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Ahmad Ardiansyah

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 : Ahmad Ardiansyah (Indonesia)
Prize: Honorable Mention

Indonesia is one of the country which considered as a ?mega-diverse? country because it has more than approximately 300,000 wildlife species live in this country. Most mammals and birds species in the world inhabiting this country. As a mega-diverse country, Indonesia also experienced fastest wildlife extinction rate. Numerous factors are combining that make species dissapear much faster. Deforestation is the main factor of this extinction. For instance like conversion of lowland rainforest in Indonesia to oil palm plantation in Sumatera which is adjacent to the habitat of endangered megafauna including Asian elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros and Sumatran tigers.
Moreover wildlife trade is become serious another threat in Indonesia. Word ?trade? means a basic economic concept to exchange (something) for desired goods and services that someone else possess. Therefore wildlife trade refers to the activity of buying and selling a wildlife products on massive scale as pets, food, medicine, furs, feathers, skin and trophies for money and this includes the trade of animals that are often endangered. Millions of wildlife species or parts are being traded illegally then produces many billions of dollars next to drug trafficking as an illegal business and poorly not many people realize the impact of illegal wildlife trading could make. Growing demand and the attraction of big money make it a promising business especially in developing countries. Asia,especially South Asia, is considered as center of global illegal wildlife trade followed by North and South America.This happens because of weak judicial systems in this country, didn?t seem to make warry effect towards the guilty party.
Since the Southeast Asia countries are experienced by poverty mostly, money has become the greatest motivation for people to participate this big bussiness. Comparing the GDP per capita of Indonesia at US $ 1,650 with the price one of the endemic fauna in this country, komodo dragon, reach to US $ 30,000 on black market, it?s clearly understanding why they are risk themselves to get involved in this enormously business crime, at the other when people in other countries are accustomed to a luxurious lifestyle, collecting a eccentric product such wildlife product. Such a valuable barter for trade,isn?t it ?. 95% of the traded wildlife is taken from nature and more than 20
% of the traded wildlife die in vain due to inappropriate transportation. They took many ways to smuggle this in their luggage and far from proper handling. The question is, if we let this keep go on. What will happen to the world in 10, 20, 30 years time ? Will orangutan still be seen hanging in trees and Sumatran tiger roars still be heard ?. With species keep being removed from wild faster than they can repopulate, ecosystem resilience are lost and they are going to be a night-tale which being told to our grand grand children later.
Overexploitation animal species from their natural habitat cause significant loss in ecosystem function and ecosystem services. What is ecosystem ? An ecosystem is a relationship between community of living organisms including plants, animals and microbes with non –living components and the biodiversity affects ecosystem function either processes of disturbance and succession . The sun give out heat energy so that plants can undergo photosynthesis, food formed which is eaten by animals. Animals produce faeces through defecation then undergo decomposition in the soil and plant will absorb as nutrient. Animals also act as seed dispersal, because they transport of the plant?s seed through fleshy fruit which eaten by animal in sufficient distance then produce faeces and finally the seed germinate. Furthermore, long-term effect of biodiversity loss could cause climate change. Animals provide other necessities in our life includes food, clothing and fuel. So if we kill them, how we can fulfill these basic needs of our life ?. It?s true we are human, the highest-rank creatures which ever God created, but animals are also creature. They have a right to life and want to live just like us. So we can see now, animals bring luck to human and life until we can survive today. That?s why the illegal trade in wildlife should be stopped before it?s too late.
If there is a mistake, it also must be a solution. With the rises of this illegal trade in wildlife. Many activities had been done by Indonesia goverment collaborating with many stakeholders. Cooperation is the key to make this happen. We need strategies, programs, researches that could ensure our aim to help endangered species and bring life for them.Some revision of law and regulation related to biodiversity and conservation have been done by Indonesia goverment to reduce the impact of wildlife
trade, such upgrading the list of threatened species belong to CITES and giving higher amercement to the suspected. Seems impossible if only the goverment support this, we as citizen of all ages do have responsibility for saying no to the illegal wildlife trade. For instance,as a student learning and studying this matter is considered as contribution. Non goverment organizations (NGOs) such as WWF,IUCN and others should arrange a educational program or even campaigns to share information. As parents we must sensitize our children to wildlife and tell them of the damage will happen.It?s just not about us, now we stand at a critical point in history of time where we determine how the future will be for our selves and our children.The perils of wildlife trade will not be immediately obvious to all, we will find our existence in danger later. We shall find birds migrating during wrong season and fund their offsprins?s dead due to climate change. Water will become scarce and nations will fight over it. Food will no longer be in the form we enjoy. The Earth has always provided everything for us. It is our turn to give it back- the protection and healing. Together we could stop this.


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