Conservation & Trade Ethics: Proposals & Advocacies?

David Maxwell
Wed, 02 Jul 2008 20:14:16 PDT
Hi All,

I've been following the recent & on-going discussion on the conservation of
threatened & endangered native plants (bulbs) with respect to seed trade

For better or for worse, I feel indirectly responsible for initiating this
discussion when on June 23rd I posted my experience...sticktly from the
standpoint of a consumer...of buying Chilean Rhodophiala seeds from an
online vendor.

The discussions that have ensued...and the many topics that have
been brought up... are indeed complicated and sometimes difficult to
follow or to completely explore...inpart due to the nature of communicating
this way in writing through emails.

Also, the speed & convenience of using pronouns when writing a forum posting
sometimes makes it difficult to immediately express (or understand) exactly
what (or whom) is being referred to without taking the time to write it out
in full (or go back and re-read earlier communications).

But I do feel that to heighten everyone's knowledge & awareness of these and
other related issues through discussion & contribution is exactly (in part)
what an online forum is for.

That being said, I keep hoping to read a member make a direct proposal or
advocate a particular course of action to address and hopefully remedy a
solution to these problems being discussed (conservation & commercial trade

Purhaps there is a piece of communication that I have missed or have not
understood correctly/fully?

I feel that it is those members most educated, knowledgeable and experienced
in these matters who are in the best position to not only *propose* possible
solutions...but also could and should step into the online line of fire by *
advocating* one.

Otherwise, to my ear, all this fervent discussion starts to sound academic
and hypothetical...and I find myself asking the all-to-familiar question
'...yes, but how?'

Recently (after my Rhodophiala posting) I added the book "Hearst Garden
Guides: Bulbs" [John E. Bryan, Editor] to my collection, and under the
heading "Conservation of Endangered Species" the book proposed and
advocated that consumers purchase bulbs "from dealers who have publicly
pledged to sell only propagated bulbs" and "purchase only those packages of
bulbs that are labeled 'Bulbs grown from cultivated stock.'"

Advocating a boycott by the individual consumer is certainly one valid
soluation in seed (bulb) trade ethics, but in my opinion it doesn't actively
address the source or cause of the problem, or take into consideration the
nature of commerce...or human nature...or the difficulty of Government to
regulate commerce.

If I were to make one general proposal within this limited scope, it would
be that we should focus on somehow putting the burden-of-responsibility
on the respective governments to somehow regulate and/or restrict the
commerce of a threatened or endangered specie of bulb within its established
(and hopefully protected) native habitat.

But what the most efficient & effective way of making/persuading a
government...particularly a foreign take this responsibility
is...I couldn't say.

As for addressing & hopefully illiciting positive change among the myriade
of other contributing factors (i.e. development of native habitats) both in
the U.S. & abroad...I think it all depends on how much each of us is ready,
willing & able to take on.


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