No 245 Wildlife Trade News 23rd October 2014

The daily dose of bad news for conservationists with details on wildlife and environmental crimes
from around the world

in the spotlight today ……………………

Industrial-Scale Tiger Farms: Feeding China’s Thirst for Luxury Tiger Products EXTRACT: At July’s CITES Standing Committee meeting, Chinese officials finally admitted what the world has known for some time: they are licensing sales of tiger pelts. In 2013, EIA revealed that legally-issued permits are regularly reused, making it disturbingly easy to launder skins from tigers killed in India and elsewhere. (NA comment: Will the CITES Standing Committee and Secretariat give China a “Merit Award” for this activity and openly defying CITES, yet again? Another CITES – CHINA debacle?)

Tiger carcasses in cold storage at Xiongsen Tiger and Bear Park,

Guilin, China. Photograph by Belinda Wright /Wildlife Protection Society of India.

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/10/21/industrial-scale-tiger-farms-feeding-chinas-thirst-for-luxury-tiger-products/

No 245 Wildlife Trade News 23rd October 2014

Pandas get VIP treatment, but not orang-utan – Jennifer Yeap – (Malaysia) See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/pandas-get-vip-treatment-but-not-orang-utan-jennifer-yeap#sthash.LTuP3px1.dpuf

Ten including cop to face MACC in connection with illegal logging (Sarawak/Malaysia) http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/10/23/Crime-illegal-logging-MACC/

Cop nabbed, illegal logging ring in Sarawak busted http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/278380

Johor Forestry Officers Queried (Malaysia) http://malaysiandigest.com/news/524368-johor-forestry-officers-queried.html

‘Get tough on syndicates’ (Malaysia) http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/10/23/Get-tough-on-syndicates-Tunku-Aziz-Political-sanction-needed-to-tackle-illegal-logging/

South African Environment Minister: ‘We Appreciate Western Help Against Poaching — But We Need Asia’s’ extract: Earlier this month, 137 cities took part in a global march against the poaching of rhinos and elephants, amid an alarming surge in killings of the endangered species. South Africa saw a huge swell of support for the movement, with 18 rallies staged across the country, while the United States hosted 39. In China and Vietnam — the world’s largest buyers of ivory and rhino horn respectively — there were none. https://news.vice.com/article/south-african-environment-minister-we-appreciate-western-help-against-poaching-but-we-need-asias (NA comment: Doesn’t this illustrate, again, the lack of real concern and commitment from China and Vietnam?)

Legalizing Ivory Trade: Taking to New Heights a Dangerous Policy Proposal

Ivory stockpile in Tanzania, courtesy of National Geographic Television. http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/10/22/legalizing-ivory-trade-taking-to-new-heights-a-dangerous-policy-proposal/

Stopping the smuggling of elephant tusks at HCMC’s airport (Vietnam)

Pieces of elephant tusks are discovered in a box unloaded from a plane at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Tuoi Tre http://tuoitrenews.vn/features/23472/stopping-the-smuggling-of-elephant-tusks-at-hcmcs-airport

Increasing land use exposing wildlife to poachers (Kenya) http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2014/10/increasing-land-use-exposing-wildlife-to-poachers/

Govt urged to take steps to save Tesso Nilo (Indonesia)

Cleared land: Locals living near the Tesso Nilo National Park in Riau use slash-and-burn methods to clear land, which they later use to plant corn, tuber and other vegetables. (JP/Bambang Muryanto) http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/10/22/govt-urged-take-steps-save-tesso-nilo.html

Greenpeace

Illegal Logging Ravaging the Last Forests, Activists Say (Cambodia)

extract: “ ….denounced the trade, which deforests Cambodia and sends timber to China and Vietnam. http://www.voacambodia.com/content/illeal-logging-ravaging-the-last-forests-activist-say/2492309.html (NA comment: How can these two countries remain in CITES while breaching the Convention on a daily basis? Is someone protecting them? Is China given preferential treatment by the Secretariat?)

