Remove all rhino horn and ivory from government venues

Alexandra Andersson

276
Signatures
obtained
Help us to reach our target!
224

Environmental Petition

Remove all rhino horn and ivory from government venues

276 SIGNATURES OBTAINED, THIS CAMPAIGN ENDED ON September 28, 2014

Director of Leisure and Cultural Services,

The Hong Kong Museum of Art is currently hosting an exhibition of so-called artworks featuring ivory and rhino horn. In light of the Hong Kong government’s confiscated ivory stockpile destruction, as well as other positive developments on the ivory issue in Hong Kong, we believe that this is the wrong message for the government to be sending out at this critical moment for the survival of African wildlife. 香港 -香港藝術館目前正舉辦著一個所謂呈現象牙及犀牛角藝術特式的專題展覽。鑑於香港政府正分階段銷毀多年來被充 公的象牙庫存,以及香港社會對處理象牙問題正取得積極的進展,我們認為,政府在這段關乎著非洲野生動物存亡的重要 時刻,舉辦是次象牙及犀角展覽,正正在傳遞著一個非常錯誤的信息。

The fact that this exhibition is running at all suggests that the Hong Kong Government Environment Bureau’s AFCD (Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department) is not communicating effectively with the Home Affairs Bureau’s LCSD (Leisure & Cultural Services Department) on the need for more public education and awareness raising on the issue of endangered species protection. The LCSD operates the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and appears to not be aware of the wider conservation issues that threaten global biodiversity. Therefore, in order to help and support the Hong Kong government AFCD in their efforts to protect endangered species, we are calling on the LCSD to remove all rhino horn from government venues with immediate effect. 事實上,此展覽的舉辦,讓人不禁猜想,港府環境局旗下的漁農自然護理署,在提高公眾對保護瀕危物種之意識及增強相 關公民教育之事宜上,是否並沒有與民政事務局轄下的康樂及文化事務署作出有效及必要的溝通?康樂及文化事務署管轄 下的香港藝術館,似乎並沒有意識到當前的物種保護,保育及保存危機,及有關危機更深遠地威脅到的全球生物多樣化問 題。因此,為了對港府漁護署在保護瀕危物種方面作出之努力表示支持,及表明願意提供協助,我們促請康樂及文化事務 署馬上移走所有政府場地內的一切犀牛角制品。

As a coalition of grass-roots NGOs working on the ivory issue in Hong Kong, we believe that the exhibition of rhino horns directly counteracts our conservation efforts to date. It is difficult enough to raise awareness on the poaching crisis in Africa without this exhibition putting out false notions of beauty and art. Behind every piece of carved ivory or rhino horn there is a dead elephant or a dead rhino. 作為由一眾本地非政府組織組成,以合力一起處理象牙問題的聯盟,我們遺憾地相信,是次犀牛角展覽已直接地抹殺了我 們由成立至今一直在保育方面付出之努力。提高大眾對目前非洲犀牛盜獵危機之關注已經是一個艱難任務,現在,更有著 這個在傳遞錯誤美學及藝術觀念的展覽,絕對是火上加油,將早已危在旦夕的非洲犀牛進一步推向盜獵劊子手。展覽中的 象牙或犀牛角雕刻品,每一件背後都代表著一頭遭到殺害的大象或犀牛。

We believe it is extremely hazardous to the last remaining populations of rhinos in Africa that tourists from all over the world, including many from mainland China, will pass through the exhibition and leave with the subliminal message that the possession of ivory and rhino horn is something to aspire to. This is sure to drive up the price of market rhino horn (and ivory), thereby increasing rhino poaching rates in Africa and Asia. The exhibition runs until 28 September 2014. 眾所周知,在不斷的盜殺之下,非洲最後僅存的犀牛種群現今的情況已變得岌岌可危。世界各地的遊客,其中絕大部份來 自中國大陸,參觀展覽後,潛意識會認為收藏象牙或犀牛角制品乃一件正常不過,甚至是值得嚮往之事。這樣一來,市場 上犀角(象牙)的價格肯定會再被提高,從而更進一步刺激非洲及亞洲的盜獵活動。是次展覽將直至 2014 年 9 月 28 日。

Statistics released on 30 June 2014 by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs showed that at least 496 rhinos have been butchered for their horns in the first six months of this year, suggesting that the year-end death toll will rise above the record level of more than 1,000 rhinos killed last year. 南非環境事務署於星期一公佈的統計數據顯示,在今年首六個月,已至少有 496 隻犀牛因頭上的犀角慘遭屠殺,以此數字 推算,直至年底,死亡數字將攀升至超過 1,000,此乃有紀錄以來最嚴重之水平。

