South Africa Volunteer Reports Suspected Chinese Dealer for Long-Term Wildlife Trade | Clean Internet for Conophytum Series (90)
2023/6/26 9:04:00 本站

On June 22, 2023, the "Clean Internet for Conophytum" (CIC) initiative received a report from a volunteer in South Africa concerning a suspected Chinese dealer, using the nickname "J-F," engaged in the long-term illegal sale of South African wild conophytum plants.


Based on the images provided by the volunteer, the seller, known as "J-F," mentioned, "I offer wholesale conophytum plants, and the cheapest prices will be shared within the 'J-F Direct Wholesale Group' on WeChat… I provide you with prices almost equivalent to the source prices. If you don't believe it, you can come and see for yourself. Welcome to make a purchase."


Despite South Africa having enacted laws to prohibit such illegal collection and trade of wild plants, the issue continues to persist. Several notable cases of illegal plant harvesting occurred in South Africa in 2019, drawing significant attention from the Chinese Consulate General in Cape Town, which issued official warnings advising against the indiscriminate picking of wild plants. However, driven by strong market demands man-made by those vested-groups, the popularity of conophytum plants has grown in certain countries and regions, making them a fashionable commodity. During the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 until now, incidents of illicit conophytum harvesting have intensified. Many buyers no longer travel to South Africa themselves but instead exploit e-commerce platforms and social media to incentivize local residents to engage in plant poaching, exacerbating the threat to these species' survival.


The loss of biodiversity is a pressing global environmental challenge, and organized wildlife trafficking constitutes a significant contributing factor. Conophytum plants, a genus of succulents exclusively found in South Africa, are highly sought-after due to their unique shapes and vibrant colors. However, due to their limited population in the wild and the presence of illegal harvesting and trade (especially in organized wildlife crime), these plants face a severe threat to their survival. Some species have already become extinct in their native habitats.


The materials provided by the volunteer have been submitted to the legal team at the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF). They are actively seeking more substantial evidence regarding the activities of this suspected wildlife dealer, such as shipping records, transaction screenshots, and advertisements posted by the suspected IWT dealer. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact the China Wildlife Rescue and Scientific Ethics Working Group at phone number 86-10-88431370 or email address v90@cbcgdf.org.


[ABOUT THE CIC]

In response to Chinese President Xi's call at the CBD COP15 for ecological civilization and building a global community of shared future for all life, the CBCGDF initiated the "Clean Internet for Conophytum" campaign. Starting from March 9th 2023, the Initiative has been actively collecting leads related to illegal conophytum trade, including evidence and clues regarding sellers operating within China and internationally, on e-commerce platforms, and through social networks. The actions of these sellers not only harm the environment but also violate environmental protection laws in China, South Africa, and other countries, affecting human survival and sustainable development. Moreover, due to the illegal activities of poachers, all species of the conophytum genus have been listed in Appendix III of the CITES convention. In a collective effort to build a global community of shared future for all life, we are preparing to initiate the 2nd environmental public interest litigation against the IWT trader(s). Volunteers and individuals with relevant information are encouraged to report, and CIC will strictly protect whistleblowers' identities.


Compiled by: Chaubi
Edited by: Green Falcon

Contact: v10@cbcgdf.org; +8617319454776

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