Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 21 No. 23
Thursday, 07 November 2002
CITES COP-12 HIGHLIGHTS:
WEDNESDAY, 6 NOVEMBER 2002
Delegates met in committees throughout the day.
Committee I continued discussion on the Caribbean hawksbill turtle
dialogue and considered: trade in sea cucumbers, implementation of
the review of significant trade process, scientific basis for
Appendix II export quotas, registration for Appendix I captive
breeding operations, and criteria for Appendices I and II
amendments. Committee II discussed sustainable use of and trade in
CITES species, economic incentives, financing of species
conservation, and review of decisions.
HAWKSBILL TURTLE: The Secretariat outlined
the results of the wider Caribbean Hawksbill Turtle Dialogue
Meetings (Doc.20.2), requesting delegates to endorse the prepared
draft resolution or one of two draft decisions. COSTA RICA stated
its intention to host another dialogue meeting. Delegates, avoiding
a species-specific resolution, endorsed the draft decision prepared
by the Secretariat with minor amendments, including an additional
objective to ensure that any use of the regional population would be
SEA CUCUMBERS: The US presented the working
group’s draft decisions on sea cucumbers in the families
Holothuridae and Stichopodidae, noting that they were
modeled after COP-11 language on seahorses and freshwater turtles.
The decisions call on the Secretariat to convene a technical
workshop, and prepare a discussion paper for COP-13 on biological
and trade status and actions needed to secure conservation status.
JAPAN opposed the proposal, noting uncertainties
regarding the status of sea cucumbers. CHINA favored a study, but,
together with NORWAY and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, noted that it should
be conducted by other organizations. NEW ZEALAND said a workshop
would help resolve uncertainties. Animal Committee Chair Hoogmoed
(the Netherlands) noted that the seahorses and turtles workshops
were based on prior initiatives, and suggested that language on sea
cucumbers be modeled after the swiftlet resolution.
TRADE IN SPECIMENS: The Secretariat presented
the document on implementation of Resolution Conf. 8.9 (Rev.) on
trade in specimens of Appendix II species taken from the wild
(Doc.48.1), stressing the need to simplify and clarify the process
for countries subject to review of significant trade. Debate focused
on the roles of the Standing, Plants and Animals Committees in
determining if a species should be removed from the process.
Delegates agreed to text clarifying that the Secretariat shall, in
consultation with the Chairman of the Standing Committee, notify
Parties on the removal of a species.
APPENDIX II EXPORT QUOTAS: The US introduced
its proposal regarding the scientific basis for export quotas for
Appendix II species (Doc.49). He stressed that only Resolution Conf.
10.2 (Rev.) provides guidance on quota employment. The US, supported
by several others, recommended establishing an Export Quota Working
Group that could continue on an intersessional basis to further
discuss the issue. Expressing concerns regarding financing a new
mechanism, the Secretariat, supported by INDONESIA, ARGENTINA and
JAPAN, preferred to deal with the issue through the Animals and
Plants Committees. TANZANIA opposed the proposal, stressing that it
already had policies and action programmes in place that are based
on scientific advice. Also opposing the proposal, ZIMBABWE,
supported by several African countries, stressed capacity building
at the national level. Chair Morgan requested the US to chair an
informal working group on the issue.
REGISTERING CAPTIVE BREEDING OPERATIONS: The
Secretariat introduced its recommendation to use a single
registration process for plants and captive-bred animals (Doc.55.1),
and illustrated the discrepancies in existing resolutions
(Resolutions Conf. 8.15 and 11.14) on registering captive breeding
The EU and SENEGAL supported the proposal.
Mexico, on behalf of the LIKE-MINDED GROUP OF MEGA-DIVERSE
COUNTRIES, supported by the BAHAMAS, CHILE, CUBA, ANIMAL DEFENDERS,
and THE BORN FREE FOUNDATION, opposed the proposal, outlining,
inter alia, the: differences between plants and animals; lack of
distinction between commercial and non-commercial purposes; and need
for criteria for captive facilities. ISRAEL, MEXICO and the US
offered alternative solutions. Chair Morgan tasked a working group
to formulate a new proposal.
CRITERIA FOR APPENDIX I AND II AMENDMENTS:
The Secretariat introduced the document on criteria for amendment of
Appendices I and II, including five detailed annexes (Doc.58). He
noted that at its 46th meeting, the Standing Committee requested the
Secretariat to prepare a thorough review of criteria for amendment
of Appendices I and II, and that a criteria working group was
formed. He explained that the criteria working group found that the
CITES criteria for Appendix I could be applied objectively, but that
criteria for Appendix II was ambiguous. He expressed the
Secretariat’s belief that CITES should act upon this review’s
outcomes. Chair Morgan announced a substantive discussion for
IMPLEMENTATION: The US reported on the
progress of the working group on implementation issues, explaining
that its draft decisions direct the Standing Committee to: identify
typical categories of difficult technical implementation issues; and
establish a process for the Standing Committee to act as a
clearinghouse that forwards the issues to the appropriate body. The
draft recommendations direct the Animals and Plants Committees to
continue working on scientific implementation issues and to
recommend ways to assist the Standing Committee. The draft will be
distributed on Thursday.
SUSTAINABLE USE: NORWAY introduced its
proposal on sustainable use of and trade in CITES species (Doc.17),
stressing the importance of placing CITES in a sustainable
development context and strengthening cooperation between relevant
conventions. Upon the Secretariat’s view that the proposal is
redundant, he stated the inadequacy of addressing sustainable use in
Resolution Conf. 8.3 on benefits of trade in wildlife, and said that
CITES implementation should be harmonized with the CBD through
guidelines on defining sustainable use. On the "sunset clause" for
automatic review of CITES Appendices, he clarified that it refers to
species not threatened by trade.
