Vol. 21 No. 61
SUMMARY OF THE FOURTEENTH CONFERENCE OF THE
PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL
TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA
The fourteenth Conference of the Parties (CoP14) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened from 3-15 June 2007, in The Hague, the Netherlands. Drawing together 1250 participants representing 151 governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations (IGOs and NGOs), the meeting considered 70 agenda items and 37 proposals to amend the CITES appendices.
CoP14 adopted resolutions, and decisions directed to parties, the Secretariat and Convention bodies, on a wide range of topics including: the CITES Strategic Vision 2008-2013; a guide to compliance with the Convention; management of annual export quotas; and species trade and conservation issues, including Asian big cats, sharks and sturgeons. Delegates agreed that no cetacean species should be subject to periodic review while the International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium is in place. Regarding species listings, CoP14 decided to list: slender-horned and Cuvier’s gazelles and slow loris on Appendix I; Brazil wood, sawfish and eel on Appendix II; and to amend the annotation on African elephants to allow a one-off sale of ivory from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe with a nine-year resting period for further ivory trade.
The inaugural Ministerial Roundtable took place on Wednesday, 13 June, and focused on, inter alia, enforcement matters, commercially-exploited timber and marine species, and mainstreaming the Convention into the broader sustainable development agenda.
CITES CoP14 will be remembered as the meeting that chartered the Convention’s future by achieving a hard-won consensus on the Strategic Vision setting out three strategic goals on compliance and enforcement, securing financial resources, and CITES’ role in the broader international environment agenda. Also of note, CoP14’s rejection of eight out of 11 proposals to list timber and fishery species provides a snapshot of what some delegates assessed as an “ebbing of the tide” from previous CoPs. While important decisions were made for tiger and sturgeon conservation, the media spotlight was no doubt on negotiations on the future of ivory trade and African elephant conservation, with many highlighting the consensus by African range states as a major achievement of this meeting.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CITES
CITES was established as a response to growing concerns that over-exploitation of wildlife through international trade was contributing to the rapid decline of many species of plants and animals around the world. The Convention was signed by representatives from 80 countries in Washington, DC, United States, on 3 March 1973, and entered into force on 1 July 1975. There are currently 172 parties to the Convention.
The aim of CITES is to ensure that international trade of wild animal and plant species does not threaten their survival. CITES parties regulate wildlife trade through controls and regulations on species listed in three appendices. Appendix I lists species endangered due to international trade, permitting such trade only in exceptional circumstances. Appendix-II species are those that may become endangered if their trade is not regulated, thus they require controls aimed at preventing unsustainable use, maintaining ecosystems and preventing species from entering Appendix I. Appendix-III species are those subject to domestic regulation by a party requesting the cooperation of other parties to control international trade in that species.
In order to list a species in Appendix I or II, a party needs to submit a proposal for approval by the CoP, supported by scientific and biological data on population and trade trends. The proposal must be adopted by a two-thirds majority of parties present and voting. As the trade impact on a species increases or decreases, the CoP decides whether or not the species should be transferred or removed from the appendices.
There are approximately 5,000 fauna species and 28,000 flora species protected under the three CITES appendices. Parties regulate international trade of CITES species through a system of permits and certificates that are required before specimens listed in its appendices are imported, exported or introduced from the sea. Each party is required to adopt national legislation and to designate two national authorities, namely, a Management Authority responsible for issuing these permits and certificates based on the advice of the second national body, the Scientific Authority. These two national authorities also assist with CITES enforcement through cooperation with customs, police and other appropriate agencies. Parties maintain trade records that are forwarded annually to the CITES Secretariat, thus enabling the compilation of statistical information on the global volume of international trade in appendix-listed species.
The operational bodies of CITES include the Standing Committee (SC) and two scientific committees: the Plants Committee (PC) and the Animals Committee (AC).
CONFERENCES OF THE PARTIES: The first CoP was held in Bern, Switzerland, in November 1976, and subsequent CoPs have been held every two to three years. The CoP meets to, inter alia: review progress in the conservation of species included in the appendices; discuss and adopt proposals to amend the lists of species in Appendices I and II; consider recommendations and proposals from parties, the Secretariat, the SC and the scientific committees; and recommend measures to improve the effectiveness of the Convention and related to the functioning of the Secretariat. The CoP also periodically reviews the list of resolutions and decisions, as well as the species listed in its appendices.
CITES CoP13: CoP13 met in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2-14 October 2004. Delegates addressed a range of topics, including 50 proposals to amend the CITES appendices. CoP13 approved the listing of ramin, agarwood, the great white shark and the humphead wrasse in Appendix II, as well as the uplisting of the irrawaddy dolphin from Appendix II to I. Regarding the African elephant, Namibia saw its request for an annual ivory quota rejected, but was allowed to proceed with a strictly-controlled sale of traditional ivory carvings. Delegates also agreed on an action plan to crack down on unregulated domestic ivory markets. Namibia and South Africa were allowed an annual quota of five black rhinos each for trophy hunting, and Swaziland was also allowed to open up strictly controlled hunting of white rhinos. Other decisions focused on synergies with the FAO and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), while enforcement issues received considerable attention.
On Sunday, 3 June 2007, CITES CoP14 participants were welcomed by Gerda Verburg, Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Netherlands, who highlighted the inaugural Ministerial Roundtable as an opportunity to strengthen the authority of CITES and discuss its role with regard to economically-valuable resources such as fisheries and timber. Rabin Baldewsingh, Deputy Mayor of The Hague, highlighted the city’s importance as an international center of peace, justice and security.
Opening statements by Shafqat Kakakhel, Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and Amb. Cristian Maquieira, SC Chair (Chile) stressed the need to call on governments and the private sector to give CITES the full backing and resources needed to make its mission and new strategic vision a success, noting that the strategic vision will place the Convention within the wider framework of global environmental developments.
Willem Wijnstekers, CITES Secretary-General, stressed the adaptability of CITES, noting that the Convention has learned to balance conservation and sustainable use and highlighted the need for adequate resources to allow for CITES’ expansion into new policy areas.
On Monday morning, 4 June 2007, the opening plenary session convened and delegates adopted the Rules of Procedure for CoP14 including proposed amendments (CoP14 Doc.1 (Rev.1)) relating to, inter alia, electronic voting and the appointment of an alternate President.
Delegates were then invited to nominate the officers for CoP14. Minister Verburg was elected President of CoP14 and André van der Zande, Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Netherlands, as alternate President. Vice-Presidents, proposed by each region and elected by CoP14, were: Marshall Jones (US); Marcel Calvar (Uruguay); Greg Leach (Australia, Chair of Committee I); and Chi Sun Cheung (Hong Kong SAR, China, Chair of Committee II).
CoP14 President Verburg noted that species conservation must go hand-in-hand with the improvement of livelihoods in order to achieve the goals of halting biodiversity loss and eradicating poverty. Youth representatives then addressed the Conference, voicing their concern about the illegal poaching of elephants and urging CoP14 to implement a ban on ivory trade.
Delegates adopted CoP14’s agenda and working programme (CoP14 Doc.3 (Rev.1) and CoP14 Doc.4) as well as the list of observers (CoP14 Doc.6), which included 18 IGOs and 147 NGOs, and noted that agenda items not covered by SC55 would be taken up at SC56 immediately following CoP14 on the evening of 15 June 2007.
New officers for CITES Committees were elected on Thursday and Friday, 14-15 June, in plenary. New members elected for the SC are: for Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with Mali as alternate; for Asia, Iran, with Kuwait as alternate; for Central and South America and the Caribbean, Costa Rica, with Guatemala as alternate; for Europe, UK and Bulgaria, with Norway, Italy and the Czech Republic as alternates; and for North America, Canada, with Mexico as alternate.
New AC members elected are: for Africa, Khaled Zahzah (Tunisia); for Asia, Mohammed Reza Pourkazemi (Iran), with Nobuo Ishii (Japan) as alternate; for Central and South America and the Caribbean, Marcel Calvar (Uruguay) and Jose Alberto Alvarez (Cuba), with Nereyda Estrada (Honduras) and Alvaro Velazco (Venezuela) as alternates; for Europe, Thomas Althaus (Switzerland) and Carlos Ibero Solana (Spain), with Colman O’Criodain (Ireland) and Radu Suciu (Romania) as alternates; and for North America, Rosemary Gnam (US) as alternate.
New PC members elected are: for Asia, Tukirin Partomihardjo (Indonesia), with Mohd Yunus Zaharia (Malaysia) as alternate; for Central and South America and the Caribbean, Mariana Mites (Ecuador), with Adriana Rivera (Colombia) and Melquiades Mejia (Dominican Republic), as alternates; for Europe, Maurizio Sajeva (Italy), with Jonas Lüthy (Switzerland) as alternate; and for Oceania, Greg Leach (Australia), with Osia Gideon (Papua New Guinea) as alternate.
The following report summarizes the issues addressed by CoP14 following the respective agenda items, and including sections on sharks and elephants that compile all decisions related to these species.
FINANCING AND BUDGET: Finance and budget issues were considered from Tuesday, 5 June to Wednesday, 13 June, in Committee II, and in a budget working group chaired by Colman O’Criodain (Ireland). Plenary considered the increase in the budget on Thursday and Friday, 14-15 June, establishing a Friends of the Chair group, which met Thursday night. A 6% nominal increase in the budget was finally adopted on Friday, 15 June.
Committee II considered and adopted the 2004-2006 financial reports (CoP14 Doc.7.1 (Rev.1)) and estimated expenditures for 2007 (CoP14 Doc.7.2 (Rev.1)). Secretary-General Wijnstekers introduced the budget for the next triennium in its new format as a costed work programme (CoP14 Doc.7.3 (Rev.1)). He clarified that the document presents all activities as fully funded through the core Trust Fund, stressing that parties may decide to prioritize activities by making some activities, or elements of them, conditional upon voluntary or external sources of funding. The European Union (EU) noted that most activities should be funded from the core Trust Fund. Others highlighted the need to closely link the work of the strategic vision and budget working groups and that developing country priorities must not be left unfunded.
The working group considered: presentations by the Secretariat on its activities; the costed work programme, discussing which activities or their components should remain within the core budget; the resolution on the budget, including measures to improve the collection of arrears; and the terms of reference for the Trust Fund. Participants were divided between working on the basis of a 0% or a 21% nominal increase. Those opposing a significant increase noted that it may lead to arrears in payments, cautioning that this could affect the Secretariat’s work.
A document with options for a 0% or a 21.56% nominal increase in the budget was then presented to Committee II, explaining that the latter option would entail the suppression of two staff posts, and reducing office maintenance and CoP15 costs, but would increase funding for activity-based work. The 0% option would entail maintaining the CITES website in English only, suppressing five staff posts, reducing CoP15 costs, and allocating minimal funds for activity-based work, such as scientific support, capacity building and enforcement.
