sviluppo: effetti collaterali

Cari tutti,
uno spunto di riflessione. Riguardo alla questione
sviluppo/popolazione/consumo di risorse, alcuni autori sostengono che
l'aumento di sviluppo e' globalmente positivo  perche' il tasso di
crescita  della popolazione in paesi sviluppati tende a calare.
Dal punto di vista delll' equita' globale la tesi e' condivisibile.
Comunque il consumo pro-capite spesso cresce. In teoria a medio termine
(per essere ottimisti) questi paesi  potrebbero compensare l'aumentata
pressione sulle risorse con una maggiore puo' il mondo
naturale resistere alla pressione generata durante la fase di
transizione (la cui lunghezza e' ignota)?
E' facile aspettarsi un conflitto tra mondo naturale e umani nei casi in
cui un numero di crescente di persone si unisce agli abitanti dei paesi
sviluppati nel consumare, fino all' esaurimento le risorse naturali
L'articolo di seguito riguarda la Cina ed il suo crescente consumo di
specie animali la cui popolazione si assottiglia.

Alessandro Gimona

Wealthy Chinese Eating Wildlife into Extinction

By Hu Pan

BEIJING, China, January 31, 2000 (ENS) - Thrilled by the wider choice of

food that wealth brings, Chinese people are now consuming the country's
beleaguered wildlife at a rapid rate. This trend will be highly evident
they celebrate the New Year with lavish feasts which are certain to
various wildlife specialties.

As the first Chinese New Year of the 21st century approaches on February
many in China have reason to rejoice. Over the last two decades, the
country has enjoyed spectacular economic growth, and many people have
wealthier in a relatively short time.

Yet there are signs that the Chinese may be destroying their fellow
creatures while enjoying their new prosperity.

A recent survey conducted in the city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province
revealed that 95 percent of the city's inhabitants have eaten some form
wildlife. More than 50 percent of those polled said they believe that
eating wildlife food is healthy.

Shenzhen's Wildlife Administration discovered that 40 different species
wildlife are currently being offered in restaurants and hotels. Most
restaurants, supermarkets, and farmers' markets sell wildlife as food.

Perhaps the most popular wildlife food in Shenzhen now is the snake. The

market price for poisonous snakes has risen to over 100 yuan per
Non-poisonous snakes command over 50 yuan per kilogram.

Wild boars and civet cats are also consumed on a large scale.

Of the different types of wildlife that are eaten, some supposedly enjoy

strict government protection - large pythons, pangolins, many species of

rare birds.

For millions of people throughout China but most notably in the South,
eating wild animals has become a way of life. In Guangdong province's
Nankun Mountains, numerous wildlife restaurants thrive despite the fact
that the region is designated as a conservation sector. Every day
restaurant workers kill many wild animals, and no one acts to stop them.

Wild macaques, owls, pangolins, and giant lizards are among the many
different animals that are eaten. Captured macaques are killed in
ways. First the restaurant employees stuff a macaque in a bag and place
bag in water until the animal loses consciousness. Next they take the
macaque out and pour boiling water on its body, before starting to pull
its body hair. Another man who owns a restaurant says that he actually
shows his customers how live giant lizards are killed.

In metropolitan Shanghai, too, a lot of wildlife food is consumed by
customers. As Shanghai has developed economically, the appetites of its
inhabitants have expanded. Historically, Shanghai residents have never
eaten much snake, but now they consume more than 1,000 tons of snakes
year, according to a study conducted by the city's Wildlife Association
Huadong Normal University.

Over the past two years, birds as well as toads and frogs have been
en masse in the Shanghai area. The same study by the Wildlife
and Huadong Normal University found that 50-plus tons of frogs are eaten

each year.

Highly endangered species, such as the Tibetan antelope, called the
have started to appear on Shanghai restaurant menus. The Tibetan
is famous as the source of the luxurious shahtoosh ring shawls. It has
recently been recognized as a species requiring extensive protection

In Nanning, Guangxi province, directly west of Guangdong, the soft-shell

sea turtle is bearing the brunt of the assault on wildlife. Depressed by

the slaughter of these turtles, Shu Yuyan of Guangxi Medical School says

they have been captured for many years because their blue-colored blood
a good poison indicator. In the past many scientists had extracted their

blood in such ways so as to not kill them. They are not known to be
particularly delicious, but in China they are regarded as healthy to
Each year now they are captured by the tens of thousands to be shipped
restaurants all over the country, and their numbers are rapidly

Apart from the soft-shell sea turtle, virtually all the wildlife in the
Nanning area is now gone. The human destruction of wildlife here started

long ago.

On Nanning's Hunan Road, many restaurants have signs that assure
prospective customers that the animals they offer are indeed captured
the wild. The restaurants serve peacock, wild swan, snake, turtle,
alligator, pangolin, civet cat, and monkey. Many restaurants take
to see their live animal storage cages to pick which animals they would
like to have. In all, there are roughly 200 restaurants in Nanning
wildlife food.

Wildlife statistics for Guangxi show that every year in the province
of thousands of pangolins are eaten although they are supposedly

Guangxi eats more primates than any other province in China, in both
and number. These primates are on the whole helpless to avoid capture.

Many rare birds in Guangxi are already extinct.

Because the practice is so popular, the Chinese government has found it
difficult to effectively limit wildlife consumption, but efforts are
underway as the government has become increasingly conscious of the
human consumption of wildlife.

In December 1999, Guangdong's provincial government published a list of
nine birds that are legal to eat.

On January 16, the national government launched the "South Number Two
Action," a coordinated campaign to protect wildlife in the provinces of
Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, and Fujian. This is the second major
of its kind in the history of the People's Republic, coming after the
Xil Number One Action" in April 1999 that cracked down on Tibetan

Some Chinese NGOs and citizens are also trying to modify the desire to
consume wild animals and birds. In December of 1999, Shanghai's Wildlife

Protection Association publicized a proposal, "Say no to eating
This was a rare condemnation of a practice that is so widely accepted.
in Shanghai last year, thousands of students signed a petition demanding
end to the eating of wild animals.

Environment News Service (ENS) 2000. All Rights Reserved.