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The contribution of the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) to the conservation of African rhino over the past 40 years has been ineffective. Its trade ban has been a failure but there has been little attention paid to changing strategy. There is no indication that Cites will be of any value to rhino in the future. The continental picture is that Cites has been of little net value to African wildlife. Again, there is no indication that the future will be any different. Cites is an anachronism that lives and grows without being very effective and yet it is supported by national environmental agencies. Why? Perhaps because it is established and countries like to belong to a large international organisation that appears to have some purpose. Also, all the rules and permits give bureaucrats more power and they like that. Significantly, it provides the bureaucrats with frequent and luxurious travel opportunities, at the expense of the taxpayer. Donor agencies...

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