Several Caribbean countries, Zimbabwe, the EU, Switzerland and South Africa supported the budget increase, while several NGOs urged greater emphasis on looking for additional funds for the new strategic vision’s goals.
Following discussions, Committee II voted on alternative 15%, 10% and 3% budget increases, without any option reaching the required three-fourths majority. Committee II then went on to address the proposed resolution on budget and terms of reference for the Trust Fund. Committee II adopted, inter alia, amendments strengthening the SC’s oversight of budgetary matters and proposals with budgetary implications, and a clause on improving the collection of contributions in arrears. The resolution was then agreed by consensus, with the exception of the paragraph stating the specific amount of the budget increase, which was referred to plenary.
In plenary, delegates confirmed the decisions adopted by Committee II and considered the outstanding issue of the percentage of budget increase. The Netherlands supported a 21% budget increase, saying it was necessary to ensure the sustainability and legality of wildlife trade, and with Switzerland, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Zimbabwe proposed a vote on a 15% increase. Mexico and Peru opposed, saying that some countries cannot spare additional resources, and advocating “minimal growth” with a better allocation of resources. The US said it could support a 3% increase, and urged greater transparency in the presentation of financial information. A Friends of the Chair group was established, which reported to the final plenary session that no consensus had been achieved. Committee II Chair Cheung then proposed a 7.5% increase. Japan requested a vote on an alternative increase of 7.5% using 4.5% from estimated reserves for 2007. Budget working group Chair O’Criodain and the US opposed this proposal, noting that using reserves would impede covering unforeseen expenses during 2007. Delegates then voted on a 15% increase as proposed by the EU, on a 7.5% increase as proposed by Cheung, and on a 7.5% increase as proposed by Japan, but did not achieve the required three-quarters majority in any of the cases.
Plenary was adjourned for ten minutes to draft a proposal by President Verburg on a 7.5% increase with a revision by the SC. Several countries opposed this option. Budget working group Chair O’Criodain then proposed a 6% increase, which was adopted by 93 votes in favor and 14 against, further to which the entire resolution on budget was adopted by consensus.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: Standing Committee: On Monday, 4 June, in plenary, SC Chair Maquieira presented an oral report on the SC’s activities. He highlighted the draft strategic plan prepared by the Strategic Plan Working Group chaired by Ghana, and the Secretariat’s costed work programme indicating the financial implications of the various proposals. He also noted, inter alia: improvements in institutional cooperation; the urgency of addressing the future of tigers and other Asian big cats; the outcome of lengthy discussions on elephants; and progress in addressing trade in bigleaf mahogany. The CoP took note of the report.
Animals Committee: On Monday, 4 June, in plenary, AC Chair Thomas Althaus (Switzerland) presented the AC report (CoP14 Doc.8.2), highlighting inter alia: draft decisions related to Review of Significant Trade (RST) in Psittacus erithacus (African grey parrot) and Tridacnidae (giant clams); selection of new species to be subject to an RST; CITES-listed animal species selected for periodic review; completion of implementation of CoP Decisions 13.96 and 13.97 (fossil corals); and submission of an information document on sturgeons to SC54.
Committee I took note of the report and agreed ondraft decisions on RST in African grey parrot and giant clams, which were adopted by plenary on Friday, 15 June. Other decisions were considered under the relevant agenda items.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Doc.8.2 Annex) directs the Secretariat to: develop regional management plans for African grey parrot in collaboration with range states and others, including standards for non-detriment findings (NDFs), biologically sustainable export quotas, and implementation workshops; and seek external funding for a workshop on regional cooperation in the sustainable management of giant clams.
Plants Committee: On Monday, 4 June, in plenary, PC Chair Margarita Clemente (Spain) presented the PC report (CoP14 Doc.8.3 (Rev.1)). She highlighted work undertaken on: the periodic review of CITES-listed plant taxa (CoP14 Inf.11); selection of species for RST; and collaboration with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (CoP14 Inf.10). On timber species, PC Chair Clemente outlined intersessional activities on, inter alia, bigleaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), agarwood (Aquilaria spp.), and Prunus africana, expressing hope that new timber species listings proposed by the PC will be approved by CoP14.
On Wednesday, 6 June, PC Chair Clemente presented the PC proposals. Committee I agreed to them with minor amendments and they were adopted by plenary on Friday, 15 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP decision (CoP14 Com.I Rep.4) contains measures on, inter alia:
Joint Animals and Plants Committees: On Monday, 4 June, in plenary, AC Chair Althaus and PC Chair Clemente reported on the joint work of their Committees (CoP14 Doc.8.4). On the review of the scientific committees, they noted that a summary of the Committees’ self-evaluation was forwarded to the External Evaluation Working Group and suggested that the CoP take into account the joint AC/PC working group’s recommendations.
They further noted the results of discussions on the transport of live animals, urged parties to support the Master’s course on Management, Access and Conservation of Species in Trade, and stated that the potential for CITES to contribute to the alien invasive species issue is limited.
On Tuesday, 5 June, Committee I approved the joint AC/PC recommendation to delete the section contained in Resolution Conf.13.10 (alien invasive species) that instructs the Secretariat and scientific committees to undertake activities on the issue. On Wednesday, 6 June, Committee II agreed to draft decisions relating to: the length and rules of procedure for the AC and PC meetings including three amendments proposed by the Secretariat; and the manual for regional representatives, following amendments by the Secretariat on testing the manual, and by Mexico on funding for publication. The decisions were adopted in plenary on Friday, 15 June. Uruguay, supported by Chile, Argentina, the Bahamas, Peru, Kuwait, Suriname, Mexico and Costa Rica, requested to record in the CoP14 report that the Secretariat supports the Master’s course on Management, Access and Conservation of Species in Trade, at the International University of Andalucia, Spain.
Final Outcome: The CoP (Cop14 Com.I Rep.1 and Cop14 Com.II Rep.4), inter alia, directs the Secretariat to seek funding for the translation and publication of the manual for regional representatives of the scientific committees in the three working languages, and distribute the manual once testing has occurred and funds are available.
Nomenclature Committee: On Monday, 4 June, in plenary, Nomenclature Committee (NC) Co-Chairs Noel McGough (UK) and Ute Grimm (Germany) presented the NC report (CoP14 Doc.8.5). NC Co-Chair McGough highlighted the recommendation that, in the future, the NC could best function as a working group of the AC and PC, but that independence of decision-making on nomenclature issues and consistency of approach should be maintained. On flora nomenclature, he outlined, inter alia, proposals for adoption of checklists on: Hoodia; Guaiacum; and orchid genera Aerides, Coelogyne, and allied taxa (Orchidaceae). On the proposed flora workplan, he highlighted a revision of the cacti checklist and an update and expansion of the orchids checklist. On fauna nomenclature, NC Co-Chair Grimm highlighted proposals for adoption of checklists on, inter alia, birds, mammals, turtles and tortoises, and amphibians. On the proposed fauna workplan, she emphasized that the development of a checklist for corals is a priority. Delegates took note of the report.
REPORT OF THE MINISTERIAL MEETING: On Thursday, 14 June, CoP14 President Verburg presented to plenary the report of the Ministerial Roundtable (CoP14 Inf.62), which was held on Wednesday, 13 June. Welcoming the success of this inaugural ministerial meeting, she highlighted that ministers, inter alia: acknowledged CITES’ contribution to the broader biodiversity and sustainable development agenda, urging increased cooperation between CITES and other international processes; committed to strengthening national measures and increased collaboration on enforcement; and recognized CITES’ complementary role in natural resource management to organizations such as FAO, ITTO and regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs).
CITES STRATEGIC VISION: 2008-2013: On Tuesday, 5 June, Canada as Vice-Chair of the Strategic Plan Working Group presented the document in Committee II (CoP14 Doc.11), outlining the group’s work since its establishment at SC53.
Australia underscored that CITES should not be subordinated to other processes. Developing countries called for technical support and capacity building, and China stressed that the CITES strategic vision should focus on individual species rather than the broad categories of marine and timber, citing the Convention’s limited financial resources. Israel, supported by Kenya, said the right to apply stricter domestic measures is enshrined in the Convention and opposed restricting this right within the strategic vision. Malaysia said that requiring a risk assessment within NDFs would impose an excessive financial burden on parties. International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) lamented the emphasis on trade at the expense of conservation. Delegates agreed to establish a working group chaired by Lynda Maltby (Canada).
The working group met from 5-11 June, including over the weekend. Discussions focused on agreeing on text on CITES purpose, vision statement, goals and objectives, with key issues including: references to “commercially-traded species;” divisions over the terms “sustainable trade,” “sustainable use,” “sustainable management,” and “conservation of biodiversity” within the vision statement and elsewhere; and Goal Three on CITES’ role within the broader global biodiversity agenda.
On Thursday, 14 June, Canada introduced the revised draft strategic vision, noting that the group had reached consensus on the text but, due to time limitations, proposed requesting SC57 to address an annexed set of indicators. Many delegates supported the draft resolution, with Japan calling it a well-balanced reflection of participants’ conflicting views on sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity. While supporting the document, Brazil said he would have preferred a “clearer message” in the vision statement on the link between sustainable management and conservation, and Dominica expressed concern about whether it addresses the needs of developing countries and small island developing states. Committee II agreed to the strategic vision and related decisions by consensus, and they were adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted (CoP14 Com.II.20) the “CITES Strategic Vision: 2008-2013,” recommending national-level action to ensure achievement of its goals. It also requests the Secretariat to ensure that its 2008-2013 programme of work supports the Strategic Vision’s implementation. The CoP also directs the Secretariat to request input from parties on the Strategic Vision’s annexed indicators and requests SC57 to review and finalize these indicators.
The Strategic Vision outlines its purpose, Vision Statement and three goals with a number of associated objectives. The new CITES Vision Statement is to “Conserve biodiversity and contribute to its sustainable use by ensuring that no species of wild fauna or flora becomes or remains subject to unsustainable exploitation through international trade, thereby contributing to the significant reduction of the rate of biodiversity loss.” The stated goals are to:
The Strategic Vision also includes a range of objectives under each goal, relating to inter alia, transparency, capacity building for implementation, enforcement, and cooperation. For example, the objective on commercially-exploited species, under Goal Three, commits parties and the Secretariat “to cooperate with other relevant IGOs and agreements dealing with natural resources, as appropriate, in order to achieve a coherent and collaborative approach to species which can be endangered by unsustainable trade, including those which are commercially-exploited.”
REVIEW OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEES: On Tuesday, 5 June, delegates discussed the SC’s recommendations for review of the scientific committees based on evaluations done by internal and external working groups (CoP14 Doc.12). Recommendations included: a proposed revision to Res. Conf.12.11 (Rev.CoP13) (Standard nomenclature), including making the NC a working group of the AC and PC; a proposed revision to Res. Conf.11.1 (Rev.CoP13) (Establishment of committees), including appointing nomenclature experts to the AC and PC; and a suggestion from the Secretariat to merge the CITES scientific committees.
