The line between humans and exotic animals had long been breached. And in spite of a regular outcry over the illegal global wildlife trade, the legal trade goes unquestioned and is even clinically sidestepped by the premier conservation organizations. Has COVID-19 been enough for us to learn to change our consuming behaviour? But this question is not only about us as consumers, but also about the industries, businesses and governments desperate to nudge us back into pre-pandemic consumption patterns and business-as-usual. Have they learnt?
Events from the last couple of weeks would suggest not. HowToSpendItEthically.Org offers three example to highlight the scale of the inertia.
While we know that it is wonderful to have beautiful timber in our homes, offices and social spaces, #ExtictionEndsHere must remind us to question architects, interior designers and the homeware businesses we buy from. In May, the Indonesian government made timber export regulations easier, withdrawing the obligation on timber and wood product companies to provide legality assurance documentation with their exports; this was done under the guise of a Covid-19 trade stimulus strategy. This regulation change will make already opaque supply chains even more open to illegal logging and will make access to forests easier for both legal and illegal harvesting of wildlife. The government confirmed timber companies only have to provide legality assurance documentation if customers ask them to do so. Given that too many businesses appear to operate a “don’t ask, don’t tell” system in relation to their suppliers, it is unclear how many businesses will insist on proof of legality.