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Essay

becky olubunmi

Year-Prize: The 9th Eco-generation Environmental Essay Competition     Item: Fight against illegal trade in wildlife

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FIGHT  AGAINST  ILLEGAL  TRADE  IN  WILDLIFE  

Winner's name: becky olubunmi (Nigeria)
Prize: Honorable Mention


  Illegal  trade  in  wildlife  is  the  exchange  of  undomesticated  animals  and  plants  from  their  natural  habitat  against  established  rules  and  regulations.  It  ranges  from  poaching  of  elephants  and  rhinoceroses  in  Africa  for  ivory  and  horn  respectively,  smuggling  rare parrots  captured  in  the  rainforests  of  brazil,  tortoise,  turtles,  and  other  reptiles.  Collection  of  eggs of  wild  bears,  trafficking in  bears?  gall  bladder   and  tiger  parts.
  Increase  in  human  populations  has  been  a  contributing    factor  to  illegal  trade  in  wildlife  which  has  resulted to  high demands for  wildlife.  They expect  having  a  lot  of  access  to  variety  of  things  to support  the  sustenance  of  human  existence  and  beautification  of  themselves .  In  terms  of  accessing  leather  goods,  medicinal ingredients,  timbers and textiles. The  increase  in  human  population  has  also  led  to  majority  living  in  abject  poverty  to  see  wildlife  trade  as  barter  for  goods.
  Another  contributing  factor  to  illegal  trade  in  wildlife  is  driven  by  high  profit  margins  for  rare species.  Those  who  acquire  these  rare  species  end  up making  boast  of  it  as  it  is  something  valuable  the  uncommon  man  cannot  afford  to  have  in  his  premises.
  Corrupt  practices,  ineffective  laws,  weak  judicial  systems  has  allowed  increase  in  crimes  relative  to  illegal  trades  in  wildlife  with  little  regards  to  its  consequences.  This  has  encouraged  more  criminal  activities  in  wildlife  trade.  Unfortunately,  the  only  set  of  people  usually  caught  are  the  poor  poachers  at  the  local  communities  while  the  real  masterminds  are  left  behind  to  keep  up  the  criminal  activities.    
  Due  to  the  reasons  above,  illegal  trade  in  wildlife  is  causing  an  imbalance  in  the  ecosystem.  Ecosystem  being  the  interconnectedness  of  plants,  animals,  microbes  with  each  other  and  their  environment.  Once  a  group  or  two  groups  from  this  definition  are  being  affected,  then  it  affects  us  as  human  as  well.  It  starts  on  a  small  scale  effect  and  that  is  why  there  is  a  rising  campaign  strictly  against  illegal  trade  in  wildlife  before  a  lot  of  things  get  out  of  hands  so  that  we will  do  things  in  the  proper  way  and   prevent  the  ecosystem  from  completely  failing  in  the  nearest future  because  a  dangerous  future  effect  is  that  it will  affect  our  survival  and  sustenance  in  terms  of  clothing  being  gotten  from  cotton,  food  from  animals  and  plants,  construction  of   houses  with  woods  and  the  likes.  In  cases  where  more  carnivores  are  more  than  the  herbivores  or  such   that  the  food  chain  or  food  web  is  not  balanced,  it  leads  to  cannibalism  compulsory  extinction  of  some  animals.
  The  harming   of  worryingly  large  population  which  is  illegal  poses  threats  to  the  survival  of  many  endangered  species.  This  over  exploitation  has   been  leading  to  extinctions  of  severely  threatened  species.  Sounds  of  airplanes  from  airports  close  to  some  national  parks  in  Nigeria  in which  where  the  airport  is  being  situated  in  Nigeria  also  contributed  to  the  extinction  of  elephants  to   the  Benin  Republic  away  from  Nigeria?s  kainji  lake  national  park  at  Niger  state.  I  visited  Orimedu  fishing  community  at  Lagos,  Nigeria  and  the  main  material  for  the  construction  of  their  canoe  is  the  ?iroko?  tree  being  used  to  build   it.  I  imagined  the  numbers  of  canoes  involved  in fishing  and  the  high  rate  for  woods.  Over  exploitation  is  now  the  second  largest  direct  threat  to  species  after  habitat  loss.
  The  extinction  of  these  species  can  have  a  negative  economic  effect  on  local  community?s  tourism  industry.  A  community  that  relies  on  its  wildlife  to  attract  tourist  is  at  great  risk  for  economic  hardship  if  the  prevalence  for  poaching  is  high. 
  To  prevent  more  devastating  situations  to  our  natural  resources  and  save  our  ecosystem  from  this  looming  danger,  we  need  to fight  against  this  illegal  trade  in  wildlife.  A  joint  effort  is  needed  to  support  legislation  that  makes  the  owning  of  exotic  animals  illegal  in  our  communities.  Also  the  voluntary  action  in  signing  petitions  that  help  to  push  governments  to  protest  threatened  animal  populations  and  enforce  better  laws  and  stricter  deterrents.  We  can  also  help  out  by  not  purchasing  exotic  animals  from  pet shops  or  dealers  but  rather  choosing  to  adopt  an  animal  from  an  animal  shelter  or  rescue  group.
  The  government  and  the  judicial  system  should  not  only  make  stricter  laws  but  ensure  it is  been  totally  enforced  without  no  corrupt  practices  involved  and  in  faithfulness  to  ensuring  the   rights  in  environmental  conservation.  The  ministry  of  environment  can  help  in  supporting  finances  in  posting  screened  stationing  inspectors  at  ports  across Nigeria  and  other  countries  as  well  as  providing  enforcement  trainings.  Social  advertisements  sponsored  by  governments  with  handbills  will  aid  in  increasing  consumer  awareness  through  outreach  to  travelers  going  abroad  and  consumers  of  exotic  wildlife  domestically.  Organizing  community  programs  as  regards  illegal  trade  in  wildlife  in  the  languages  understood  by  different  local  communities  is  a  way  to  have  the  grassroots  support  in  combatting  this  wildlife  crimes. 
    As  an  individual  I  can  suggest  and  organize  seminars  in  my  department  with  other  colleagues  to  have  full  understanding  of  why  we  need  to  save  our  future  by  combatting  illegal  wildlife  trade  and  encouraging  it  for  project  work  as  well  as  working  with  like-minded  people  on  this  issues  to  achieve  faster.  Also  being  an  eco-tourists  by  supporting  local  livelihoods  and  conservation  efforts  alongside  buying  their  local  products  and  supporting  their  local  economy,  thus  encouraging  others  to  do  so  as  well.  Speaking  up  is  also  essential  for  me  whenever  I  see  suspicious  products.
  I  am  so  optimistic  that  with  these  measures  given  above  with  my  personal  interest  and  vision  for  environmental  conservation,   future  crisis  to  ecosystem  and  environmental  conservation  will be  redeemed.
       

3 Comments

  • says :
    Orbit
    Posted 06-06-2017 17:26

  • says :
    Nice write up sis... Pls can I get ur contact need ur guide about ecotunza forums and how to go abt them
    Posted 07-11-2016 15:05

  • says :
    Nice write up sis... Pls can I get ur contact need ur guide about ecotunza forums and how to go abt them
    Posted 07-11-2016 15:05

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