Many parties opposed the Secretariat’s suggestion to merge the committees but expressed support for the External Evaluation Working Group’s proposal to make the NC a working group of the AC and PC. The EU, supported by the AC and PC Chairs, expressed concern about proposed deletion of portions of the AC and PC mandates. Indonesia supported, while China and the EU opposed, the need for independent committee Chairs, with China citing concerns about the disruption of regional balance. A working group was established on the issue and presented a revised draft, which was agreed by consensus and adopted in plenary, including proposed revisions to Res. Conf.12.11 (Rev. CoP13) and Res. Conf.11.1 (Rev. CoP13).
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.30 Annexes 1, 2 and 3), inter alia:
ADDIS ABABA PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES: On Tuesday, 5 June, Committee II discussed the document on the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines on the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity (AAPGs) (CoP14 Doc.13), noting its relevance to implementation of various CITES provisions. Following discussions on how to use the AAPGs in NDFs, the matter was referred to a drafting group.
By Monday, 11 June, the drafting group was unable to reach consensus. The US suggested an amendment to Res. Conf.13.2 (Sustainable use of biodiversity: AAPGs), proposing some minor textual amendments and to annex the AC/PC’s recommendations to that resolution. Committee II agreed to this proposal by a vote, and it was adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.17) updated Res. Conf.13.2 (Rev CoP14) including annexing the AC/PC recommendations concerning the AAPGs to the resolution (CoP14 Com.II.17 Annex 2), which, inter alia, notes that the AAPGs: are not always immediately applicable to CITES, particularly with respect to making NDFs; may be considered for possible development for certain taxa-specific NDF guidelines; and are a voluntary additional tool that can be used for making NDFs.
CITES AND LIVELIHOODS: From 5-14 June, Committee II considered draft decisions on CITES and livelihoods (CoP14 Doc.14), which, inter alia, instruct the SC to initiate a process to develop tools for rapid assessment of the impact of CITES implementation on livelihoods and draft guidelines for parties to consider these impacts, particularly in developing countries. The EU, Mexico and China supported the draft decisions, with Mexico emphasizing that activities should be funded by external sources. The EU stressed that decisions on species listings should be based solely on biological and trade criteria, with the UK noting that the current text could be construed to place livelihoods above biodiversity. Delegates established a drafting group to revise the text.
Many developing countries and NGOs supported the proposed decisions (CoP14 Doc.14), while Canada noted that guidelines should be voluntary and subject to external funding, and Australia, US and Fiji cautioned that livelihood considerations should not affect the scientific decision-making process, but rather relate to CITES implementation. Some NGOs cautioned against shifting emphasis from CITES core biodiversity conservation tasks.
A revised draft was presented (CoP14 Com.II.12), which, inter alia, simplifies the Secretariat’s mandate, and instructs the SC to develop tools for rapid assessment of the impacts of implementing CITES on livelihoods, and draft guidelines for addressing these impacts. The EU, supported by the US, proposed deleting a requirement to consider the RST as part of the process. Brazil, with Argentina and Peru, proposed amendments limiting the scope of the draft guidelines to developing countries only, which was opposed by the US. Committee II agreed on the EU amendment, while Brazil’s proposed amendment was rejected by a vote, with 25 in favor and 48 against. Delegates then agreed to the draft decisions by consensus, and adopted them in plenary on Friday, 15 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.12), inter alia, instructs the SC to initiate and supervise a process to develop: tools for voluntary use by parties for the rapid assessment at the national level of the positive and negative impacts of implementing CITES listing decisions on the livelihoods of the poor; and voluntary draft guidelines for parties to address these impacts, particularly in developing countries.
NATIONAL WILDLIFE TRADE POLICY REVIEWS: On Wednesday, 6 June, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced the document (CoP14 Doc.15), which summarizes the progress made in implementing Decisions 13.74 and 13.75 (National wildlife trade policy reviews), and noted that these reviews provide a voluntary way for countries to improve their existing policies.
Liberia and Mauritius requested assistance to carry out reviews, and Viet Nam, Madagascar and Uganda shared their experiences from the pilot phase of the project. Switzerland and some NGOs noted their continued support for the review process, while the US suggested improving the review framework first. The US, Argentina and Brazil expressed concern about the proposed expansion of the Secretariat’s work, which was perceived by Species Survival Network (SSN) as exceeding CITES’ mandate. Argentina and China emphasized the need to secure funding from external sources. The Secretariat agreed to revise the text in consultation with interested parties. On Thursday, 7 June, four revised draft decisions were agreed by consensus in Committee II and adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.1), inter alia:
CAPACITY BUILDING: On Wednesday, 6 June, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced the document (CoP14 Doc.16), which contains information on the Secretariat’s capacity-building activities and tools, including Internet-based training and the proposed CITES Virtual College. Several parties emphasized that the proposed activities should be funded by external sources. On the CITES Virtual College, the EU, supported by Chile, Mexico and the US, requested that the Secretariat investigate distance learning initiatives, while others emphasized existing Master’s courses. Several Asian region parties urged provision of capacity-building tools in all UN languages. Fiji and Australia called for an intersessional Oceania regional capacity-building workshop on enforcement. The Secretariat agreed to incorporate comments into the draft decision. Delegates agreed and the decision was then adopted on Thursday, 14 June in plenary.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.4 and Com.II.Rep.15) requests parties to provide financial support to academic institutions offering Master’s degree courses on CITES and CITES-related subjects and directs the Secretariat to:
COOPERATION BETWEEN PARTIES AND PROMOTION OF MULTILATERAL MEASURES: On Wednesday, 6 June, the Secretariat introduced the topic (CoP14 Doc.17), focusing on enhancing multilateral cooperation and coherence in implementation of CITES, before resorting to stricter domestic measures, and encouraged parties to accept the three annexed draft decisions, which, inter alia, direct the SC to establish an electronic working group on the issue.
On stricter domestic measures, the EU asserted that import permits are justified by the need to ensure species’ survival in the wild, and disputed that negotiators of Article XIV (Effect on Domestic Legislation and International Conventions) envisioned that stricter domestic measures would be adopted primarily by exporting countries. He supported the draft decisions but proposed several amendments, including: that the review should determine whether measures effectively achieve CITES’ objectives; and that the consultant’s report should assess whether there is a need to clarify, revise or repeal CoP resolutions. Australia supported the suggested review “as and when appropriate,” highlighting that measures must be consistent with the World Trade Organization and have a justified, positive environmental outcome and requesting the deletion of assessments on whether parties have coherent positions in international forums. The US, Kenya and SSN cautioned that the draft decisions could restrict sovereignty. Committee II agreed to the draft decisions, with Australia’s proposed deletion accepted following a vote, and all other amendments accepted by consensus. The decisions were adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.2), inter alia:
COOPERATION WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS: Cooperation with FAO: On Thursday, 7 June, the Secretariat introduced the topic (CoP14 Doc.18.1), stressing the long history of successful cooperation with FAO, but highlighting a recent disagreement over the findings of the FAO Ad hoc Expert Advisory Panel for the Assessment of Proposals to Amend Appendices I and II regarding proposed listings of commercially-exploited aquatic species, and suggesting the establishment of a fishery working group.
Noting the importance of the disagreement, FAO asserted that the CITES Secretariat had “bypassed” CITES criteria (Res. Conf.9.24 (Rev. CoP13)) when evaluating species-listing proposals. The EU, Jamaica and New Zealand supported establishing a fishery working group, while many others opposed, with Chile and Brazil emphasizing that RFMOs should address fisheries administration issues. The proposal to establish an SC fishery working group was rejected, failing to achieve a two-thirds majority, with 46 votes in favor and 34 against.
The US proposed an amendment deleting the reference to “formalizing” cooperation with FAO on forestry and non-timber forest products, and China opposed instructing the Secretariat to initiate discussions with FAO. China’s amendment was rejected, and Committee II then agreed on the decision, with the US amendment, by 60 votes to 12. The decision was adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The COP instructs the Secretariat to initiate discussions with FAO on how cooperation between the two organizations related to forestry and non-timber forest products might be enhanced, and to report to CoP15 (CoP14 Com.II.7).
Cooperation between CITES and ITTO: On Thursday, 7 June, the US introduced a draft resolution on cooperation with ITTO regarding trade in tropical timber (CoP14 Doc.18.2), highlighting the increase in CITES-related activities at ITTO, and ITTO funds available for capacity building for implementation of CITES listings of timber species.
While many parties supported the draft resolution, several opposed the Secretariat’s recommendations to consolidate existing cooperation resolutions and sign a memorandum of understanding with ITTO. Some NGOs stressed that cooperation should not be a substitute for addressing core issues within CITES itself. Following informal consultations, the US presented a revised draft resolution which Committee II agreed by consensus, and delegates adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The COP (CoP14 Com.II.5), inter alia:
DIALOGUE MEETINGS: On Thursday, 7 June, Committee II discussed a draft resolution on dialogue meetings (CoP14 Doc.19.1 annex) including the rules of procedure for these meetings. Delegates discussed the procedure for allowing the participation of observers, and then agreed on the rules of procedure for dialogue meetings with several amendments. These were adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The terms of reference and rules of procedure on dialogue meetings (CoP14 Com.II.10), inter alia, approve participation of observers by consensus, establish a quorum of two-thirds of range states present at the dialogue, and request that conclusions be presented to range states for agreement.
Resolutions relating to Appendix-I species: Delegates discussed a proposal to consolidate existing resolutions and decisions (CoP14 Doc.20.1). Many opposed the proposed consolidation, with the EU noting the sensitivity of resolutions relating to Appendix-I species. Committee II agreed by consensus to reject the proposal, which was confirmed in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
General review: Committee II also considered a document containing proposed amendments to and consolidation of resolutions (CoP14 Doc.20.2). Committee II accepted all proposals, some with minor amendments, including a draft decision directing the SC to review any Secretariat proposals to correct non-substantive errors in resolutions, and decide if they should be forwarded to the CoP. This decision was confirmed by plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Ranching and trade in ranched specimens of species transferred from Appendix I to Appendix II: On Thursday, 7 June, delegates discussed proposed amendments to Res. Conf.11.16 (Ranching) to simplify reporting requirements for parties operating an approved ranching programme for species that have been transferred from Appendix I to II (CoP14 Doc.21).
Many countries supported the proposal and further streamlining and clarifying the provisions of the resolution. The US objected to the AC’s proposal to subject certain reporting requirements to the Secretariat’s request, noting that some of this information is needed on an annual basis to determine if parties are meeting their obligations. Venezuela stressed that the proposal should only apply to local populations, called for a more consistent approach to reporting and, supported by SSN, urged caution in broadening the proposal to other ranched species as it only reflects experience with crocodiles. A working group was established.
