sent a desperate appeal to the King of Swaziland, His Majesty Mswati III, imploring him to withdraw his country’s proposal to legalise the international trade in rhino horn.

Just days ahead of World Rhino Day (22nd September) and the 17th meeting of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Johannesburg, South Africa (24th September – 5th October ), the groups warn that demand across Asia for rhino horn is driving the species towards extinction.

International trade in rhino horn has been banned under CITES since 1977, in recognition of the precarious status of all five species of rhino. Only around 25,600 rhinos remain in the wild, and with about three rhinos poached for their horn every day in Africa, rhinos could become extinct.

Despite the rhino poaching crisis, Swaziland wants CITES Parties to approve international trade in horns from Swaziland’s southern white rhinos – including poached Swazi rhinos, horns from Swazi rhinos who died of natural causes, and those removed from living rhinos by non-lethal means. Regardless of their source, however, placing any rhino horn on the global market risks further stimulating trade and could have catastrophic consequences for rhinos.

Teresa Telecky, Director of Wildlife at Humane Society International, who leads HSI’s wildlife delegation at the CITES meeting, said: “With poaching at such devastating levels, the future survival of rhinos in the wild is already uncertain. Legalising the trade in their horn could very well be enough to tip the scales towards certain extinction. We urge the King of Swaziland to withdraw this death sentence proposal, and if he doesn’t, CITES Parties should reject it.”

Jason Bell, IFAW’s Southern Africa Director, said:

Swaziland’s proposal is not only biologically unsound, but politically naïve too.

“The international community has made it clear that there is no room for discussion when it comes to proposing trade in rhino horn in any form whatsoever. There are so many things wrong with this proposal, all of which definitely leave Swaziland out on a limb at CoP17.”

Mark Jones, Associate Director of the Born Free Foundation and co-chair of the Species Survival Network’s Rhino Working Group, said: “Talk of legal trade sends a message to consumers that it’s OK to buy rhino horn, undermining demand reduction efforts and bringing swathes of new buyers to the market. This market will never be satisfied by legal horn, so poaching will inevitably increase. We cannot trade our way out of this crisis. We urge the King of Swaziland to withdraw this proposal and send the world a clear message that rhino horn is not for sale.”

Allan Thornton, president of the Environmental Investigation Agency – US, said “We appeal to His Majesty, the King of Swaziland, to permanently reject selling rhino horn as the rhino horn trade has driven the mass slaughter of rhinos around the world. Trade increases demand and the powerful and violent criminal syndicates that drive the poaching will put a target on the world’s last rhinos should trade be legalised.”

Support from two thirds of the 183 CITES Parties would be required for adoption of the controversial proposal, which bodes well for rejection of the proposal. As rhino poaching has dramatically increased over the past ten years – with 1,342 African rhinos poached for their horns in 2015 – countries around the world have stepped up conservation efforts on the ground as well as consumer demand reduction programmes in countries such as Vietnam.

Past ‘one off’ legal sales of African elephant ivory masked the laundering of illegally acquired ivory, and consequently, African elephant populations have experienced a catastrophic one-third decline from 2007 to 2014.

HSI’s wildlife delegation will be in Johannesburg for CITES CoP17 advocating for proposals to protect a range of species.

Environment

Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage

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While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Environment

Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism

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When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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