Coral poaching by Chinese boats off Japan islands rising

http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/coral-poaching-chinese-boats-japan-islands-rising

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards (see what we are losing, because of China) http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/29722935

Namibia’s plan: Pay off poachers, save wildlife http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/23/world/africa/namibia-eye-on-conservation/?hpt=wo_mid

Farmer shoots ‘eyes in the night’, kills collared leopard (S. Africa)

The dead leopard.
Image by: Landmark Foundation http://www.timeslive.co.za/scitech/2014/10/22/farmer-shoots-eyes-in-the-night-kills-collared-leopard

Cameroon: Forest Governance – Monitoring, Evaluation Mechanism Underway http://allafrica.com/stories/201410220930.html

Human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka claims lives of over 60 people and 250 elephants annually http://www.colombopage.com/archive_14B/Oct22_1413961236CH.php

Rare northern white rhino dies in Kenya; only six remains worldwide

photo: Nature Alert http://www.wallstreetotc.com/rare-northern-white-rhino-dies-in-kenya-only-six-remains-worldwide/210878/

PH ethnic tribes lauded for role in forest conservation (Philippines) http://www.rappler.com/science-nature/environment/72786-ph-ethnic-tribes-conservation-practices

Photographer’s heartwarming images of baby primates that show astonishing similarities between apes and humans Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2803161/i-wanna-like-photographer-s-heartwarming-images-baby-primates-astonishing-similarities-apes-humans.html#ixzz3Gt2RgOT2

India’s largest dam given clearance but still faces flood of opposition The 3000MW Dibang dam, rejected twice as it would submerge vast tracts of biologically rich forests, is to be cleared – but huge local opposition could still stall the project http://www.theguardian.com/environment/india-untamed/2014/oct/22/indias-largest-dam-given-clearance-but-still-faces-flood-of-opposition

New Marine Protected Area proposed for Myanmar http://phys.org/news/2014-10-marine-area-myanmar.html

Tamil Nadu, Centre claim Andhra Pradesh red sanders http://www.deccanchronicle.com/141022/nation-current-affairs/article/tamil-nadu-centre-claim-andhra-pradesh-red-sanders

Vietnam moves to reduce demand for wildlife products – See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/vietnam-moves-reduce-demand-wildlife-products#sthash.aE8qbxWC.dpuf

Authorities Confiscate Illegal Rare Wood; Smugglers Escape (Cambodia) http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/authorities-confiscate-illegal-rare-wood-smugglers-escape-70674/

Chimps filmed raiding farms to find food (Uganda) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29724600

Saving Asia’s Endangered Cats http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1034476-saving-asias-endangered-cats/

Amazing moment ape named Kanzi built a fire and roasted marshmallows Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2803946/I-wanna-eat-like-Amazing-moment-ape-named-Kanzi-built-fire-roasted-marshmallows.html#ixzz3GwYQq091

Animal Planet Greenlights ‘Meet The Orangutans’ From Blink Films (Malaysia) http://www.tvwise.co.uk/2014/10/discovery-greenlights-meet-orangutans-blink-films/

For Bhutan, it Takes a Community to Save the Snow Leopard http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/10/23/for-bhutan-it-takes-a-community-to-save-the-snow-leopard/

NGOs want logging tycoon stripped of licences (Cambodia) http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/ngos-want-logging-tycoon-stripped-licences

Zambia: ‘Tread Carefully On Hunting Quotas’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201410230179.html

Kenya: Increasing Land Use Exposing Wildlife to Poachers http://allafrica.com/stories/201410230193.html

Legal Trade In Horn Would Improve Protection Of The Rhino
Read more at http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1113262699/legal-trade-in-horn-would-improve-protection-of-rhino-102214/#Qh4SrVhwBeKQBew1.99

Racing to Save the Cheetah http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/226947623

Steps to conserve greater adjutant stork demanded

http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/detailsnew.asp?id=oct2314/state050

Sea Shepherd ship ready to monitor Japan http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbnat/1692538077-sea-shepherd-ship-ready-to-monitor-japan

Saving the survivor: China scrambles to keep the finless porpoise from extinction http://news.mongabay.com/2014/1022-sri-vance-finless-porpoise.html

ZINDUKA FESTIVAL

Join UCOTA in Arusha for the upcoming ZINDUKA Festival

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Dear Partners,

Greetings from Uganda Community Tourism Association (UCOTA).

We are humbled to inform you that UCOTA will be convening the Community Tourism Forum in the upcoming Zinduka festival that will take place in Arusha Tanzania on 6th to 8th November 2014. The forum aims at promoting sustainable development through tourism.

This a big milestone to Community Tourism because yet again, we will have an opportunity to promote it as a form of getting local communities involved in sustainable tourism income earning ventures.

Zinduka is a Swahili word which literary translates to a re-awakening of consciousness. Zinduka Festival is a forum for re-awakening the consciousness of the people to engage in the process of East African integration and Pan-Africanism through common struggles for socioeconomic and political liberation. It offers East African citizens from all walks of life, and organizations from diverse sectors, an opportunity to celebrate the vibrant East African diversities; as well as share our successes and challenges as we pursue the region’s economic and political liberation.