On Thursday, 14 June, Committee II accepted the working group’s revised draft decision to request the Secretariat and the AC to propose revisions to Res. Conf.11.16, which was confirmed by plenary later that day.
Final Outcome: The CoP reviewed resolutions (CoP14 Doc.20.2 Annex and CoP14 Com.II.Rep.6) on, inter alia: deletion of species from Appendix II or III in certain circumstances; interpretation and implementation of certain provisions of the Convention; national laws for implementation of the Convention; disposal of illegally-traded, confiscated and accumulated specimens; trade in elephant specimens; specimens of animal species bred in captivity; guidelines for registering Appendix I breeding operations; trade in stony corals; regulation of trade in plants; national reports; and sturgeons and paddlefish.
The CoP also requests the Secretariat, together with the AC, to propose revisions to Res. Conf.11.16, for consideration by CoP15 (CoP14 Com.II.24).
REVIEW OF DECISIONS: On Thursday, 7 June, Committee II reviewed the Secretariat’s recommended updates to the list of decisions (CoP14 Doc.22) and discussed decisions on, inter alia, elephant ivory stocks, capacity building, RST, and medicinal plants, with a view to updating the list and deleting those decisions that no longer remain in effect. The Secretariat proposed, and delegates agreed to, inter alia: delete Decision 13.53 (Medicinal plants); and integrate Decision 9.15 (Diplomatic exemption) into Res. Conf.11.3 (Rev. CoP13). The EU proposed, and delegates agreed to retain Decision 10.2 (Rev. CoP11) (Conditions for elephant ivory stocks). Parties also agreed to retain, inter alia, Decisions 12.90 to 12.93 (Capacity building for Appendix-II voluntary national export quotas), and Decisions 13.14 to 13.17 (Improving regional communication and representation).
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Doc.22 Annexes 1 and 2) updated the list of decisions.
Compliance and enforcement issues were considered from 6-14 June in Committee II, in a working group on guidelines for compliance with the Convention, and in informal consultations. All resulting decisions and resolutions were formally adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June, without amendment.
GUIDELINES FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE CONVENTION: On Wednesday, 6 June, Norway, as Chair of the intersessional Compliance Working Group, reported on progress in developing guidelines for compliance with the Convention (CoP14 Doc.23). Argentina, Brazil and Japan underscored that the guidelines should focus on facilitative measures. A working group chaired by Norway was established, which presented a draft resolution and its annexed guide to CITES compliance procedures, underscoring its non-binding nature and that discussions had resulted in it being renamed a “Guide.” Norway proposed an amendment whereby the CoP “takes note of” rather than “adopts” the guide, and delegates approved the resolution by consensus with this amendment.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted a resolution with an annexed “Guide to CITES Compliance Procedures” (CoP14 Com.II.21 Annex), which reflects CITES practice and contains sections on:
NATIONAL LAWS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION: On Thursday, 7 June, the Secretariat presented its report and related draft decisions (CoP14 Doc.24). Many parties reported on progress in implementing national legislation on CITES. Delegates approved proposed decisions with amendments to consolidate deadlines for submitting information on national legislation to SC58, and assist implementing agencies. Argentina and other developing countries proposed deleting references to the suspension of commercial trade as a possible measure to improve CITES legislation at the national level, but the US and other developed countries opposed and, following a vote, the original text was retained.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.8) requests parties of more than five years to submit any newly enacted legislation for implementation of the Convention or adequate justification for its failure to do so. In cases of non-compliance, it directs the SC to consider appropriate compliance measures, including suspension of commercial trade in CITES-listed species.
ENFORCEMENT MATTERS: Introducing the document (CoP14 Doc.25) on Friday, 8 June, the Secretariat noted draft decisions to convene a meeting of the CITES Enforcement Experts Group. Many supported, and the draft decisions were approved by consensus.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.27) directs the Secretariat to convene, subject to external funding, a meeting of the CITES Enforcement Experts Group to identify measures to improve the gathering of data on illicit trade, and discuss ways in which such data could be analyzed to improve understanding of illicit trade in CITES-listed species.
COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT: On Friday, 8 June, delegates discussed the EU’s proposal (CoP14 Doc.26 (Rev.1)) to amend Res. Conf.11.3 (Rev.CoP13) (Compliance and enforcement), which suggests measures to improve CITES enforcement at the national level. The matter was referred to informal consultations. On Wednesday, 13 June, the UK introduced a revised draft decision and resolution amendment, which were both accepted by consensus.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.23) amends Res. Conf.11.3 (Rev. CoP13), including, inter alia:
DISPOSAL OF ILLEGALLY TRADED AND CONFISCATED SPECIMENS: On Thursday, 14 June, Indonesia introduced a draft decision (CoP14 Doc.27) on the disposal of confiscated specimens of Appendix-II and -III species, seeking, inter alia, repatriation of benefits accruing from the auction or sale of confiscated specimens. Many countries opposed, and following a vote that deleted two paragraphs in the decision, Indonesia withdrew its proposal.
INTERNET TRADE IN SPECIMENS OF CITES-LISTED SPECIES: On Friday, 8 June, in Committee II, the EU introduced CoP14 Doc.28, noting the problem of Internet trade in CITES-listed species and proposing a workshop on the subject.
Madagascar, the US, SeaWeb and IFAW supported the proposals, with IFAW highlighting eBay’s decision to ban ivory trade on its website worldwide. Parties agreed by consensus on the draft decisions with an amendment by the UK instructing the Secretariat to hire an expert consultant to review Internet trade. Delegates adopted the decisions in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.6 Annex and CoP14 Com.II.Rep.8), inter alia, instructs the SC, subject to available funds, to convene a workshop on Internet trade.
NATIONAL REPORTS: On Friday, 8 June, the Secretariat introduced the document (CoP14 Doc.29) and invited feedback from parties on the new biennial report format. The EU and the US welcomed the draft decisions, noting improved reporting and welcoming any suggestions towards relieving the reporting burden. Committee II agreed on the proposed decisions, which were adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Doc.29 Annex 2), inter alia, tasks the Secretariat with identifying additional ways to reduce the reporting burden on parties, and report to CoP15.
TRADE IN ARTIFICIALLY PROPAGATED PLANTS: On Friday, 8 June, in Committee II, Switzerland introduced a report on trade in artificially propagated plants including a draft decision (CoP14 Doc.30), stressing the burden that these requirements impose on parties, and the need to review their usefulness. The US and Mexico opposed the draft decision, with the US supporting the Secretariat’s suggestion that it report to the SC on ways to summarize submission data. A working group was established, which presented the working group’s three revised draft decisions. These decisions were agreed by consensus, with minor amendments, and adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The COP (CoP14 Com.II.14), inter alia: directs the Secretariat to, in consultation with UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, survey reporting practices on trade in Appendix-II listed artificially propagated plants, identify where they have significantly contributed to detection of illegal trade, and propose streamlining options to PC18.
INCENTIVES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION: On Friday, 8 June, the Secretariat introduced the document on incentives for implementation of the Convention (CoP14 Doc.32) proposing decisions to, inter alia, continue cooperation with UNCTAD’s Biotrade initiative. The EU, Uganda and Switzerland supported the proposal, while Argentina, the US, Brazil, Australia and Venezuela opposed, stating that the issue should not be considered further as it is not directly relevant to CITES. The decisions were put to a vote and approved by 51 to 22 votes.
On Thursday, 14 June, Brazil sought successfully to reopen the debate in plenary, and supported by Argentina, presented amendments to the document, inter alia, for the parties, rather than the SC, to consider practical ways to enhance stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the Convention; and deleted references to placing “particular emphasis on the local communities and the private sector,” and for the cooperation with UNCTAD to focus on enhancing the livelihoods of poor people. The decisions, including Brazil’s amendments, were adopted by consensus.
Final Outcome: The COP (CoP14 Doc.32 Annex, and CoP14 Plen.4): encourages parties to develop incentive measures for the effective implementation of CITES and include relevant details in their biennial reports; and requests the Secretariat to continue cooperating with UNCTAD’s Biotrade initiative to ensure the conservation of wild species subject to international trade; and promote private sector compliance with CITES requirements and national legislation.
INTRODUCTION FROM THE SEA: On Tuesday, 12 June, SC Chair Maquieira summarized the report of the SC working group (CoP14 Doc.33) in Committee II, highlighting progress on defining “the marine environment not under the jurisdiction of any State” but noting persistent divisions on key aspects of defining “introduction from the sea” such as transshipments on the high seas, responsibility for NDFs, and the roles of port and flag states. He outlined a draft decision requesting that the SC working group’s mandate be extended to continue consideration of these matters.
On “the marine environment not under the jurisdiction of any State,” delegates supported the “alternative” definition of the working group, although Mexico noted it does not conform to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) definitions of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. The UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UNDOALOS) warned against attempting to simplify or paraphrase concepts reflected within UNCLOS, adding that “beyond areas of national jurisdiction” is a phrase commonly used without formal definition in other UN processes and is generally understood to refer to the high seas and “the Area” as defined in UNCLOS. Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Chile, Senegal, Brazil, Japan and UNDOALOS stated that UNCLOS is the framework for marine jurisdictional issues and that CITES work on the matter should conform to UNCLOS.
Most parties supported the continuation of the working group, although Iceland voiced skepticism about the group’s prospects of resolving “introduction from the sea.” Several called for RFMO participation in the group. Namibia also advocated African participation. Many parties, as well as UNDOALOS, FAO, IWMC – World Conservation Trust and the International Environmental Law Project expressed willingness to participate in the working group.
Committee II agreed on the draft decision by consensus, including the “alternative” definition and the timeframe for work to be completed by CoP15 proposed by the EU. The decision was adopted by plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The COP (CoP14 Com.II.26):
TRADE IN APPENDIX-I SPECIES: The Secretariat introduced the agenda item (CoP14 Doc.34), explaining the SC and Secretariat’s review of the trade in Appendix-I species. Israel said that the review identified cases of concern, demonstrating the need for further monitoring of commercial trade in Appendix-I species, and proposed two draft decisions (CoP14 Inf.7). Following a vote, delegates rejected the proposals.
INTERNATIONAL EXPERT WORKSHOP ON NDF: On Tuesday, 5 June, Mexico introduced its proposal, supported by Canada, to conduct an international expert workshop on non-detriment findings (NDFs) (CoP14 Doc.35), which was agreed by consensus in Committee I and adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Doc.35) encourages parties to provide financial support for an international expert workshop on NDFs, and for the Secretariat to assist a workshop steering committee, chaired by Mexico, to prepare for the workshop.
MANAGEMENT OF ANNUAL EXPORT QUOTAS: On Monday, 11 June, Cameroon introduced three draft decisions (CoP14 Doc.36) on managing annual export quotas, and explained that the intersessional Export Quota Working Group did not agree on the Secretariat’s role in clarifying export quota information, or whether including information about quotas in export permits should be voluntary.
