@elephantsofsumatra

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Pramuka Bird Markets

In what seems like endless caves inside a complex of decades old intertwined stalls that rise and fall with the floors of unkept buildings inside the largest bird market of south east Asia., the Pramuka bird markets of Jakarta. Here lies the keeping grounds of 10s of 1000’s of birds ready for a quick sale and a slow death either way. No animal deserves the life and death akin to that of a throwaway plastic toy.
Here is a market that has been operating for more than 40 years. A market that is well known for also trading in protected species. Yet for decades continues to grow. While the last remaining habitats in Sumatra are fighting a losing battle against poaching the very market that contradicts all protection laws and negates the hard work of local and international NGO’s continues to flourish. Despite the epic issue of trading protected species, there are the moral issues. Is this what it comes down to? Is this the solution for our over populated cites and inability to balance sustainable growth from within ethical business? So we throw all moral values out the window to find a quick sale to buy the things we don’t need in order for the economy to grow and sustain our populations. Do we blame it on a lack of education, sure in part. Do we blame it on the lack of responsibility of those in positions of power to change this picture, absolutely. The local people are the only ones that can start the chain reaction for this to change. Making those in power take better responsibility by enforcing the laws that are made to stop exactly this kind of trade. The locals need to find better ways to build more sustainable incomes through better education. Many millions of people would rely on the kind of income that directly results in the destruction of the natural habitat of endangered species and the poaching and selling of all wildlife. This is also a cultural change that needs to start with a new generation from a very early age. Education programs in every province, city and village. Without this kind of change there is no hope.

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