Jan Schlauer (
Fri, 11 Nov 1994 10:15:06 +0100

Tom, Phil & al.,


>Ethics is also an issue. If the plants are not circulated around the world,
>they are more likely to become extinct. And the number one cause of
>extinction is habitat destruction. So is it wrong to remove a verylimited
>number of plants from the wild (even illegally), if it helps to ensure the
>survival of the species. CITIES the way it is set up encourages the
>extinction of many plants.
>Malaysia, the home of many of the Nepenthes species, has a goal of population
>growth. This translates into destruction of the rain forests and thousands
>of species of plants, the Nepenthes included. If you are a socially
>conscious individual, you have to be concerned. And you may even have to
>admire people who travel to these to collect plants and seed and forward them
>home where they will be distributed and serve as a hedge against extinct.


>Maybe some thinking people could propose a way to open limited and
>controlled trade without endangering the resource in the wild.

-------------- PERSONAL OPINION STARTS HERE --------------------------

I think you are both right.

International (as well as in some cases national) legislation is promoting
extinction of rare species by the *way* the limitations are set up. The
status quo is perfect for the prevention of limited and sensible collection
of plants from the wild by the concerned researcher or cultivateur.

But if prices of $1000 and more can be scored by selling a single plant of
_Nepenthes_clipeata_ none of the real outlaws will ever be deterred by any
legal restriction.

IMHO the only way of protection for rare and endangered plants (and
animals) which are of any public interest is mass reproduction and killing
the market by minimizing prices due to unlimited supply. Here CITES only
helps outlaws to keep prices high (and to kill the species by
overcollecting in the wild).

Species threatened by anthropogenic habitat destruction can likewise not be
protected from extinction by solely minimizing collection or trade. Here
the social and economic parameters have to be reflected upon. An honest
comparison has to be made if we prefer personal (economic or social) wealth
or a well-preserved natural environment (incl. "biodiversity"). In some
cases there will be a clear discordance within our societies, and we will
have to settle this satisfactorily. Otherwise such cripples as CITES & al.,
and eventually a substantial loss of "biodiversity" *and* prosperity will
be the result.

We need another kind of (consciousness and) legislation on this issue,
and we need it now!

-------------- PERSONAL OPINION ENDS HERE --------------------------

TNX for your patience reading this stuff.

Kind regards