JAPAN, CUBA, NAMIBIA, CHINA, the RUSSIAN
FEDERATION, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, GABON and HONDURAS supported the
proposal. CUBA said sustainable use should be integrated in the
CITES decision-making process. CANADA, the US, AUSTRALIA and the
INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE COALITION expressed concerns with the
document’s conceptual application, particularly the "sunset clause."
The US and AUSTRALIA also noted ongoing work on listing criteria.
MALI suggested taking into account decentralization to empower local
communities. A working group, chaired by Norway, was established.
ECONOMIC INCENTIVES: The Secretariat
introduced a document on economic incentives and trade policy
(Doc.18) that aims to: encourage the use of social and economic
incentives at the domestic level; and ensure synergies with relevant
multilateral environment agreements and acceptance of CITES measures
by the WTO. It contains a draft decision recommending a workshop on
the issue and a draft resolution recommending, inter alia:
using economic incentives; removing incentives that are detrimental
to the Convention’s implementation; and avoiding stricter domestic
measures. CHILE, JAPAN, NORWAY and others supported both the draft
resolution and decision. INDIA, the EU, the US and BRAZIL opposed
the draft resolution, stating that the Convention’s Article XIV
allows for stricter domestic measures. Regarding the draft decision,
delegates supported Brazil’s suggestion to recognize Parties
interested in organizing the technical workshop. They also accepted
language inviting Parties to inform the Secretariat of their wish to
be included in the trade-policy review. With these amendments, the
draft decision was approved.
Regarding the draft resolution, delegates also
agreed to include preambular language on the World Summit on
Sustainable Development Plan of Implementation regarding the mutual
supportiveness of trade, environment and development, and deleted
language on avoiding the application of stricter domestic measures.
They agreed to retain language on favoring multilateral
collaboration in the adoption of international incentive measures,
rejecting a proposal by Senegal for deletion. ARGENTINA suggested
reference to ‘positive incentives’ over ‘incentives’, which was
accepted. Delegates then discussed a US suggestion to delete
language on removing perverse economic incentives and on ensuring
acceptance of CITES measures by the WTO. A document containing the
amendments will be distributed on Thursday for consideration.
RESOLUTION REVIEW: The Secretariat introduced
a document on review of resolutions and decisions (Doc.21.2)
containing two lists of decisions: those proposed to be repealed and
those to be transferred to resolutions. He explained that decisions
are meant to be time-bound, while resolutions contain texts of
longer validity. Chair Delahunt (Australia) called delegates to move
through decisions proposed for repeal. Delegates approved deleting
Decisions 11.10 on entry into force of COP resolutions and
decisions, 11.62 on timber identification, 11.63 on the biological
and trade status of harpagophytum and 11.69 on implementation
of the Quito Declaration.
SPECIES CONSERVATION FINANCING: The
Secretariat introduced its document on financing conservation of
species of wild fauna and flora (Doc.19), which provides an overview
of actions taken by the Parties and the Standing Committee to
implement COP-11 decisions related to funding mechanisms for species
conservation. The Secretariat proposed two draft decisions: one
instructing the Secretariat to review existing and innovative
mechanisms for financing species conservation; and another
instructing Parties to provide information on best practices for
financing species conservation, such as trust funds, government
budgetary allocations, user fees, taxes and fines, subsidies,
partnerships, and international donor aid.
The EU, CANADA, and SENEGAL supported the draft
decisions, while JAMAICA, BRAZIL and SAINT LUCIA opposed mandatory
language of the draft decision on provision of information. The
Secretariat suggested substituting "Parties should" to "Parties are
invited to" provide information on best practices. Delegates
accepted the amendment. ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, opposed by the EU and
the Secretariat, proposed inserting the expression "and trade in"
immediately after the word "conservation" throughout the draft, and
proposed deferring decision for further consultation. Chair Delahunt
said Committee II would return to this issue on Friday morning to
address Antigua and Barbudaï¿½s amendment.
SUSTAINABLE USE WORKING GROUP: The working
group, chaired by Norway, discussed, inter alia:
interpretation of sustainable use; the concept of the "sunset
clause"; the proposalï¿½s redundancy; interlinkage between CITES, CBD
and FAO; and preparation of CITES listing criteria. Participants
started drafting decision language, focusing on sustainable
IN THE CORRIDORS
Like many before them, delegates today struggled
with the definition and application of "sustainable use," revealing
differing views. Some delegates expressed a desire for CITES to take
a leadership stand on defining sustainable use, while others
stressed that CITES should focus on conservation and sustainability
in international trade and leave the principle of sustainable use
for more appropriate fora, such as the CBD. Nevertheless, some
delegates felt that now was the time to seize the opportunity to
create specific mechanisms of collaboration with CITES sister
convention. It remains to be seen if the newly established working
group on the issue can resolve differences concerning the largely
contentious interpretation of sustainable use.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
COMMITTEE I: Committee I will meet in
Conference Room 1 at 9:00 am and 2:00 pm to discuss criteria for
amendment of Appendices I and II, conservation of pancake tortoises
and sharks, and proposals to amend Appendices I and II for
lovebirds, bottlenose dolphins and vicuna.
COMMITTEE II: Committee II will meet in
Conference Room 2 at 9:00 am and 2:00 pm to consider results of the
implementation working group; cooperation with other organizations;
review of resolution and decisions; and financing and budgeting.