A link is emerging between museum displays which help fuel demand by “legitimizing” such objects made from rhino horn in the eyes of potential buyers. Criminal networks are supplying this demand and view such exhibitions as ideal marketing material. There was case recently in the United States where trade in rhino horns was being fueled by the demand for “libation cups”. This report on the United States Department of Justice website gives the background to the international racket, including a Hong Kong link: 博物館展出及需求增加,兩者之間存在著重大關鏈。這些藝術展品給予潛在買家一個“合法又合理”的籍口,助長需求。 犯罪網絡及組織視這些展覽為最佳的市場宣傳工具,不斷供應以滿足需求。近日在美國,已有証據支持,市場對“祭酒 杯”的需求,正助長著犀牛角買賣。美國司法部網站的一份新聞稿,為這些新興古董拍賣與國際貿易之間的因果關係提供 了更充足論述 , 包括以下香港聯結: Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Rhino and Ivory Smuggling Conspiracy http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/June/14-enrd-666.html

Finally, it should be noted that a CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Secretariat progress report dated 13 June 2014 on Hong Kong’s ‘National Ivory Action Plan’ (NIAP) criticized the Hong Kong government’s efforts on public education and awareness raising on the protection of endangered species as not having specified any actions. 最後,不容忽視的,是瀕危野生動植物種國際貿易公約(CITES) 秘書處於 2014 年 6 月 13 日發表的“香港 -全國性象牙行 動計劃”(NIAP)進度報告中,批評香港政府於提高公眾對保護瀕危物種之意識及增強相關公民教育之事宜上,並未有展開 任何具體及明確行動。 (http://www.cites.org/sites/default/files/eng/com/sc/65/E-SC65-42-02_1.pdf)

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To Director of Leisure and Cultural Services,

Attn: Ms Eve Tam, Museum Director, Hong Kong Museum of Art.

Mr Raymond Tang Man-leung, Curator (Chinese Antiquities), Hong Kong Museum of Art.

cc: Mr Alan Wong, Director, Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department (AFCD).

06 July 2014 Re: Endangered Species Protection / Ming and Qing Chinese Arts from the C. P. Lin Collection

Dear Ms Tam & Mr Tang,

The Hong Kong Museum of Art is currently hosting an exhibition featuring ivory and rhino horn. In light of the Hong Kong government’s confiscated ivory stockpile destruction, as well as other positive developments on the ivory issue in Hong Kong, we believe that this is the wrong message for the government to be sending out at this critical moment for the survival of African wildlife.

We believe the Hong Kong Government Environment Bureau’s AFCD (Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department) is not communicating effectively with the Home Affairs Bureau’s LCSD (Leisure & Cultural Services Department) on the need for more public education and awareness raising on the issue of endangered species protection. The LCSD operates the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and appears to not be aware of the wider conservation issues that threaten global biodiversity. Therefore, in order to help and support the Hong Kong government AFCD in their efforts to protect endangered species, we are calling on the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the LCSD to remove all rhino horn and ivory from government venues with immediate effect.

Our coalition of grass-roots NGOs working on the ivory issue in Hong Kong believe that the exhibition of rhino horns and ivory directly counteracts our conservation efforts to date. It is difficult enough to raise awareness on the poaching crisis in Africa without this exhibition putting out false notions of beauty and art. Behind every piece of carved ivory or rhino horn there is a dead elephant or a dead rhino.

We believe it is extremely hazardous to the last remaining populations of rhinos in Africa that tourists from all over the world, including many from mainland China, will pass through the exhibition and leave with the subliminal message that the possession of ivory and rhino horn is something to aspire to. This is sure to drive up the price of market rhino horn (and ivory), thereby increasing rhino poaching rates in Africa and Asia.

Statistics released on 30 June 2014 by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs showed that at least 496 rhinos have been butchered for their horns in the first six months of this year, suggesting that the year-end death toll will rise above the record level of more than 1,000 rhinos killed last year.

A link is emerging with museum displays which help fuel demand by “legitimizing” such objects made from rhino horn in the eyes of potential buyers. Criminal networks are supplying this demand and view such exhibitions as ideal marketing material. There was case recently in the United States where trade in rhino horns was being fueled by the demand for “libation cups”. This report on the United States Department of Justice website gives the background to the international racket, including a Hong Kong link:

Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Rhino and Ivory Smuggling Conspiracy
http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/June/14-enrd-666.html

Finally, it should be noted that a CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Secretariat progress report dated 13 June 2014 on Hong Kong’s ‘National Ivory Action Plan’ (NIAP) criticized the Hong Kong government’s efforts on public education and awareness raising on the protection of endangered species as not having specified any actions.
(http://www.cites.org/sites/default/files/eng/com/sc/65/E-SC65-42-02_1.pdf)

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This petition was started by Alexandra Andersson on July 6, 2014, with an end date of September 28, 2014.


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