A Public Letter to Tmall and Taobao President Jiang Fan: Stop selling bird nets and illegal poaching tools, let birds freely soar
2020/2/25 19:12:00 本站

Dear Mr. Jiang Fan, President of Tmall and Taobao,


Serving as the natural guard for food safety and ecological security, the wild bird is an indispensable part of the ecological system. In this context, we are wondering are you aware that Taobao, the e-commerce giant, has been selling bird nets for years. A majority of bird nets with small mesh dismantled by volunteers and the Anti-illegal Poaching Working Group of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) are purchased from Taobao. Over the past year, we regretfully find that we are slower in dismantling nets in comparison with the volume of transactions of bird nets via Taobao. Bird net has caused damage to the ecological environment. According to two surveys carried out by wetland departments, over half of the bird population has declined in recent years. The bird nets sold on Taobao could be the potential driver.


On December 13, 2019, volunteers of CBCGDF found large amounts of bird nets with a length of 5,000 meters arranged in Baiyangdian Lake, Hebei Province. The tiny holes of the cobweb-liked nets allow almost zero escape once birds are tangled by the human-made traps. Some birds are caught to be sold to local restaurants for delicacy.


In Binhai New District of Tianjin, volunteers of CBCGDF have ever found bird nets with a total length of 20,000 meters which turns the wetlands used to be the paradise for migratory birds into a burial ground as it was estimated 5,000 birds died of the nets and 3,000 injured.


Since the history of human civilization unfolds, birds have shared close relations with the human for maintaining ecological equilibrium and conserving plants in nature. Chinese ancient poems written in different dynasties reflect the philosophy of protecting birds and protesting poaching them in breeding seasons. Compendium of Materia Medica, a herbology volume written by Li Shizhen in the Ming dynasty, for instance, introduces the folk efforts and practices at bird protection, which mirrors the traditional virtues of the Chinese people in conserving birds.


In 2016, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) wrote to Alibaba, requesting to tighten regulation and inspection on the illegal trade of clap nets. Now, we put forward with the request your company to attach great importance to this issue and fulfill the social responsibility of a leading e-commerce giant as clap nets are still available on Taobao.


The unreasonable and unsustainable consumption of wildlife stirs up the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which is sounding an alarm to us all. Enterprises, as the core component of the society, shoulder responsibility of fulfilling the Ecological Civilization with the core of achieving harmonious coexistence between humans and nature. Moreover, according to Article 6 of the Environmental Protection Law, enterprises, public institutions, and other businesses shall prevent and reduce environmental pollution and ecological disruption and assume liabilities for damage caused by them.


As spring is approaching, life is alive in everything. The whole society is engaging in the fight to the coronavirus. We hereby sincerely suggest Alibaba conduct a comprehensive self-investigation to eliminate the illegal online trade of poaching tools, like clapnets.


Your attention to our repeated request would be highly appreciated. CBCGDF is looking forward to joining hands with you to protect the ecological environment.


Contact: v1@cbcgdf.org





(Photo credit: CBCGDF volunteers)

Original Chinese article:


By / Wang Yanqing