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High time we protected our species

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It has been generally believed that economic recovery brings benefits to society as this generates higher Gross Domestic Product. While people earn a better living, such economic boom poses an undesirable threat to the endangered species in the country. Like in China, there is fuelling demand for endangered species after the economic boom.

Endangered species include organisms that are at risk of becoming extinct because it is declining in number, threatened by changing environment, or even come under the threat of predators. Needless to say, these species are of great value and should definitely be put under the protection of local government.

Deplorably, in mainland China, growing affluence of the country implies that more Chinese people can afford exotic food like snakes, frogs, or buy traditional medicines, i.e. tiger bone wine. They could gain access to these expensive foods after the rapid development of the country. Worse still, much of the forests in Africa disappeared because of the large demand of Chinese people who turn the imports of timber from Africa into exports sold to European or American countries illegally. This, together with illegal wildlife smuggling, must be stopped as soon as possible.

It is of paramount importance for us to protect the endangered and threatened species in the world. Otherwise, we put ourselves in an undesirable situation: one day we may walk in the woods without birds singing in the trees and field without wildflowers blooming in the grass. Not only do the plant species beautify our place, but all living species, including we human beings, depend on other species for survival.


By studying species, we learn innovative ways of growing foods, making clothing or even building houses. What’s more, scientists have discovered certain ways of turning plants and animals into sources of medicines. Therefore, we are obliged to protect these precious species by working hand in hand with the government or international organizations.

The signing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973 is a great step to accomplish the goal of safeguarding the invaluable species. CITES regulates the import and export of endangered species through a permit system which ensures that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not intimidate their survival. This agreement is effective since its license system stops any kind of trading that has the potential of harming the species.

Nonetheless, many nations around the world have laws offering protection to the endangered plant and animal species. For instance, there are regulations forbidding hunting, restricting land development or creating preserves in the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition to the government’s effort in protecting the species legally, it is also our responsibility to collaborate and reverse the wrong economic value that gaining money by selling the endangered species is a justified act.

Through careful science, international conservation and education, mistaken attitudes toward nature can be modified and people would be able to realize the importance of having wildlife and humans living in sustainable interaction on both a local and a global scale. With collective endeavour, I am sure the problem of declining endangered plant and animal species would be solved in the not so distant future.



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