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According to the reports released by WWF-HK, the government has not done enough to ensure that endangered species are protected. The engagement of intermediaries in trading some of the body parts is because of the huge profit margins. The organization therefore feels that the law should be amended to provide harsh penalties for the culprits.
The law enforcers on their part should be keen in implementing the policies by not providing any loopholes that might facilitate further threat to the species. The organization further thinks that the government should go a notch high to forming an independent oversight task force to be in charge of environmental conservation (Dee Martin Lowther 5). The report further states that the courts should provide severe sentences to the culprits.
Hong Kong acts as a hub for illegal trade such as trade in rhino horns that passes through Hong Kong on their way to other parts of the world. This is attributed to the authorities’ reluctance in forming formidable policies and applying them appropriately. Criminals receive lesser penalties as compared to penalties resulting from other incidences such as drug trafficking.
On the other part, the public image towards the organization is not cordial; the public feels the organization is ineffective while others feel it exists to interfere with their ways of living by acting as a stamping block to illegal trade. The political class is not keen to support the organization due to conflicting interests.
The political class feels that it is their mandate to conserve the environment but in the real sense, they do not have the expertise to do so. Some of them do not support the bills that are crucial in providing the charter for environmental conservation. This kind of mentality from both the political class and the society has made it difficult for worldwide fund to bring its policies into operation (Mahony 61).
The organization is doing all that it can to incorporate other institutions both in public and private sectors in its mission. It does this by joining hands with government and private companies in distribution of aid to schools and other community organizations such as children homes and disabled centers.
By doing this, it sells its agenda to the public; the public is familiarized about the functions and responsibilities of the organization. The organization is also doing a lot in setting up the curriculum in schools, students can study courses related to the environment. It is offering scholarships to individuals willing to pursue environmental courses in institutions of high learning (Ho 106).
Through the organization’s efforts, the public has been influenced positively hence realizing the importance of environmental conservation. People have started taking responsibilities as far as conservation of the environment is concerned. Many community-based organizations (CBOs) have formed with the aim of conserving the environment (Associated Press 21).
The CBOs support the WWF HK politically and socially. They lobby for the community to accept that without conservation of environment, the whole community will not be able to sustain itself in future. The community-based organizations therefore serve to provide mass awareness, is an important aspect of any program.
Without understanding the program, it becomes difficult for both the implementers and the beneficiaries of the policy to cope with it (Highley 55).
Market/ Competitors Relation
The organization pursues antagonistic interests with other organizations and government bodies. The encroachment of the wetlands by competitors interested in economic activities has led to strains in environmental conservation. One of immediate threats is from the railway industry the railway passes through the major conservancy units that causes pollution to the environment. (Lee Gaski 40).
The government proves to be problematic when handling issues that are of both national and international interests. The government favors policies that serve to strengthen national integration (Jones 98). Worldwide fund Hong Kong is viewed as a threat to the government since it exposes the weaknesses of the government as far as environmental conservation is concerned.
The government tends to support other organizations that are friendly to it that is, those that support the achievements of government. The private developers are also posing a threat since they collude with state agencies to claim some of the land reserved for conservancy (Yiu 18).
The organization does not have representatives in government who can lobby for its interests. The support it receives from government is too little; it does not give the organization free political space to influence the public to conserve the environment.
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The emergence of other environmental organizations especially those with all encompassing agendas with political support have made the operations of WWF HK difficult. The emergence of these small environmental, politically oriented organizations has led to strains in operations of WWF HK (Earthtrust 18).
In 1983, the government appointed WWF to be in charge of managing the environment but it is decreasing its funding due to hard economic times. Since its appointment as the organization in charge of the Maipo reserve, the WWF contributes in excess of $3 million for the maintenance of the reserve.
Having noted inner Deep Bay in 1995 considered the Wetland of International importance, the management costs of the organization have increased. The new programs are vital for preservation of migratory birds each year hence the annual HK$ 1.4 million from Agriculture, Fisheries and conservation department is inadequate.
For instance in 2009/2010 fiscal year, the government contributed only 22% of the required HK$ 6.6 million budget. The CEO, Bena Smith estimated that the scale of Mai Po Reserve was increasing hence there is need to increase the biodiversity hotspot of the park. Without urgent measures, there will be deterioration of wetland habitats and a fall in wildlife.
The organization is doing all it can to raise funds through other sources such as organizing bird race but the major focus is on government to provide enough funding since other sources are unreliable. It is observed that introduction of Wetlands program reduced government funding since it was felt that it aimed at contradicting other interests (WildNet Africa 7).
Comparison of WWF-HK Maipo reserve and government Wetland Park
The Hong Kong government assigned the WWF the management of Maipo reserve in 1983. Since then, the WWF-HK has had the responsibility of managing the reserve while subsidizing the government management fund in the reserve by an excess of $3 million.
In spite of the duties of WWF-HK to maintain the reserve, responsibilities have increased leading to increase in required maintenance costs for the reserve hence inadequate funds. The inadequacies realized in the funding led to the WWF holding a fundraising to raise enough funds to supplement what the WWF-HK was providing for the reserve (WWF-HK 1).
According to WWF-HK, the inadequacies in the funding of the reserve were realized when the WWF-HK was assigned to manage the reserve with the government reducing its funding for the reserve compared to other government supported parks such as the wetland park (2).
However, the increase in the required responsibilities require that there are more funds for the reserve. The aim of the WWF-HK is to raise the status of Maipo reserve to other reserves that receive government funding by about $6 million per annum.
Associated Press, “11,000 Species Face Extinction.” South China Morning Post, 2002.
Dee, Cook, Martin Roberts, and Lowther Jason. The International Wildlife Trade and Organized Crime: A review of the evidence and the role of the UK, Regional Research Institute, University of Wolverhampton. 2002.
Earthtrust, Saving Whales with DNA: A Global Strategy for Whale and Dolphin Conservation. 2010. Web.
Highley, Highley. Bear Farming Trade in China and Taiwan, 2010. Web.
Ho, Amy. “The organizational and Political resources of Environmental pressure groups in Hong kong.” Asian Journal of Public Administration, 12.1 2001: 101-118
Jones, Rob. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, (CITES) and Trade in Wildlife in East Asia Region, 6.2 HKELA Newsletter Special Edition, 2001.
Lee, Hoover, and Gaski Mills. A World Apart? Attitudes Towards Traditional Chinese Medicine and Endangered Species in Hong Kong and the United States, TRAFFIC East Asia, TRAFFIC North America
Mahony, Dianne. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna: Addressing Problems in Global Wildlife Enforcement, 13. Neweng. Int’l & comp. L. ANN. 1997.
Tracy, Alexandria, and Cheung Adam. SRI in Asian Markets. 2004. Web.
WildNet Africa, “Wildlife Trade Becomes a Matter of Attitude.” News Archive, Nov. 23, 1998.
WWF-HK, WWF-Hong Kong Annual Review, 2010. Web.
Yiu, Keung. Protection of Endangered Species in Hong Kong, 6.2 HKELA Newsletter Special. 2001.