The inaugural Zinduka Festival was held between May 30 and June 1, 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania. The rationale for choosing Arusha as the venue is because it hosts the secretariat of the East African Community, and harbors numerous historical memories in the efforts of integration and the spirit of Pan-Africanism.

UCOTA takes this opportunity to invite you participate in this forum which will be a landmark in East Africa.

For more details about Zinduka Festival kindly visit: www.zindukafestival.com

High Court case in Nairobi pits IATA’s regional office against Kenya’s competition watchdog

IATA SAFEGUARDS FOR TICKET PAYMENTS PUT IT ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH AGENTS

(Posted 24th October 2014)

IATA’s regional office in Nairobi has appealed to the High Court seeking to squash orders by the Kenyan Competition Authority, which were aimed to stop IATA from compelling licensed travel agents from using the sole insurance company selected by IATA for payment safeguards, which met the criteria of the airlines in case of defaults.

Bank guarantees or insurance bonds are required by the airlines, to ensure payment for tickets sold actually is remitted in full to them, and need to be effective in regard to an insurance company’s ability to meet obligations and the track record of settlements of claims and understandably has IATA been careful on that score.

There have been some spectacular defaults by travel agents in Kenya and Uganda for that matter in the past and in some cases were the insurance companies unwilling or unable to pay the sums required, eventually prompting the airlines to set very tight criteria before approving an insurance company.

Some travel agents, apparently unhappy having to deal with the selected insurer IATA stipulated, filed complaints with the Kenyan Competition Authority, which, without giving IATA an opportunity to be heard, slapped an order on the international airline body to stop the practice. When IATA then attempted to use the regular appeals process it was discovered that the appeals tribunal was not properly constituted and that no chair had been appointed, making it impossible to actually go down that route, leaving IATA no other choice but to go to the High Court.

A source close to the IATA office in Nairobi did confirm that the organisation was still assessing other insurance companies, described as a lengthy process as it was involving a wide range of criteria to be fulfilled before additional insurers could be given the green light to join the scheme. ‘Perhaps some think that the premium charged by a single supplier may be on the high side? But even when other insurers are cleared, the premiums will reflect the risk. Travel agents still have the option though to provide a proper bank guarantee, the insurance scheme is really an alternative to the primary way the airlines would like to safeguard payment for their tickets sold. The sector has consolidated a lot in the past few years and financially weak agents faded away. I don’t think anyone can blame airlines, after some of the defaults in the past, to be strict. You miss a payment under the BSP collection scheme and you are immediately under scrutiny. It is business, pure and simple. If airlines cannot collect ticket sales they go under. BSP was launched to ensure compliance with payment rules and that is all there is to it’ said the source on condition of anonymity.

Be sure you read about the outcome of the case as and when the High Court rules and what thereafter the next steps will be.

As Lamu curfew gets extended, can the annual Cultural Festival take place or not?

LEGAL BATTLE NOW LOOMS LARGE AS LAMU CURFEW EXTENDED

(Posted 23rd October 2014)

The stage appears set for a major legal showdown between the Law Society of Kenya, representing the people and businesses of Lamu town, and Kenya’s top cop David Kimaiyo after the curfew for Lamu has been extended by at least another month. From 6 pm to 6 am are residents, and notably tourists too, prohibited to leave their premises under harsh penalties and the risk of being shot on sight, a situation which has driven many restaurants and hotels to the brink of financial collapse, not something the hapless Inspector General of Police seems to comprehend.

The upcoming annual Lamu Cultural Festival is now almost certainly not taking place in the usual format, considering that everyone has to be indoors under the curfew rules, it at all organizers can find the financial support from sponsors and well-wishers and get significant numbers of visitors from along the coast and upcountry to visit Lamu town during the festival days.

The Law Society had told Kimaiyo on the 16th of October to either lift the curfew or else face being sued in court, and this is under the latest development now very likely with many Kenyans, and in particular the Lamu tourism fraternity hoping that the top cop will get a legal whipping in court.

It is understood that the Law Society may apply for an injunction to lift the curfew ahead of having the main case determined, citing irreparable damage to the businesses in Lamu town and developments in Kenya are closely monitored be several sources ready to update the news as soon as fresh information is available.

Lamu, as was repeatedly mentioned here, has not been subject to any attacks or incidents, which plagued the wider Lamu County, prompting a blanket curfew to be imposed when the police was unable to track down and bring to book the culprits under normal operating conditions.

