|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||25 Jun 2009|
Our project consists of doing a monitoring on the internet trade in protected species in Ecuador. We will proceed following the “Salamandra” methodology for doing the monitoring research. It consists in taking snapshots of the internet at regular intervals (every 2 months). An inventory of offers of the monitored species is done each time on the same number of selected websites of all main internet services kinds (e.g. e-shops, auction services, advertisement platforms, e-newspapers, discussion forums). Additionally 5 species of different taxonomy groups will be selected to test the effectiveness of the used method. For these species, intensive search will be carried out via internet search engines, in order to find out what percentage share of offers is not detected during the active search of the websites. On this basis, a coefficient will be calculated allowing in form a more precise scale of trade on internet sites in the given country. The legality of detected offers is controlled as well, trying to establish the origin of specimens and the type of possessed documents for some number of randomly selected offers.
The results of our monitoring will help us to asses the problem of the illegal internet trade in protected species in Ecuador. This will provide us with the information that will be used to alert the proper Ecuadorian authorities for them to enforce their law to reduce this growing problem. Our findings will be used to create awareness among the public and media, not only in Ecuador but in all Latin America and to create more consciousness about the CITES. We will be contacting the media in an international level to expose this illegal trade. We will approach the internet trade service providers for them to create measures to help reduce this illicit trade. The printed reports will also be distributed during the CITES CoP15 in Qatar next year to the appropriate authorities and delegates of the governments for them to do a serious enforcement of the law in internet trade of protected species.
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