The EU urged strengthening the Secretariat’s role in reviewing quotas before they are published, lamenting confusion caused by a recently published quota from Gabon for five gorilla heads and hands, which appeared to be in violation of Res. Conf.13.4 (Great apes). He proposed an amendment stating that, where a concern cannot be resolved through consultation, the Secretariat should publish the quota with an annotation indicating its concern and stating that the issue will be taken up through a CITES procedure. Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador opposed the proposal. The EU and others also supported a mandatory requirement of quota information on export permits, whereas Argentina, Brazil and IWMC opposed. The EU also proposed an amendment for an annual review of NDFs for newly established or revised quotas. Delegates agreed on the proposals with the three revisions proposed by the EU, by 63 votes to 19, and they were adopted by plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Doc.36 Annexes 1, 2 and 3; and CoP14 Com.II Rep.10):
APPENDIX-I SPECIES SUBJECT TO EXPORT QUOTAS: On Tuesday, 5 June, Committee I considered three proposals to amend export quotas for Appendix-I species.
Leopard export quotas for Mozambique: Mozambique requested approval to increase its export quota for leopard hunting trophies and skins for personal use from 60 to 120 (CoP14 Doc.37.1). Many parties and NGOs supported the proposal, with several stating that the increase would be sustainable and the leopard population in Mozambique had been calculated conservatively. Israel and Humane Society International (HSI) cautioned that the increase was based on out-of-date data and was not scientifically rigorous. The proposal was approved, with Israel’s reservation citing the lack of science and current data on the status of the population.
Final Outcome: The quota of 120 leopard hunting trophies and skins for personal use for Mozambique (CoP14 Doc.37.1 and CoP14 Com.I.6) was confirmed in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Leopard export quotas for Uganda: Uganda revised its proposal to downlist its population of leopard (Panthera pardus) from Appendix I to II (CoP14 Prop.3), seeking instead an annual export quota of 28 specimens for leopard hunting trophies and skins for personal use. The revised proposal was approved, with Israel’s reservation citing the lack of science and current data on the status of the population, and with the Democratic Republic of Congo expressing concern over the threat of increased poaching of its leopard populations.
Final Outcome: The quota for 28 leopard hunting trophies and skins for personal use for Uganda (CoP14 Com.I.6) was confirmed in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Black rhinoceros export quotas for Namibia and South Africa: Kenya introduced its proposal for repealing Namibia and South Africa’s annual quotas of five black rhinoceroses (Diceros bicornis) (CoP14 Doc.37.2), citing concerns about sustainability of quota levels and increased poaching. Supported by Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, he suggested that other African countries could pay Namibia and South Africa for the costs of translocating any unwanted animals. Namibia and South Africa stressed the conservation and livelihood benefits of trophy hunting and refuted claims of unsustainable quota levels and poaching increases. The issue was put to a vote, resulting in Kenya’s proposal being rejected.
Final Outcome: The annual quota for Namibia and South Africa of five black rhinoceroses was confirmed in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR SPECIMENS OF CITES-LISTED SPECIES: On Tuesday, 5 June, AC Chair Althaus reported a lack of consensus in the joint AC/PC intersessional working group on production systems (CoP14 Doc.38), proposing to extend the group’s mandate beyond CoP14. Australia highlighted the need to consider other production systems such as aquaculture. The CoP approved the proposal by consensus.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Doc.38 and CoP14 Plen.4) extends the mandate of the joint AC/PC intersessional working group on production systems.
PURPOSE-OF-TRANSACTION CODES ON CITES PERMITS: On Friday, 8 June, the US proposed a revision of Res. Conf.12.3 (Rev.CoP13) (Permits and certificates), stressing the need for more specific transaction code definitions in CITES permits, particularly with respect to differentiating between commercial and non-commercial transactions (CoP14 Doc.39).
Argentina, supported by Ecuador, said the issue should be discussed further in the SC. The EU supported the Secretariat’s suggestion for consideration of the circumstances under which purpose-of-transaction codes should be used, and underlined that the purpose of export may be different from that of import. Canada noted that requirements are particularly unclear for export permits, and a working group was established on the issue.
The working group was unable to reach consensus and the US proposed a decision requesting the SC to establish an intersessional working group on the issue. Committee II accepted the US proposal with a minor amendment by the EU by consensus and plenary adopted the decision on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.29) instructs the SC to establish and provide terms of reference for an intersessional joint working group to review the use of purpose-of-transaction codes.
ELECTRONIC PERMITTING: On Monday, 11 June, the Secretariat, and Italy, as Chair of the SC Working Group on Information Technology and Electronic Systems, reported on the group’s progress regarding the use and issue of electronic permitting, and introduced two related draft decisions (CoP14 Doc.40.1 (Rev.1) Annex and CoP14 Doc.40.2), stressing that, due to differences between countries in implementation capacity, electronic and paper-based systems should be used in parallel.
Delegates discussed the decisions, and Brazil suggested allowing the use of electronic signatures. Many voiced concerns with the draft decision and with Brazil’s proposal, echoing the Secretariat’s point that many developing countries have implementation constraints. The Secretariat prepared a revised draft taking into account these concerns, and Committee II agreed on the revised decision, which was adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.13), inter alia, instructs the SC to extend the mandate of the working group and report to SC58 on the results of its work, and subject to available funds prepare a CD-ROM toolkit on electronic permitting.
TRANSPORT OF LIVE SPECIMENS: On Tuesday, 5 June, in Committee I, AC Chair Althaus introduced a proposed draft decision on transport of live specimens (CoP14 Doc.41 (Rev.1)) and an accompanying draft decision to amend Res. Conf.10.21 (Transport of live animals) to incorporate references to the transportation of plants.
Israel proposed that new or additional references on capture and preparation of live specimens should also be examined by the AC and PC. AC Chair Althaus replied that the idea had been dismissed by the AC as efforts to examine those aspects had been lengthy and unproductive. China, Japan, Tanzania and Peru agreed, with China stating that examining capture is beyond the Convention’s scope. On addressing mortality during transportation, the US and China emphasized that the burden on inspectors and customs officers should be minimized by ensuring that efforts focus on “high mortality” shipments.
Committee I agreed on the draft decisions by consensus, and they were adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Doc.41 (Rev.1)), inter alia:
PHYSICAL INSPECTION OF TIMBER SHIPMENTS: On Monday, 11 June, in Committee II, Italy, on behalf of the EU, presented the draft decisions (CoP14 Doc.42) aimed at providing authorities with clear guidelines on identification and measurements of timber products. Several parties supported the proposal. Brazil and Australia made additional suggestions, and the ITTO offered its assistance in developing guidelines for timber shipment inspections. A drafting group was established. A revised decision was agreed by consensus, and adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.18 and CoP14 Com.II.Rep.8), inter alia, directs:
CROCODILIANS: On Monday, 11 June, delegates discussed draft decisions on the effectiveness of the universal crocodilian tagging system (CoP14 Doc.43 and CoP14 Com.II Rep.12) and trade in some crocodilian specimens (CoP14 Doc.46). On the tagging system, the EU and TRAFFIC supported the US proposal to hire a consultant to conduct an effectiveness review of the universal crocodilian tagging system, while Argentina, supported by the Philippines, preferred that a working group conduct the review. On trade in some crocodilian specimens, the EU and Switzerland proposed to establish a process within the SC to streamline procedures to reduce transaction costs of issuing CITES permits for trade in some crocodilian specimens as such trade has a minimum impact on conservation and specimens generally derive from ranching. Colombia, Mexico, India, Peru and Japan expressed reservations, and following work of a drafting group, revised draft decisions, combining proposals on the universal tagging system and trade in some crocodilian specimens, were presented. Committee II agreed on the draft decisions with minor amendments by Argentina, and they were adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.28 and CoP14 Com.II.Rep.12) instructs the SC to, inter alia, establish a working group to review the implementation and effectiveness of the universal tagging system and of issuing CITES documents for small crocodilian leather goods.
IDENTIFICATION MANUAL: On Monday, 11 June, the Secretariat presented its progress report (CoP14 Doc. 44), noting completion of the database of all published sheets of the Identification Manual. CoP14 noted the report on Thursday, 14 June.
PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS: On Wednesday, 6 June, in Committee II, China presented the report of the Working Group on Personal and Household Effects (CoP14 Doc.45). Following comments by the EU, Argentina and Indonesia, a working group was established, which presented a revised draft resolution and decision.
The EU proposed: amending the draft resolution regarding quantitative limitations for caviar; and adding two paragraphs to the draft decision requesting the SC to evaluate if specific items require different treatment, and implementation effectiveness of Res. Conf.13.7 (Personal and household effects). The revised draft resolution and decision were adopted by consensus with the EU’s proposed amendments.
On Thursday, 14 June, Committee I Chair Leach clarified to plenary that the proposals related to corals as personal and household effects had been considered under proposal 21 (Corallium). Delegates then adopted the resolution and decision without amendments.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.34):
REGISTRATION OF CAPTIVE BREEDING OPERATIONS: On Wednesday, 6 June, in Committee I, the Secretariat introduced the Philippines’ proposal to register a captive breeding operation for eight Appendix-I listed bird species (CoP14 Doc.47). Range states Mexico and Brazil supported the proposal. In opposition: the US said the proposal relied on insufficient documentation; New Zealand asserted documented links between the applicant and a convicted bird smuggler; range state Bolivia cited lack of consultation and insufficient links to in situ conservation; and range state Indonesia highlighted the high mortality of the species in captivity and the likelihood of increasing illegal trade. Following a vote, the Philippines’ proposal was approved by Committee I with 50 votes in favor and 22 against.
In plenary on Thursday, 14 June, Bolivia sought successfully to reopen debate on the proposal. Delegates then overturned Committee I’s decision in a vote, and the Philippines’ proposal was rejected, falling one vote short of a two-thirds majority, with 63 in favor and 32 against.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EX SITU PRODUCTION AND IN SITU CONSERVATION: On Monday, 11 June, in Committee II, Ireland introduced the SC report on the relationship between ex situ production and in situ conservation (CoP14 Doc.48 (Rev.1)), recommending an independent study on the topic. The EU supported the proposal, while Brazil, Peru and Colombia opposed, and India proposed a case-specific approach.
The proposal was rejected with 48 votes in favor and 31 against. The Committee’s decision was confirmed in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
RESERVATIONS REGARDING SPECIES TRANSFERRED FROM ONE APPENDIX TO ANOTHER: On Monday, 11 June, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced the document (CoP14 Doc.49), recommending how to interpret reservations on species transfer between appendices. Delegates agreed on the proposal by consensus with minor amendments by Norway and the US and it was adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Doc.49 and Com.II Rep.10) recommends: that any party that has entered any Appendix-I species reservation should treat that species as if it were included in Appendix II for all purposes, including documentation and control; agrees that if a species is transferred between the appendices a party must enter a new reservation; and calls on parties to maintain and communicate statistical records.
