A Flora and Fauna exhibition was recently organised in Lapangan Banteng in Central Jakarta and while this exhibitions could have served the planet well by informing and educating people about the harms being done to the flora and fauna of the world, it was instead used as a mass sale festival of many endangered species of animals.
What was concerning from India’s point of view was the ease with which rare Indian star tortoises, which are protected under the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species were being sold here, at a price as high as $500 each. The vendors were also quite blatantly announcing that they could provide an undisplayed animals for a decent price.
This illegal trade acitivities happening in borad daylight, only highlights the imminent danger on the lives of so many plants and animals. When the complains of illegal trading at the expo reached Harry Santosa, the director for biodiversity conservation at the State Ministry for the Environment, he sent a team to check but miraculously found no buyers or sellers at the event.
Whether the vanishing act was preplanned or sheer luck on the vendors part is still not known. However Chris Shepherd, an official with TRAFFIC, a British-based international wildlife monitoring network,said Indonesia has grown as a hub for illegal marine species trading over the recent years.
“Recent surveys, and this expo, have shown that the trade continues and now involves more illegally imported species than ever,” he said. “Dealers know full well that it’s illegal and are taking advantage of the enforcement agencies’ lack of action.”The flora and fauna exhibition is held annually at the city’s anniversary celebration and sadly it is also an annual affair when hundred of endangered and critically endangered animals from South Africa, Asia and south America are traded openly at the venue.
“It’s ironic that the expo is held to introduce Indonesia’s rich biodiversity, but turns out to promote the endangered ones — even those that are on the brink of extinction,” said Pramudya Harzani, spokesperson Jakarta Animal Aid Network.Image credit Roberto Verzo via cc/Flickr