“We’re thrilled that whales, dolphins, and coastal communities will be protected from the dangers of drilling in the Atlantic, but prohibiting new leases off the East Coast isn’t enough,” said Miyoko Sakashita, who directs the oceans program at the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement. “President Obama needs to follow his own climate rhetoric and stop allowing new oil and gas drilling in all of our oceans.”
The Obama administration dropped its plan to open the coast of Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas to oil and gas drilling.
But contrary to environmentalist expectations and early press reports, the Obama administration will continue to offer new leases for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Alaskan coast. The moves came as part of a revised proposal from the Department of the Interior handling offshore fossil-fuel drilling from 2017 to 2022. The proposal is not final.
The revised plan will open 10 new leasing sites in the Gulf of Mexico and three new sites off the Alaskan coast. It’s still unclear whether those Arctic sites will actually be leased: Last year, Royal Dutch Shell abandoned its plan to drill for oil in the northern latitudes after spending $7 billion on a single exploratory well, in part because the price of oil has cratered.
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Beyond Africa’s borders, Chinese nationals operate illicit networks that liaise with African poaching gangs, set up shell companies, bribe cargo handlers at various ports, then move the product through Asian entry points for sale to carving factories.
“Chinese law prevents the killing and sale of protected species, and last year Premier Xi Jinping pledged to enact “a near complete ban” on the import and export of ivory. China’s Wildlife Protection Law is undergoing its first major revision in 26 years since it came into force. There was hope that this would signal a crackdown on poaching and wildlife trade. However, the draft, currently under public consultation, states that wildlife can be used in the manufacture of Chinese traditional medicine, healthcare products and food for profit. According to the EIA, if this draft becomes law it would open, rather than close, the loopholes in wildlife trafficking.”
- At Bole Airport in Ethiopia, which is a conduit for flights to Asia, a CITES report noted that more than 85% of transit passengers who were caught with illegal ivory in 2014 were Chinese.
- The Born Free Foundation has estimated that about 70% of ivory in Chinese markets is illegal and that the laundering of illegal wildlife products is widespread.
- Researchers calculate that about 230,000 elephants were poached between 2009 and 2015.
Illegal Chinese Ivory Trade (Article Here)