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Paying Off the Traffickers: A Costly and Dangerous Precedent

The revised “Stockpile Verification Mechanism and Business Plan” (hereafter “Business Plan”) presented by Madagascar to the Standing Committee (SC) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at its 70th meeting (SC70) fails to resolve serious concerns raised by the Secretariat, by Parties at SC69, and by international experts. These include the absence of financial oversight on revenues from the stockpile sale – in the context of presidential elections in 2018 and legislative elections in 2019 – and the lack of monitoring for the sale’s impact on wild populations of Dalbergia spp. and Diospyros spp. The lack of effort to recover hidden stockpiles, which represent over 90 percent of total stockpiles, is also worrying.

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