Petition to remove Singapore consultant from UN convention

Marine conservation group Sea Shepherd has called for the removal of Singaporean wildlife consultant Dr Giam Choo-Hoo from a United Nations (UN) convention that regulates endangered-species trade, reported The Straits Times on Monday.

Dr Giam represents Asia on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) Animal Committee, which provides scientific evaluation of the threats that species face.

A petition to remove him has garnered more than 6,000 signatures from all over the world as well as 24 other NGOs.

It will be submitted to Cites and Singapore's Ministry of National Development, which oversees the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, Singapore's Cites authority.

Sea Shepherd accused Dr Giam of being a representative of the shark-fin industry, which they say is driving the species into extinction.

The NGO said this was a conflict of interest and asked Cites to introduce conflict-of-interest provisos just as other UN bodies such as the World Health Organisation and Food & Agriculture Organisation have done, said The Straits Times.

Dr Giam is responsible for the drafting and implementation of Singapore's Cites Law. He wa elected to the Animal Committee in 1993 and was previously leader of Singapore's Cites delegation from 1986 to 1995. He was also the Chief Veterinary Officer of Singapore.

klim@sph.com.sg

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