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How We Ensure a Sustainable Future

Posted by Jeff Burton on 1st Jul 2019

At the Scribe Shack, we are proud to offer wood species from around the world in our products. We also recognize our responsibility to help protect and preserve this natural resource to ensure its availability for future generations. We consult the IUCN Red List and CITES appendices before adding a wood species to our offerings. We do not offer any species near extinction, or heavily export restricted. Additionally, we only deal with licensed importers of wood products who meet all trade restrictions and regulations.

Occasionally, you will see products that are only available to US consumers. The wood species in these products have export restrictions that prevent us from shipping outside the country. If you travel overseas from the US, be aware that these products may be prohibited based on your final destination. You would not want your favorite fountain pen confiscated at customs.

See the wood species we use in our products for more information.

What is CITES?

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. It aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

At the time when the ideas for CITES were first formed, in the 1960s, international discussion of the regulation of wildlife trade for conservation purposes was something relatively new. With hindsight, the need for CITES is clear. Annually, international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and to include hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens. The trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them, including food products, exotic leather goods, wooden musical instruments, timber, tourist curios, and medicines. Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them, together with other factors, such as habitat loss, is capable of depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction. Many wildlife species in trade are not endangered, but the existence of an agreement to ensure the sustainability of the trade is essential to safeguard these resources for the future.

Because the trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders between countries, the effort to regulate it requires international cooperation to safeguard certain species from over-exploitation. CITES was conceived in the spirit of such collaboration. Today, it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.

CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to specific controls. All import, export, re-export, and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering that licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species.

The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need.

  • Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.
  • Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade.

What is The IUCN Red List?

Established in 1964, The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species.

The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. Far more than a list of species and their status, it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for biodiversity conservation and policy change, critical to protecting the natural resources we need to survive. It provides information about the range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.