GREAT APES: On Tuesday, 11 June, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced the Secretariat’s report on great apes (CoP14 Doc.50) highlighting, inter alia: CITES/UNEP Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP) technical missions to Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia; a request for Indonesia to report further to the SC; and a recommended verification mission to Egypt to assist in addressing reported illegal trade.
Indonesia agreed to report to the SC, Thailand noted ongoing efforts to combat illegal trade and Cambodia welcomed assistance on CITES implementation. Egypt welcomed the CITES verification mission and said illegally-traded great apes would be repatriated. Several IGOs and NGOs called for CITES technical missions to African great ape range states and others encouraged Central African range states to focus on addressing domestic and transborder bushmeat and live-animal trade. Delegates commended the upcoming CITES/GRASP mission to Egypt. The CoP took note of the report.
CETACEANS: Periodic review of all listed cetaceans: On Wednesday, 6 June, in Committee I, Japan proposed a periodic review of all listed cetaceans (CoP14 Doc.51), which he said seeks to ensure that the Convention operates on the basis of current scientific information, and would not affect the International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium. Supporting the resolution, Norway and Saint Kitts and Nevis cautioned against basing CITES decisions on criteria other than science, and China welcomed the additional information that would result from the review.
Opposing the proposal: Australia emphasized current IWC findings on the state of whale stocks and said that the IWC is the agreed competent authority; Argentina, on behalf of several countries from Central and South America, said a review would duplicate the IWC Scientific Commission process; and the EU reminded parties of the recent IWC resolution on interaction between CITES and IWC (CoP14 Inf.44) which states, inter alia, that the commercial whaling moratorium is still in place. Brazil encouraged non-lethal use of whales. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, on behalf of SSN, noted that IWC Scientific Commission reviews are based on sound scientific data.
The proposal was then rejected, by 26 to 54 votes. This decision was confirmed by plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Fin Whales: On Wednesday, 6 June, in Committee I, Argentina, Australia, Brazil and the US opposed the AC proposal to include the central stock of the North Atlantic fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in the periodic review (CoP14 Doc.8.2). Australia introduced a draft decision (CoP14 Com.I.7) instructing the AC that no periodic review of any great whale, including the fin whale, should occur while the IWC moratorium is in place. Committee I approved Australia’s proposal by 59 to 21 votes. In plenary on Friday, 15 June, Palau sought to reopen debate but failed by one vote to achieve the required one-third support, with 35 votes for and 71 against. Plenary therefore adopted Committee I’s decision.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.I.7) instructs the AC that no periodic review of any great whale, including the fin whale, should occur while the IWC moratorium is in place.
ASIAN BIG CATS: On Tuesday, 12 June, in Committee II, Secretary-General Wijnstekers reported on intersessional work since SC53 on assessing measures to address the illicit trade in tigers (CoP14 Doc.52). He noted the need for improved enforcement in some range states, but highlighted the success of the Inspection Tiger Brigades in the Russian Federation. Reporting on a recent mission to western China, he said that illicit trade in big-cat skins appears to have declined but enforcement can still be improved.
On Wednesday, 13 June, India introduced a document prepared jointly with Nepal, China and the Russian Federation (CoP14 Inf.50), highlighting seven draft decisions on measures to address trade in Asian big cats and their parts and derivatives, including strengthening efforts to implement Res. Conf.12.5 (Tigers) and reporting on progress at SC57; and actions by range states, such as participating in a tiger trade enforcement meeting.
Many delegates noted the alarming decline of wild tiger populations. Several tiger range states reported on continued efforts in addressing tiger conservation and illicit trade. The US and others expressed concern about pressure within China to reopen the commercial trade in tiger parts and derivatives. China stressed that its current domestic tiger trade ban policy review is in line with the Secretariat’s recommendation to assess a new approach, and that the policy will only be changed if a positive effect on wild tiger populations can be demonstrated. US traditional Chinese medicine institutions, supported by India, said that traditional Chinese medicine has embraced the development of viable alternatives to tiger bone.
On captive breeding, the US proposed amending the draft decision limiting it to “intensive” captive breeding operations and specifying that tigers should not be bred for trade in their parts and derivatives. Emphasizing state sovereignty, China proposed that the decision should apply only to “international” trade. The Committee approved the US-proposed amendments on captive breeding, but dismissed those proposed by China, with 19 votes in favor and 47 against.
Delegates also agreed on considering Res. Conf.12.5 when, inter alia, evaluating domestic tiger trade control policies, and further amendments by Bhutan, to strengthen the decisions, and the Russian Federation, to ensure consultation with tiger range states on monitoring illegal trade in Asian big cats. The Committee then agreed on the decisions by consensus, and they were adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.33) decides that, inter alia:
ELEPHANTS: Monitoring of illegal trade in ivory and other elephant specimens: On Tuesday, 12 June, in Committee I, TRAFFIC presented the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) report (CoP14 Doc.53.2), noting that the ETIS database contains 12,378 seizure records from 82 countries and territories since 1989, totaling 322 tonnes of ivory. He said the analysis shows a decline in illicit ivory trade from 1999-2004, followed by a sharp increase since 2005, and identified the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Thailand, Nigeria, Cameroon and China as countries of major concern. He also underscored that ETIS data does not support a correlation between changes to the CITES-listing of elephant populations or the resumption of legal ivory trade, and an increase in poaching and illegal trade. Instead, he identified unregulated domestic ivory markets, organized crime, and poor governance as key drivers of illegal trade.
During the ensuing discussion, China stated that information in the ETIS report relating to his country’s national legislation and trade controls is misleading and does not concur with the Secretariat’s assessment following its mission to China. He expressed concern that not designating China as a trading partner in the one-off ivory sale would lead to a reemergence of illegal trade. Nigeria and DRC reported on improvements in national legislation and enforcement to address illegal wildlife trade. Several others supported the ETIS findings. CoP14 noted the report.
Monitoring of illegal hunting in elephant range states: On Tuesday, 12 June, in Committee I, the Secretariat reported on the Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) programme (CoP14 Doc.53.3), noting, inter alia: SC55’s adoption of MIKE baseline information; recent establishment of the MIKE Central Coordination Unit; range state initiatives on applying the MIKE approach to other species; and funding requirements for phase II of the programme, particularly its Asian component.
Many stressed the need to ensure financial viability of the MIKE programme, with the US encouraging consideration of new sources of funding, the EU announcing France’s contribution of US$50,000 to MIKE’s South Asia subregional unit, and Botswana and South Africa urging range states to include MIKE activities in their national budgets. Zimbabwe and Zambia emphasized political will, law enforcement and strengthened management to combat elephant poaching. CoP14 noted the report.
Elephant annotation proposals: Discussions on elephant-related proposals (CoP14 Prop.4 by Botswana and Namibia; CoP14 Prop.5 by Botswana; CoP14 Prop.6 and CoP14 Inf.55 by Kenya and Mali; CoP14 Inf.53 by South Africa; and CoP14 Inf.54 by the EU) took place from 2-14 June, in the African Elephant Range States Dialogue, a Friends of the Chair group facilitated by SC Chair Maquieira, and in informal ministerial consultations facilitated by Francis Nheme, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Zimbabwe. The consensus proposal of African countries was adopted by acclamation on Thursday, 14 June, in Committee I, and formally adopted in plenary on Friday, 15 June.
During initial negotiations in the regional dialogue format, participants considered several documents that attempted to combine the original proposals, which ranged from establishing annual ivory export quotas to imposing a 20-year moratorium on ivory trade.
Updating Committee I on the status of negotiations on Tuesday, 12 June, South Africa reported a lack of regional consensus but highlighted common ground reached on: conservation of elephants and their role in economic development; the need to address illegal trade and ivory stockpiles; and monitoring illegal trade through MIKE and ETIS. She then presented a combined proposal which authorized a one-off ivory sale of a maximum of 70,000 kg for Botswana, 50,000 kg for Namibia, 40,000 kg for South Africa and 15,000 kg for Zimbabwe, in addition to the quantities agreed at CoP12, and included a provision that no further trade can take place before CoP16, with the SC mandated to take a further decision on export quotas and continuity of trade.
During the ensuing discussions, Namibia highlighted the livelihoods and conservation benefits of ivory trade, stressing that southern African elephant populations are robust and should be treated under CITES provisions for trade in Appendix-II species, and urged development of a decision-making mechanism for ivory trade. Kenya called for a continent-wide solution rather than applying different solutions in different parts of Africa and, supported by the EU, proposed to continue negotiations.
After compromise was reached in the informal ministerial consultations in the early morning hours of Thursday, 14 June, Zambia presented the African region’s proposal to amend the existing African elephant annotations, including a one-off ivory sale and a nine-year “resting period” for trade. Many commended the compromise reached by the African region. Japan proposed separating the shipment of the one-off sale of ivory agreed at CoP12 from the proposed new shipment, but withdrew his amendment following objections from the EU, Kenya and China. The US expressed concern about including Zimbabwe in the ivory sale, and called for identifying innovative funding sources for the African elephant fund. Kenya advocated monitoring the impacts of the one-off ivory sale.
Following the approval of Africa’s proposal by consensus, the EU, Botswana, South Africa and Kenya formally withdrew their respective proposals.
Final Outcome: The new African elephant annotation (CoP14 Inf.61) authorizes a one-off sale of raw ivory originating from government stocks registered by 31 January 2007, from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, in addition to quantities agreed at CoP12, subject to verification of trading partners.
It also states that: no further ivory trade proposals shall be submitted to the CoP for nine years after the one-off sale; and the SC may decide to stop trade in case of non-compliance or proven detrimental impacts on other elephant populations.
The proposal also contains decisions for, inter alia: the SC to propose a decision-making mechanism for ivory trade by CoP16, and to review the status of elephants; the range states to develop an African elephant action plan; and the Secretariat to establish an African elephant fund administered by the SC. It finally specifies that all other elephant specimens will be treated under the provisions for Appendix-I species.
Illegal ivory trade and control of internal markets: On Thursday, 14 June, Kenya withdrew its joint document with Mali (CoP14 Doc. 53.4), following the adoption of the compromise proposal on the African elephant by the African countries.
Trade in elephant specimens: On Thursday, 14 June, the Secretariat presented the report (CoP14 Doc.53.1), noting the need to update the Action Plan for the Control of Trade in African Elephant Ivory adopted at CoP13. Many parties expressed their support. Kenya, opposed by Namibia, outlined an alternative action plan (Cop14 Inf.56) and proposed harmonizing the two plans. Chair Leach disagreed, noting time constraints. Committee I then approved the Secretariat’s renewed and updated Action Plan, which was subsequently adopted in plenary on Friday, 15 June.
