Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 21 No. 24
Friday, 08 November 2002
CITES COP-12 HIGHLIGHTS:
THURSDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2002
Delegates met throughout the day in committees.
Committee I discussed criteria for amendment of Appendices I and II,
conservation of and trade in pancake tortoises, transport of live
animals, and amendments to the Appendices. Committee II discussed
cooperation with other organizations, budget issues, and review of
resolutions and decisions.
CRITERIA FOR APPENDIX I AND II AMENDMENTS:
Delegates continued discussion on criteria for amendment of
Appendices I and II (Doc.58), with many opposing the proposed
revision of Resolution Conf. 9.24. Ecuador, on behalf of CENTRAL AND
SOUTH AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN, JAPAN and ARGENTINA expressed
concern that not all comments made by Parties were reflected in the
proposed revision. The INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE COALITION and
DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE stressed that Parties’ confidence in the
proposed revision must be ensured. An informal working group was
established to resolve the issue.
PANCAKE TORTOISES: KENYA presented its draft
decisions for enhancing conservation of and trade in
Malacochersus Tornieri, requesting the Animals Committee to:
review the biology, genetic variability, conservation status and
distribution of wild populations; assess current production systems;
and consider appropriate identification and marking systems.
TANZANIA, UGANDA, the EU, JAPAN, the US and the Secretariat
supported the proposal. Animals Committee Chair Hoogmoed noted that
initiatives within the proposal had already been carried out.
Delegates endorsed the proposal.
TRANSPORT OF LIVE ANIMALS: The Secretariat
presented a draft decision, developed as a follow-up to Tuesday’s
discussion. The proposal requests the Secretariat to liaise with
IATA and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums to conclude a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to: strengthen further
collaboration; improve live animal transport; establish a training
programme; and facilitate information exchange. Delegates accepted
the proposal, following an amendment adding that the Secretariat
will consult with the Animals Committee in concluding the MOU.
PROPOSALS TO AMEND APPENDICES I AND II:
Annotation 607: SWITZERLAND presented its proposal to amend
Annotation 607 (Prop.12.1) to read that synthetically derived DNA,
urine and feces, synthetically produced medicines and other
pharmaceuticals, and fossils would not be subject to CITES
provisions. He added that this proposal would apply to all CITES
species. The Secretariat explained that the proposal was based on,
but its scope not limited, to corals. The BAHAMAS, and others raised
concerns about expanding the proposal’s scope. MEXICO, supported by
CHINA, PERU, BOLIVIA and BRAZIL, opposed the proposal, highlighting:
outcomes of CBD COP-6 and the WSSD on safeguarding genetic
resources; potential biopiracy, and complications with monitoring
DNA origins. The EU expressed support for the proposal if reference
to synthetically produced medicines and other pharmaceuticals was
modified by "produced from in vitro cultivated cells, "rather
than those "that do not contain any part of the originial genetic
material." In light of procedural issues, SWITZERLAND agreed to
withdraw the proposal.
Color Morphs: SWITZERLAND proposed that
captive-bred color morphs be considered as domesticated forms and
not be subjected to provisions of the Convention (Prop.12.2).
Delegates, including HUNGARY, NEW ZEALAND, INDIA, and ZIMBABWE,
opposed, stressing need for clear identification material and
cautioning against false color morphs. SAUDI ARABIA, CHILE, PERU and
MEXICO cited difficulties in implementing control measures. The
INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE COALITION suggested micro-chipping.
SWITZERLAND explained that the proposal targets large shipments of
captive-bred birds not produced from countries of origin. Chair
Morgan tasked Switzerland to prepare a revised proposal for
consideration on Friday.
Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphin: GEORGIA
introduced its proposal to transfer the Tursiops truncatus ponticus
from Appendix II to Appendix I , emphasizing that the species has
been threatened by trade, and suffers from fishery activities and
pollution. Supporting the proposal, MONACO and HUNGARY stressed
negative trade impacts, while QATAR and the WHALE AND DOLPHIN
CONSERVATION SOCIETY noted the impact of pollution and population
reduction. INDIA noted the impact of fishery activities, and ISRAEL
and the US stated that Black Sea bottlenose dolphins should be
considered a distinct species. Animals Committee Chair Hoogmoed
expressed doubts on the species’ distinctiveness. Opposing the
proposal, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION stated lack of scientific data.
CUBA, NORWAY and JAPAN said that trade was not the main threat, and
CANADA and UKRAINE noted that it did not fit Appendix I criteria.
With 40 votes in favor, 31 against and 39 abstentions, the proposal
failed to obtain the required two-thirds majority.
Vicuña: ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA and CHILE
presented proposals (Prop.12.12, 12.13 and 12.14 respectively) to
transfer their populations of Vicugna vicugna from Appendix I
to Appendix II in order to allow trade in products made from wool
sheared from live animals. Delegates expressed unanimous support.
TRAFFIC, COMITÉ NACIONAL PRO DEFENSA DE LA FAUNA Y FLORA and FAUNA
AUSTRALIS stressed protecting wild species and cautioned against
promoting captive breeding for economic purposes. All proposals
concerning vicuña were adopted.
Rhea: CHILE proposed to transfer its
population of Rhea pennata pennata from Appendix I to II,
noting a similar proposal by Argentina adopted at COP-11. The EU
stressed management plans and release of wild species and, with
SWITZERLAND, questioned how parts and derivatives will be
distinguished from wild forms during trade. CHILE outlined its
registry system and the Committee accepted the proposal.
COOPERATION WITH THE IWC: MEXICO introduced
its proposal on cooperation between CITES and the International
Whaling Commission (Doc.16.4), and suggested that discussions on the
issue be carried out after considering the Japanese proposals on
downlisting two whale species. The Committee decided to defer
discussion until the following Tuesday.