Kimaiyo, one of Kenya’s most ridiculed top cops ever, has for long been under public pressure to resign or else for President Kenyatta to fire him over a series of security lapses and public gaffes in the past and his public relations, according to several sources spoken to in person during the recent Magical Kenya Travel Expo ‘suck big time’, a damning indictment of how he and his tenure are perceived in Kenya’s tourism circles.

Sources linked to the Lamu Cultural Festival have yet to come up with a definitive statement on the festivals’ future as the dates of 27th to 30th of November are now just a month away. Watch this space for news updates just as soon as additional information comes to light.

Your FREE ticket, Safari Awards Party..

Going to WTM in London ? Don’t miss the Safari Awards …

Safari Awards Networking Party & Awards Results Announcement
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Drinks, canapes, top level networking, and the announcement of the much-awaited results of the 2015 Safari Awards.

Get in touch now for details of our (limited) press passes and tour operator complimentary tickets.

See you on 2nd November..

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Dufry to run JKIA Duty Free at Terminal 1A as last legal hurdle cleared

TERMINAL 1A DUTY FREE OPERATOR SELECTED BY KAA

(Posted 23rd October 2014)

The Kenya Airport Authority has announced the award of the tender for the building and operation of duty free shops and for a range of other services to Swiss global duty free operator Dufry International following a legal case by a Gulf based company which had also competed for the same services being dismissed by a High Court judge for lacking merit.

Dufry, a truly global operator after their acquisition earlier this year of rival Nuance, will now start work to put up duty free shops at the departure level of Terminal 1A at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport under a 10 year concession, which will at last see a duty free company of international repute come to Kenya and begin to operate the soon to open shops at JKIA’s most modern terminal.

After the merger with Nuance does Dufry claim a combined global market share of 15 percent, nearly twice that of closes rival WDF which commands an 8 percent global market share. Dufry has a presence in some 63 countries, covering 239 airports to which Nairobi can now be added making it 240.

The concession of just 10 years however appears to be relatively short and hence is in favour of landlord KAA which no doubt expects to raise higher rents and royalties when the concession comes up for renewal or re-tendering in 2023.

Qatar Airways on the roll as more A380’s are due to join the fleet

QATAR AIRWAYS ANNOUNCES NEAR TERM EXPANSION OF AIRBUS A380 ROUTES

(Posted 23rd October 2014)

With Airbus A380 deliveries to Qatar Airways now progressively rolling out, has the airline announced plans to add a second A380 frequency to London Heathrow later this year. Presently does QR fly 5 times a day to LHR, one A380 service, three B787 services and one special all business class flight on an A320.

Next in line for the A380 however will according the information received be Paris CDG and from January 05th next year Bangkok, showing how routes with very high demand, and in the case of limited slots like at London, the A380 is the best choice to up seat numbers on the fast track.

The Qatar Airways A380 First Class cabin features eight suites on the upper deck in a 1-2-1 configuration. Each seat offers a 90” pitch with a fully lie-flat bed, 26” HD in-flight entertainment screen and direct aisle access. The First Class cabin also offers features exclusive spa-like bathrooms with luxurious amenities to ensure passengers enjoy a comfortable and leisurely flight.

The Qatar Airways A380 Business Class cabin features 48 seats on the upper deck, also in a 1-2-1 configuration, with an 80” full flat bed, 17” HD in-flight entertainment screen and direct aisle access.

There are two Economy Class cabins on the Qatar Airways A380, with 56 seats on the upper deck in a 2-4-2 configuration, and 405 seats on the main deck in a 3-4-3 configuration. Each Economy Class seat is 18.5” wide with a 32” pitch and features a 10.6” in-flight entertainment screen.

The upper deck also features a spacious inflight lounge offering Premium passengers an escape from the typical airplane environment, which is unique to the A380.

Another key feature of Qatar Airways’ A380 service is its in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity for all passengers – allowing them to send emails for work, surf the web, or stay up-to-date with their social network.

Said the airline’s CEO Mr. Akbar Al Baker when making the announcements yesterday: ‘Bangkok is one of the most popular destinations for travellers around the world, and we recognize the importance of offering convenience coupled with our five-star service to passengers flying to Bangkok from Doha’s Hamad International Airport. Thanks to its popularity we have witnessed a steady growth in terms of the number of passengers flying to Bangkok over the years. Additionally, the number of Thai passengers who travel with us to destinations around the world has also increased significantly. Therefore, we are very much looking forward to kicking off the new year by introducing our new A380 aircraft to Bangkok and providing these passengers with our signature service’.

Much to look forward to for QR’s passengers from Eastern Africa, where the airline operates daily services to Entebbe and Kigali and multi daily flights to Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

For breaking and regular aviation news from the region, look no further but this place.

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