Final Outcome: The Action Plan (CoP14 Doc.53.1), inter alia, calls on:
RHINOCEROSES: On Wednesday, 6 June, the Secretariat recommended three draft decisions and a proposed revision of Res. Conf.9.14 (Rev.CoP13) on conservation and trade in African and Asian rhinoceroses (CoP14 Doc.54). Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland supported the recommendations, cautioning that information on stockpiles is sensitive and must be treated with confidentiality. TRAFFIC urged countries suffering from poaching to strengthen cross-border law enforcement and prosecution of smugglers. Nepal and China highlighted rhino conservation activities, including cross-border cooperation to control illegal trade in rhino horn. Kenya, opposed by many, proposed amendments calling for the destruction of rhino horn stockpiles except those used for educational or scientific purposes, and for range state comments to be included in reporting. The Secretariat’s recommendations were agreed by consensus following a minor amendment from the EU and delegates adopted them in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.I.2), inter alia: directs African and Asian rhinoceroses range states and parties that have stocks of rhino horns and derivatives to declare the status of their stocks; directs the Secretariat to collaborate with the World Heritage Convention to address rhinoceros poaching and illegal trade issues in World Heritage sites in the DRC; and encourages relevant range states to link rhinoceros conservation actions where possible with the MIKE programme.
ANTELOPES: Tibetan antelope: On Tuesday, 12 June, the Secretariat summarized the SC’s work on the Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii) (CoP14 Doc.55 (Rev.1)), highlighting that population increases mark a success for CITES protection of Appendix-I species. Switzerland, Thailand and India shared experiences with national enforcement. The CoP noted the report on Thursday, 14 June.
Saiga antelope: On Tuesday, 5 June, in Committee I, the Secretariat introduced three draft decisions concerning conservation of and trade in the saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica) (CoP14 Doc.56), highlighting in particular the need to manage stockpiles of saiga parts and derivatives in trading and consuming countries. The EU praised collaboration between CITES and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) on the issue. Mongolia urged importing countries to consider alternatives to saiga horn in traditional medicines. The Russian Federation announced its intention to sign the Memorandum of Understanding concerning Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Use of the Saiga Antelope. Singapore questioned references to illegal export from Malaysia and Singapore, and proposed replacing “Malaysia and Singapore” with “saiga-trading countries.” The Committee agreed on the draft decisions as amended by Singapore, which were then adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.I.5), inter alia: directs range states of Saiga tatarica to fully implement the measures in the Medium-Term International Work Programme for the Saiga Antelope (2007-2011); directs the Secretariat to cooperate with the CMS Secretariat on saiga issues; and encourages saiga consumer and trading states to manage and monitor saiga stockpiles.
TORTOISES AND TURTLES: Tortoises and freshwater turtles: On Tuesday, 12 June, in Committee I, the Secretariat proposed streamlining reporting requirements on the implementation of Res. Conf.11.9 (Rev. CoP13) (Tortoises and freshwater turtles) (CoP14 Doc.57). The EU and TRAFFIC voiced concerns about illegal trade in these species in Asia. Malaysia supported the proposal and Madagascar called for further cooperation to stop illegal trade. A small drafting group was established, which presented two draft decisions. The US introduced two further decisions, and all four were agreed by consensus and adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.I.12 and CoP14 Com.I Rep.15), inter alia:
Hawksbill turtle: Introducing the agenda item (CoP14 Doc.58) on Tuesday, 5 June, in Committee I, the Secretariat recommended no further action on the hawksbill turtle, noting: the limited response from range states; the lack of a regional strategy despite a number of national and bilateral initiatives; and the inability to hold a regional workshop, agreed to at CoP13, due to insufficient funding.
Some range states called for continued CITES involvement in the issue, while others highlighted regional initiatives. WWF and TRAFFIC said the regional workshop should not be held under the auspices of CITES. A working group chaired by Mexico was established. On Tuesday, 12 June, delegates approved by consensus the revised decision, which was subsequently adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.I.11) requests the Secretariat to:
SHARKS: On Wednesday, 6 June, AC Chair Althaus and AC intersessional Shark Working Group Chair Rod Hay (New Zealand) introduced several AC recommendations on sharks (CoP14 Doc.59.1). Australia introduced further recommendations (CoP14 Doc.59.2). A working group was established, chaired by New Zealand, to consolidate and simplify the two proposals.
On Thursday, 14 June, New Zealand presented the group’s work, which featured draft decisions on: implementation and effectiveness; commodity codes; species-specific reviews and recommendations; South American freshwater stingrays (Potamotrygonidae); capacity building; the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks; and illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.
Parties broadly supported the draft decisions. However, Japan, China, Guinea and Suriname suggested deleting the section on IUU fishing, with China stating that addressing IUU fishing is beyond CITES’ scope and expertise, and should be left to FAO. Argentina opposed the deletion, instead suggesting an amendment to include consultation with FAO on the topic. The EU and Australia agreed, with Australia noting that IUU fishing is linked to species trade.
The proposed deletion of text on IUU fishing was rejected, with 39 votes in favor and 48 against. The decisions were then passed by consensus, with Argentina’s amendment and adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.I.16), inter alia, encourages:
The CoP further directs the AC, in consultation with FAO, to report on linkages between the trade in shark fins and meat and IUU shark fishing activities, including the main shark species taken by IUU fishing and the relative importance of fins compared to meat in trade arising from IUU fishing.
SHARK LISTING PROPOSALS: Porbeagle shark: The EU introduced its proposal to list porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) in Appendix II (CoP14 Prop.15). Israel supported the proposal, and WWF and TRAFFIC added that some porbeagle shark populations merit an Appendix-I listing. The EU emphasized CITES’ role in complementing national and international activities to ensure conservation and sustainable use of the species, and added that the FAO Expert Panel, which did not support the listing, had not applied CITES listing criteria correctly. Greenpeace, on behalf of several NGOs, voiced concern over the global decline of sharks, and lamented continued resistance from some FAO members to CITES’ involvement in fisheries.
Ecuador speaking for the Central and South America and the Caribbean region, Iceland, Canada, Qatar and Norway opposed the proposal, emphasizing: the Expert Panel’s non-support for the proposed listing; the need to prioritize national and regional measures; and the role of RFMOs. Japan stressed that the proposed Appendix-II listing would not control trade within the EU. Two industry associations argued that the listing would create perverse incentives and distort international markets.
The listing proposal failed to achieve a two-thirds majority, and was rejected with 54 votes in favor and 39 against. This decision was confirmed in plenary on Friday, 15 June.
Spiny dogfish: The EU proposed Appendix-II listing of Squalus acanthias (spiny dogfish) (CoP14 Prop.16), highlighting evidence of intense international trade in the species and noting biological data demonstrating its vulnerability. Many delegations supported the listing, with the US and many NGOs voicing concern about the ongoing serial depletion of shark stocks around the globe, and Mexico saying that the species satisfies the trade and biological listing criteria.
Among delegations opposing the proposal: Canada preferred national and regional fisheries management measures to a CITES listing; New Zealand said spiny dogfish is abundant globally; Argentina argued that while European stocks are depleted, southern hemisphere stocks are managed sustainably; and China, Norway and the FAO noted that the FAO Expert Panel did not support the listing.
In Committee I, the proposal was rejected after narrowly failing to achieve a two-thirds majority, with 57 votes in favor and 36 against. On 15 June in plenary, the EU sought successfully to reopen debate, but the proposal was rejected in a secret ballot, with 55 votes in favor and 58 against.
Sawfish: The US and Kenya proposed listing Pristidae (sawfish) on Appendix I (CoP14 Prop.17). Kenya underscored sawfish species’ vulnerability, and the US highlighted lack of bycatch management, and trade in rostral saws, saw teeth and fins. Australia proposed an amendment to list one species, Pristis microdon (freshwater sawfish), on Appendix II with an annotation allowing international trade in live animals to aquaria for primarily conservation purposes. Many parties supported Australia’s amendment, with the EU noting that although Pristis microdon deserves an Appendix-I listing, the Australian population is well-managed. Norway, supported by Thailand, favored an Appendix-I listing with Australia applying for annual quotas. FAO said that the original proposal was supported by its Expert Panel, but did not comment on Australia’s amendment. China opposed the proposal.
The proposal as amended by Australia (CoP14 Com.I Rep.9) was approved with 67 votes in favor and 30 against. This decision was confirmed in plenary on Friday, 15 June.
Trade measures regarding porbeagle shark and spiny dogfish: Committee I rejected the EU’s proposed draft decisions on trade in porbeagle shark and spiny dogfish (CoP14 Doc.59.3), which failed by two votes to achieve the required two-thirds majority, with 58 votes in favor and 30 against. On Friday, 15 June, the CoP confirmed the rejection of these proposals.
STURGEONS AND PADDLEFISH: On Wednesday, 6 June, in Committee II, the Secretariat presented the report (CoP14 Doc.60.1), and urged sturgeon range states to contribute information to the recently created UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) database. China noted that the lack of data from range states is due to zero export quotas in 2006. The EU noted that the database should be limited to caviar trade information provided by all caviar-trading countries. TRAFFIC and WWF called for an independent and transparent process for quota setting, and advocated limiting the timeframe for exports to the catch year.
Iran presented the proposal of the SC54 Working Group on Sturgeons (CoP14 Doc.60.2.1), noting a lack of consensus on several issues, which, together with the Russian Federation’s proposal (CoP14 Doc.60.2.2), was referred to a working group chaired by the EU.
On Thursday, 14 June, Germany, as Chair of the working group, introduced draft decisions and a draft amendment to Res. Conf.12.7 (Sturgeons and paddlefish) (CoP14 Com.II.25), noting, inter alia, a ceiling for 2008 quotas, and an amendment requesting the Secretariat to seek external funding. The EU, the Russian Federation, Canada, US and IWMC endorsed the document and provided minor amendments. SeaWeb, with SSN, voiced serious concerns about the lack of protection for sturgeon in the Caspian Sea, but supported the quota ceiling for 2008. FAO noted that its Technical Cooperation Programme is due to expire and encouraged parties to submit formal requests for its extension. The Secretariat stated concern about its reduced oversight role regarding establishment of export quotas. The draft resolution and decisions were agreed by consensus including all proposed amendments, and adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.II.25 and CoP14 Com.II Rep.13), inter alia:
TOOTHFISH: Report of CCAMLR: On Tuesday, 12 June, in Committee II, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) reported on legal and illicit trade in Dissostichus spp. (toothfish) (CoP14 Doc.61). The EU and Australia called on parties to implement Res. Conf.12.4 (Cooperation between CITES and CCAMLR), while Singapore and Norway noted that toothfish are not CITES-listed species. The CoP took note of the report on Thursday, 14 June.