COOPERATION WITH THE INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION ON
SEA TURTLES: ECUADOR introduced its proposal on cooperation with
the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of
Sea Turtles (Doc.16.3) that entered into force in 2001. He outlined
amendments to the draft resolution that request the Inter-American
Convention to consider amendments to CITES Appendices and invite its
Secretariat to participate in CITES meetings. ISRAEL, the EU,
MEXICO, the US, CUBA and COSTA RICA supported the amended draft
resolution. The EU suggested adding preambular language on
cooperation with the Convention of Migratory Species. JAPAN opposed
the proposal, noting that the Inter-American Convention does not
embody the concept of sustainable utilization. CUBA noted that a
resolution is not required for establishing cooperation. ANTIGUA AND
BARBUDA proposed, and delegates agreed, to halt any further
consideration of this issue.
DECISIONS REVIEW: Delegates considered, and
approved without discussion, decisions that were proposed to be
transferred to resolutions (Doc.21.2, Annex 2). Delegates also
approved the recommendation calling on the Secretariat to update the
list of decisions that remain in effect.
ANIMALS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS: The
Committee considered recommendations to repeal COP decisions
contained in the Animals Committee report (Doc.10.1), including:
Decision 11.92 on Musk deer; 11.93 and 11.95 on tortoise and
freshwater turtles and Acipenseriformes; 11.96 on conservation of
sturgeon and paddlefish; 11.103 to 11.105 on trade in time-sensitive
research samples; 11.98 and 11.99 on trade in hard corals; 11.91 on
Black Sea bottlenose dolphin; and 11.97 on trade in seahorses and
other members of the family Syngnathidae. ISRAEL opposed
repealing the decision on Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, and the EU
requested consultation with the Animals Committee Chair before
deciding on the issue.
PLANTS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS: Plants
Committee Chair Clemente outlined decisions that should be repealed,
as recommended in the Plants Committee report (Doc.10.2). She noted
that the report suggests retaining Decisions 11.114 on Guaiacum
spp., 11.115 on trade in alien species and 11.118 on annotations
for medicinal plants in the Appendices. Committee II approved the
above recommendations and deferred discussion on the Plants
Committee’s substantive recommendations.
BUDGET: The Secretariat introduced the budget
for 2003-2005 (Doc.9.1(Rev.1)), including its four Annexes on:
budget estimates for the triennium 2003-2005; budget estimates for
the triennium 2003-2005 as compared to the 2000-2002 approved budget
and expenditures; CITES Trust Fund; and zero growth options in
Parties’ contributions. He noted that the draft budget represents a
15% cost reduction compared to the 2000-2002 budget, but that it
still requires a 12% increase in Parties’ contributions to cover
estimated expenses. The Secretariat recommended enabling the
Secretary-General to make transfers from one budget item to another
at a maximum 20% of the annual amount; using US dollars for budget
estimates; and changing the two- and three-year budget periods to a
three-year period, with the discontinuation of medium-term budgets.
Delegates agreed to the proposed currency change
and to enable the CITES Secretary-General to make budget item
transfers. Chair Stansell suggested, and Parties agreed, to invite
the Standing Committee to present a recommendation on the triennium
budget process at COP-13.
DENMARK, NORWAY, TANZANIA, the UK and SOUTH
AFRICA supported the proposed 12% increase in Parties’
contributions, while JAPAN, SWITZERLAND, MEXICO, CANADA and FRANCE
opposed. Delegates also discussed options for cost reduction,
including: halting providing printed pre-session COP documents;
organizing only web-based training courses; and convening Animals
and Plants Committees simultaneously. A budget working group,
chaired by Canada, was established to pursue broader budget options.
RESOLUTION REVIEW: Regarding revision of
resolutions (Doc.21.1.2), delegates decided to establish a working
group, chaired by Mexico, to discuss the revision of Resolution
Conf. 10.2 on permits and certificates. The Secretariat introduced
its proposals on resolutions to be repealed (Doc.21.1.1). The US,
supported by others, called for maintaining and amending Resolution
Conf. 10.4 on cooperation with the CBD. MEXICO and BRAZIL called for
maintaining Resolution Conf. 1.3 on deleting species from Appendices
II or III in certain circumstances. Delegates will continue
WORKING GROUPS: Export Quotas: The export
quota working group met in an evening session to examine the need
for an intersessional working group.
Budget: The budget group met to discuss cost
reduction options and Partiesï¿½ contributions.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The corridors were abuzz with action following
the start of voting on amendments to the Appendices. Although the
outcomes are not final, the voting pattern on several species is a
strong indication of what might come. Some delegates expressed
disappointment that the Black Sea bottlenose dolphins didnï¿½t get the
votes it needed to be uplisted from Appendix II to I, but others
were not surprised considering the strong lobby against listing
marine species. Several delegates feared that proposals on other
marine species may fail for the same reason, but still expressed
hope that the trend can be reversed by the time the votes come up
again in Plenary.
Meanwhile, reaction to the introduction of the
budget for 2003-2005 was mixed. Some delegates expressed
appreciation for the Secretariatï¿½s efforts in providing options for
reducing costs, while others, not fully satisfied, preferred
considering alternative proposals.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
COMMITTEE I: Committee I will meet at 9:00 am
and 2:00 pm in Conference Room 1 to further consider amendments to
the Appendices, including, inter alia, the minke and brydeï¿½s
COMMITTEE II: Committee II will meet at 9:00
am and 2:00 pm in Conference Room 2 to consider positive economic
incentives and trade policy, cooperation with FAO, exports of vicuï¿½a
wool and cloth, compliance, enforcement matters, and national laws
PLENARY: Plenary will meet at 4:00 pm in
Conference Room 1 to discuss changes to committee structure and to
attend an award ceremony.