Fries, Beer, and the IUCN Colloquium

David Cassuto Belgium is pretty cool.  Ghent is an absolutely beautiful city, filled with the kind of stunning architecture that one might expect to see in European cities better known for their visual splendor.  And did you know that Ghent was the second-largest city in Europe (behind Paris) for quite a while, quite a while […]

IUCN Academy Colloquium — No Animal Law Here…

David Cassuto I’m currently in China having all kinds of interesting experiences.  For example, it was only in Shanghai a few days ago that I saw my first wheelchair-accessible urinal.  I’ve also seen more pictures of Chairman Mao in the last 2 days than I had seen in the previous . . .  well, ever.   […]

IUCN Study of Elephant Meat Trade — Consulting Opportunity

From the email — an opportunity to lead a study for the IUCN Species Survival Commission on the elephant bushmeat issue in Central Africa.   Note the looming application deadline. The Impact of the Elephant Meat Trade in Central Africa Call for Applications – Deadline 4 September 2009 1. Background The IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group […]

The IUCN and Animal Advocacy

I write this post from Barcelona where I am attending the World Conservation Congress, the quadrennial meeting of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The IUCN is a unique coalition of countries, NGOs, and others whose common cause is protection of the environment. I am a member of the delegation representing Pace Law […]

Animal Advocacy — Live from Hawaii

David Cassuto I’ve spent the last 5 days in Hawaii at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, the quadrennial gathering of environmental leaders from all over the world. The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) recently applied for membership in IUCN and was denied.  I have been lobbying for support for ALDF’s appeal from that denial.  It’s a bizarre […]

To Ride Or Not To Ride

Tyson-Lord Gray In a few months I will be celebrating my birthday and as has become the custom, this means an international trip inclusive of life changing experiences. Last year I went bungee jumping in Costa Rica, the year before that skydiving in South Africa, and the year before that hang-gliding in Brazil. This year […]

White tigers: Tragic–not magic

Kathleen Stachowski   Other Nations Kenny died in 2008. If you didn’t mark his passing (you probably didn’t even know about it), don’t feel bad. Kenny, you see, was not the beautiful white tiger on posters for glitzy magic acts. He wasn’t the star attraction drawing crowds of admirers to the zoo. As the product […]

Animals of Interest

Nancy Rogowski A recent edition of the ScienceTimes, a section of the NY Times includes several noteworthy animal articles. Elephants Get the Point of Pointing, by Carl Zimmer writes about a new research lead by Dr. Byrne’s suggesting elephants understand human pointing, a rare gift in the animal kingdom.   Dr. Byrne’s states, “Even our closest relatives, like […]

Can Farming Rhinos Save the Species?

Seth Victor Kevin Charles Redmon poses an interesting thought: can farming the horns of African rhinoceroses save the species? The horns of the rhinos are used throughout the world, from dagger handles to medicine. Though the animals are endangered, and protected under CITES, there is a lucrative black market business in poaching, especially when the horns fetch […]

Republic of Marshall Islands Opens World’s Largest Shark Sanctuary

Gillian Lyons We all know that sharks hold a certain fascination in the American mind.  I myself cannot drag myself away from the television during the Discovery Channel’s shark week.  What you may not know is that according to the IUCN, up to 30 percent of pelagic shark species (those that live in the “open […]

8.7 million and counting….

Gillian Lyons A recent New York Times article, published in late August, discussed a new study, which estimated the number of species living on the Earth to be approximately 8.7 million, give or take 1.3 million.  To me, this number seemed astronomical (though I sometimes feel that there are 8.7 million different species of bugs […]

Brasilia and Now Ghent (Belgium) — Still Talking Climate Change & Agriculture

David Cassuto So here I am on a plane again – this time to Belgium on my way to the Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, which is taking place in Ghent.  I’m back in steerage this time; no business class for our hero.  I swore I would never go back but here […]

Does One Compromise Over Whale Slaughter?

David Cassuto The hoo-ha is growing over the recent proposal by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to lift the existing outright ban on whaling in exchange for the scofflaw nations (Japan, Norway & Iceland) ceasing  “scientific whaling” (in the case of Japan) and getting to kill more of some different kinds of whales (in the case […]

Trophy Hunting: It’s Not Just Plastic Gold Statues Anymore

Simona Fucili Hundreds of hunters travel to Africa every year for something they refer to as a sport, trophy hunting.  They essentially look to shoot animals to hang on their walls as trophies.  This sport not only is unethical and another form of animal cruelty, but it also creates problems that affect the ecosystem.  Although […]

GEIG – A Coda and a Step Forward for Animal Ethics

This was a very productive 5 day meeting of GEIG.  In addition to attending some fine discussions and papers over the last several days, I also officially joined the IUCN CEL Ethics Specialist Group, something I mistakenly thought I had done in Barcelona at the IUCN Congress back in the fall.  The IUCN (International Union […]

A quick follow-up from Barcelona…

Over the last several days I have talked to a number of folks about working the animal agenda into the international environmental arena. I am cautiously optimistic about the chances for substantive reform. My conversations with some of the directorate of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law (an organization of law schools around the world […]