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All Ivory And Rhino Horn Trade Now Banned In France



Rhino - photo courtesy of the Aspinal Foundation

The French Environment Minister Ségolène Royal has signed a decree banning the trade in ivory and rhino horn in France and all overseas French territories.

BRUSSELS (18 August 2016) – This follows an earlier French governmental move to suspend re-exports of elephant ivory. The France ban goes far beyond the current EU wildlife trade regulations, and comes just weeks ahead of the next meeting of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Humane Society International/Europe’s executive director Joanna Swabe issued the following statement:

The demand for these wildlife products has led to a poaching epidemic that has not only decimated elephant and rhino populations across Africa and Asia, but also helps to fund organised crime and terrorism.

“We warmly salute the French Government for taking decisive action to halt the cruel trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn. The demand for these wildlife products has led to a poaching epidemic that has not only decimated elephant and rhino populations across Africa and Asia, but also helps to fund organised crime and terrorism. We strongly applaud Minister Royal’s commitment to stamping out poaching and wildlife trafficking and urge other EU Member States to follow suit.”

The French action is particularly important since the measures adopted go far beyond the current EU wildlife trade regulations that permit the trade in ivory procured before 1947. The French decree includes provisions to ban the trade and commercial use of raw ivory, plus the production of artefacts using ivory, irrespective of its age. It also prohibits both the restoration and sale of ivory products bought after July 1975, even if they were purchased legally.

The adoption of these new measures comes just a few weeks before the Parties to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora meet in Johannesburg where the African Elephant Coalition, representing 70 percent of the African elephant range states, has put forward a proposal to list all African elephant populations under Appendix I, thereby prohibiting all international commercial trade in ivory. The Coalition has also tabled additional proposals calling for closure of domestic ivory markets and restricting the trade in live elephants to in situ conservation programmes only.

HSI/Europe has urged the European Commission and EU Member States to support the African Elephant Coalition’s proposals, but have thus far been met with surprising reticence.


  • The EU is the world’s largest exporter of pre-convention ivory— ivory acquired before the entry into force of CITES in 1975.
  • Between 2011 and 2014, member states reported seizures of around 4,500 ivory items reported as specimens and an additional 780 kg as reported by weight. Between 2003 and 2014, 92 percent of EU exports of pre-convention tusks went to China or Hong Kong.
  • The European Commission has voiced opposition to the African Elephant Coalition’s elephant protection proposals and relevant documents. The European Union has the largest voting block at the CITES Conference of Parties and holds the key to the success or the failure of these elephant protection documents.
  • All five rhino species are threatened with extinction. In 2015, more than 1,300 rhinos were killed in South Africa alone, out of a remaining 28,000 left in the wild.
  • From 2010 to 2012, 100,000 elephants were killed for their ivory. In Central Africa, between 2002 and 2013, 65 percent of the forest elephants were killed. According to the Great Elephant Census, poachers killed half of Mozambique’s elephants in five years while Tanzania lost a catastrophic 60 percent of its elephants during the same period.
  • The majority of ivory trafficking is destined for China or Southeast Asia. However, once smuggled ivory leaves Africa, their trafficking routes could go through Europe or the Middle East to reach Asia. Germany, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates are among the numerous airports that have seized or intercepted smuggled ivory from Africa to Asia.


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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