Mary Rice welcomes in 2011

New Year Greetings one and all.  Here we go again. But before we do, I want to say a big ‘Thank You’ to all of you – members, supporters, Facebook followers and Twitter fans – for taking an interest in EIA’s work and for lending your support wherever and whenever you can as EIA could not do this without you.

I can’t believe we’ve already said goodbye to another year.  Where do they go?  I have to admit that it’s been a struggle to drag my brain kicking and screaming back to the fray; the seasonal interlude seems like a distant memory already.  Business as usual and certainly our inimitable brand of investigation and campaigning will once again be in big demand. Operating as independent eyes and ears, prepared to say what needs to be said, constantly raising the bar and setting new benchmarks and expectations for key governments and decision makers, we have a number of key targets for the coming year.

As the Year of the Tiger draws to a close in February, it remains to be seen whether the adoption of the St Petersburg Declaration and the Global Tiger Recovery Program in November 2010 will set tigers in the wild on the road to recovery, doubling the tiger population by 2022 which is the ambitious goal. EIA will continue to monitor and assess whether the political promises made have been turned into action or whether they are just lip service.

2011 Year of Forests. Credit Jason Cheng

Will forests be smiling in 2011?

Whilst 2011  has been earmarked as international Year of Forests, we have our work cut out for us in pushing through EU legislation to ensure that the wood products that reach our markets are indeed legal and not laundered as is so often the case. 2011 should also see the publication of our extensive investigation into Britain’s illegal e-waste trade with the aim of campaigning for change in the way we handle our e-waste and for improved enforcement of existing regulations. And of course our work combating illegal trade in ozone depleting substances continues, as do our efforts to protect Whales and Dolphins… Elephants continue to be under threat from poaching and illegal trade… EIA will be releasing the findings of a recent on-site investigation in China

Ivory products. Credit EIA

Ivory products.

which will demonstrate that large amounts of illegal ivory continue to flood into China – despite the fact that the Chinese authorities secured 60+tonnes in the official one-off stockpile sale back in 2009. Initial analysis indicates that rather than curb the market, the demand has actually increased. I’m tempted to say “told you so”, but that would be churlish. The list goes on…and whilst it may sometimes seem that we are simply plugging a hole in the dam, it’s important to remember that all efforts, no matter how small, do make a difference.

Save the Wild Tiger Forum - Dec 2010. Credit EIA

Save the Wild Tiger Forum - Dec 2010.

Keep an eye out for forthcoming events; following on from the RGS evening in there will be a Gala dinner on the 3rd March at the Mandarin oriental in Knightsbridge.  And following on from the success of the National Geographic film on EIA’s work on the Tiger Campaign, there are three more films in the pipeline.  Watch this space.

So, in signing off and in the words of Mark Twain, “New Year’s Day:  Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.  Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”

Here’s to the year of the Bunnies.

Mary Rice. Credit EIA

Mary Rice

Executive Director