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经济学人:濒危物种(2)

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To understand why these reasonable-sounding proposals should be rejected, consider what has happened to elephant numbers since CITES most recently authorised some legal trade, when Botswana, Namibia and South Africa were allowed in 2007 to sell a fixed amount of ivory to Japan, as a one-off. Elephant numbers started falling again. A survey conducted in 2014-15 estimated that elephant numbers had fallen by 30% across 18 countries since 2007; another estimated a decline of over 100,000 elephants, a fifth of the total number, between 2006 and 2015. Increased poaching was at least partly to blame.

为了理解为什么这些听起来合理的提议应该被拒绝,考虑一下《濒危野生动植物种国际贸易公约》最近批准了一些合法贸易之后,大象数量发生了什么变化。2007年,博茨瓦纳、纳米比亚和南非获准一次性向日本出售一定数量的象牙。大象的数量又开始下降。2014年至2015年进行的一项调查估计,自2007年以来,18个国家的大象数量下降了30%;另一项研究估计,2006年至2015年间,大象数量减少了逾10万头,占总数的五分之一。偷猎的增多至少要负部分责任。

Endangered specie.jpg

These numbers suggest that the existence of even a small legal market increases the incentive for poaching. It allows black-marketeers to pass off illegal ivory as the legal variety, and it sustains demand. The biggest market is in China. Last year the government banned domestic sales of ivory, but its customs officials seize a lot of smuggled products—notably from Japan, which CITES licensed as a market in 2007. For the poachers, ivory is fungible. If it is hard to secure in Zambia or Botswana, another country’s elephants will be in the gun-sights. Congo, Mozambique and, especially, Tanzania, have seen sharp declines. Unfair though it is, countries with better-run conservation programmes are, in effect, paying for the failings of those with feeble institutions.

这些数字表明,即使存在一个小的合法市场,也会增加偷猎的动机。这会允许黑市商人将非法象牙冒充合法品种,并维持了需求。最大的市场在中国。去年,政府禁止在国内销售象牙,但其海关官员查获了大量走私产品,尤其是来自日本(日本在2007年获得《濒危野生动植物种国际贸易公约》的许可)的走私产品。对于偷猎者来说,象牙是可以替代的。如果在赞比亚或博茨瓦纳很难保证安全,另一个国家的大象将会成为枪口的目标。刚果、莫桑比克,尤其是坦桑尼亚,人口急剧下降。尽管这是不公平的,但拥有更好管理的保护项目的国家实际上是在为那些制度薄弱的国家的失败买单。
In the long run technology can help make trade compatible with conservation. In better-resourced national parks, drones are used to make it easier for rangers to spot poachers. DNA testing of ivory shipments can establish where they came from, and thus whether they are legal. As prices fall and countries get richer, both technologies are likely to spread.
从长远来看,技术可以帮助贸易与保护相容。在资源更丰富的国家公园,无人机被用来让管理员更容易发现偷猎者。对象牙运输的DNA检测可以确定它们来自哪里,从而确定它们是否合法。随着成本下降和国家更加富裕,这两种技术都有可能传播开来。
The objection to trade in products of endangered species is not moral, it is pragmatic. When the world is confident that it will boost elephant numbers rather than wipe them out, the ivory trade should be encouraged. Regrettably, that point has not yet come. And until it does, the best hope for the elephant—and even more endangered species, such as rhinos—lies not in easing the ban on trading their products, but in enforcing it better.
反对濒危物种产品贸易不是道义上的,而是务实的。当世界相信它将增加而不是消灭大象的数量时,应该鼓励象牙贸易。遗憾的是,这一点尚未到来。在此之前,大象——甚至犀牛等濒危物种——最大的希望不在于放松对其产品的贸易禁令,而在于更好地执行禁令。

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