Of the nearly $580 billion-per-year global wildlife trade, almost $260 billion of it amounts to illegal trafficking of endangered species.
Critics say that CITES — the 1975 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, with more than 180 signatory nations — is too outdated and cumbersome.
They say the treaty doesn’t effectively provide customs agencies with the tools they need to interdict the border-crossing deluge of 36,000 listed plant and animal species, plus any related products.
Besides, the search for narcotics and other illegal items are often higher priority for most customs agencies.
Large conservation groups seem to be unwilling to rock the boat, according to a report in Mongabay.com.
Yet smaller advocacy organizations hope that at this year’s CITES meeting, representatives of signatory governments — particularly those from the major sources of elephant ivory — can push through reforms.