Andreas Wistuba (A.Wistuba@DKFZ-Heidelberg.DE)
Fri, 11 Nov 1994 13:33:45 GMT+1

> >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.

As far as I know CITES was designed more or less to secure
endangered animals. In contrast to plants animals can be
marked (They seem to have not thought about amphibias, fish
or endangered insects, spiders.....! and only thought about
whales, elephants, birds and OTHER POPULAR animals)
by tatoos or other means. Who has the right to judge the value
of a species that is in danger? Is a moss or a fungus of less value
than an Orchid or a Nepenthes (they are popular too or can
at least be identified by customs officers which might also
an important criterium...). I think these facts shows that CITES is at first
politics to show people (without spending much money!) that
something is done to protect nature. It hides real problems
like environment destruction which are much more expensive
to control. As I have to deal a lot with CITES I know that people
at the offices (in Germany) are simply helpless and
often do not know how to handle things.

To make it worse CITES are expensive. Cheap prices and mass
propagation are hindered and wild collections are made more
interesting by that way.

Andreas Wistuba; Mudauer Ring 227; 68259 Mannheim; Germany
Inet: /
Phone: +49-621-705471 Fax: +49-621-711307