SEA CUCUMBERS: On Tuesday, 5 June, AC Chair Althaus introduced the agenda item (CoP14 Doc.62), including four draft decisions concerning sea cucumbers in the families Holothuriidae and Stichopodidae. Following a number of proposed amendments from parties, a working group was established, chaired by the EU, which presented revised decisions (CoP14 Com.I.1) to Committee I on Tuesday, 12 June, including components on livelihoods and cooperation with FAO. Ecuador and others supported the proposal, while Norway opposed, cautioning that it would expand CITES’ scope to species management. The proposal was agreed with 77 votes in favor and four against and adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
TRADITIONAL MEDICINES OF CITES-LISTED SPECIES: On Tuesday, 12 June, in Committee II, Australia, supported by New Zealand, introduced a proposal to address trade in traditional medicines containing CITES-listed species (CoP14 Doc.63), which was supported by Ecuador, Indonesia, India, WWF and others. The Philippines opposed the proposal, as did China, who underscored the Secretariat’s negative assessment of the proposal. The EU welcomed the proposal but proposed amendments deleting references to the development and use of alternative ingredients in preference to captive breeding. TRAFFIC highlighted recent research indicating that trade in traditional medicines containing endangered species derivatives could affect wild populations.
Delegates voted and accepted the EU’s amendments, and agreed on the decision by consensus. The decision was adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP recommends (CoP14 Com.II.22) that parties, inter alia:
BIGLEAF MAHOGANY: Report of the working group: On Tuesday, 5 June, in plenary, PC Chair Clemente reported on intersessional activities on bigleaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) (CoP14 Doc.8.3 (Rev.1)), including a range state workshop in July 2006, and noted PC16’s decision not to subject the species to an RST.
On Tuesday, 12 June, in Committee I, PC Chair Clemente and Mexico, as Chair of the intersessional Bigleaf Mahogany Working Group (BMWG), introduced draft decisions contained in the BMWG report (CoP14 Doc.64 (Rev.1)) on: NDFs for tree species; annotations for tree species on Appendices II and III; and the action plan for the control of international trade in bigleaf mahogany. The Committee agreed on the annexed action plan with minor amendments and on the decision by consensus, and both were adopted in plenary on Friday, 15 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.I.17), inter alia, directs the PC to:
The annexed Action Plan for the Control of International Trade in Bigleaf Mahogany contains eight sections directed at range states, importing and exporting parties, the SC, the PC and the Secretariat.
Actions by range states include: developing a regional strategy with timelines; establishing inter-institutional committees and working groups; giving CITES species special treatment in forest management plans; and facilitating the making of NDFs through forest management plans and inventories, capacity-building programmes and progress reports.
Importing and exporting countries are called upon to reject exports without proof of legal origin of the timber and to share information and experiences in the Action Plan implementation.
The CoP further requests:
BUSHMEAT: Report of the Central Africa Bushmeat Working Group: On Tuesday, 12 June, in Committee I, the Secretariat introduced the working group’s report, which highlights that a lack of funds has prevented the group from taking substantial initiatives; notes that the Secretariat has fulfilled its obligations on liaising with the CBD and FAO in line with Decision 13.103 (Bushmeat); and liaising with the CBD Liaison Group on Non-timber Forest Resources rather than extending the working group’s mandate.
The EU, with TRAFFIC and WWF, supported this recommendation, noting concerns over persistent illegal bushmeat trade, and delegates agreed to the proposal, which was adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Doc.65 (Rev.1)) encourages the Central Africa Bushmeat Working Group to collaborate with the CBD and FAO in its work, in particular with the CBD Liaison Group; and invites the group to report to the SC on progress and deliver a report on bushmeat to CoP15.
PERIODIC REVIEW OF THE APPENDICES: On Thursday, 7 June, in Committee I, AC Chair Althaus presented a proposal aimed at streamlining the procedure for periodic review of the appendices (CoP14 Doc.66). Mexico proposed specifying species selection criteria, Canada emphasized scientific basis for decision-making, and Australia advocated a simplified and transparent process. Delegates also debated the SC’s role in the selection process. A working group, chaired by the US, was established, which presented a revised draft resolution that was adopted by consensus, and adopted in plenary on Friday, 15 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.I.14 (Rev.1) and Com.I.Rep.15) instructs the AC and PC to establish a schedule for the periodic review, including identifying taxa proposed for review during the next two intersessional periods. The annex of the resolution contains a step-by-step protocol for the assessment of taxa for consideration in the periodic review. Species excluded from the review are those: subject to listing proposals at the last two CoPs (whether or not the proposals were adopted); listed under the new criteria in the last ten years; or subject to ongoing reviews, such as RST or periodic reviews conducted within the last ten years, or other reviews targeted by valid decisions and resolutions.
USE OF ANNOTATIONS FOR PLANTS IN APPENDIX II AND ANIMALS AND PLANTS IN APPENDIX III: On Wednesday, 6 June, Committee I agreed by consensus to the US proposal (CoP14 Doc.67) to amend Res. Conf.11.21 (Rev.CoP13) (Use of annotations in Appendices I and II) and Res. Conf.9.25 (Inclusion of species in Appendix III). The proposal was adopted in plenary on Friday, 15 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP amends Res. Conf.11.21 to clarify that CITES-listed species without annotations shall be deemed to include all parts and derivatives (CoP14 Com.I Rep.4).
Committee I considered proposals to amend Appendices I and II (CoP14 Doc.68) from 6-14 June. Proposals on the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) are summarized in the Elephants section above.
PRIMATES: Slow lorises: Cambodia’s proposal to transfer the genus Nycticebus (slow lorises) from Appendix II to Appendix I (CoP14 Prop.1) was agreed by consensus. The uplisting was adopted in plenary on Friday, 15 June.
FELINES: Bobcat: On Friday, 8 June, the US proposed deleting Lynx rufus (bobcat) from Appendix II (CoP14 Prop.2), stating that the species is thriving and that look-alike issues are no longer a concern due to improved identification techniques. Canada and Qatar supported the proposal. Range state Mexico opposed and, with HSI, highlighted a lack of up-to-date information on bobcat populations and problems differentiating bobcat parts from those of more endangered lynx species, and noted that the AC periodic review of Felidae is still ongoing. The EU, Serbia, Norway and India also opposed the proposal, highlighting look-alike issues. The proposal was rejected, with 28 votes in favor and 63 against. Delegates then approved a draft decision to extend the deadline for the periodic review of Felidae (CoP14 Doc.8.2), which was adopted in plenary on Friday, 15 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP extends the deadline for the periodic review of Felidae until CoP15.
CAMELIDS, DEER AND GAZELLE: Vicuña: The CoP agreed by consensus to amend the annotation for Bolivia’s population of vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) (CoP14 Prop.8), to allow international trade in wool sheared from live animals.
Red deer and gazelles: On Friday, 8 June, Committee I considered four proposals by Algeria, approving by consensus the inclusion of Gazella leptoceros (slender-horned gazelle) in Appendix I (CoP14 Prop.12), and rejecting the proposed listings of Cervus elaphus barbarus (Barbary red deer) (CoP14 Prop.9) and Gazella cuvieri (Cuvier’s gazelle) (CoP14 Prop.10) in Appendix I. Several parties pointed to the lack of evidence of international trade in these species, while range states stressed the difficulty in obtaining data on illegal trade. Algeria then withdrew its proposal to list Gazella dorcas (Dorcas gazelle) in Appendix I (CoP14 Prop.11).
In plenary on Friday, 15 June, the CoP confirmed the inclusion of slender-horned gazelle in Appendix I. Algeria successfully sought to reopen the proposal on Cuvier’s gazelle, and other range states and the EU supported, highlighting additional trade data provided by Algeria. The proposal was then adopted by consensus.
REPTILES: Black caiman: The CoP agreed by consensus to Brazil’s proposal (CoP14 Prop.13 (Rev.1)) to transfer its population of Melanosuchus niger (black caiman) from Appendix I to II.
Guatemalan beaded lizard: The CoP agreed by consensus to Guatemala’s proposal (CoP14 Prop.14) to transfer the subspecies Heloderma horridum charlesbogerti (Guatemalan beaded lizard) from Appendix II to Appendix I.
Banggai cardinalfish: The US withdrew its proposal to list Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) on Appendix II (CoP14 Prop.19) following opposition from several parties, including the only range state, Indonesia, who underscored ongoing conservation efforts, and implications of the proposed listing for local livelihoods.
Spiny lobster: Brazil withdrew its proposed Appendix-II listing of its populations of Panulirus argus (Caribbean spiny lobster) and Panulirus laevicauda (smoothtail spiny lobster) (CoP14 Prop.20).
Corals: The US proposal to list all species in the genus Corallium (pink and red corals) in Appendix II (CoP14 Prop.21) was considered in Committee I and a drafting group from 11-13 June. The proposal and associated decisions were accepted. The CoP overturned Committee I’s decision by rejecting the proposal in a secret ballot in plenary on Friday, 15 June.
In Committee I, the US noted large volumes of trade in these slow-growing corals, lamenting destructive harvest techniques and adding that few range states have coral populations large enough to support commercial harvest. The EU, Mexico, Israel and Qatar supported the listing, with the EU highlighting the recent dramatic decrease in coral output and productivity. Japan, Morocco, IWMC and Assocoral opposed the listing, with Morocco saying that Mediterranean coral is already protected. FAO stated that its Expert Panel did not support the listing. Many NGOs supported the listing, with Swan International saying that the listing would encourage governments to take immediate action to regulate coral trade, and Earthtrust pointing out that Corallium harvesting in the Pacific is poorly monitored. SeaWeb stated that FAO’s analysis was flawed as it considered the remaining number of coral colonies but not their size.
Following further discussion, a drafting group was established, and as a result of deliberations, the US proposed: an annotation delaying the listing’s entry into effect by 18 months to permit implementation measures to be put in place; and an amendment allowing an exemption for personal and household effects of up to seven pieces per person weighing no more than one kilogram in total, including any ancillary mountings. The US also proposed a draft decision for two implementation workshops for parties involved in harvesting and trade of Corallium (CoP14 Com.I.15). The EU supported the proposed listing and decision, adding a further amendment to exempt fossil corals. Mexico supported the listing but opposed the weight and fossil coral exemptions. Japan and Saint Kitts and Nevis suggested holding the workshops first and considering the listing proposals later.
The proposal, with the annotation on delaying implementation and the amendment on fossil corals, was adopted by 62 votes to 28 in Committee I, which also adopted by consensus the decisions on implementation workshops, and an amendment to the annotation on Corallium spp. relating to personal and household effects (CoP14 Com.II Rep.13).
In plenary on Friday, 15 June, Tunisia sought successfully to reopen debate, and the listing proposal was defeated in a secret ballot, failing to achieve a two-thirds majority with 61 votes in favor and 55 against. Delegates also agreed that this result constituted a rejection of the associated implementation workshops and the annotation on personal and household effects.
PLANT SPECIES: The CoP approved by consensus plant listing proposals on: removing Agave arizonica (Arizona agave) from Appendix I (CoP14 Prop. 22 by the US); transferring Nolina interrata (Dehesa bear grass) from Appendix I to Appendix II (CoP14 Prop.23 by the US); deleting Pereskia spp. and Quiabentia spp. from Appendix II (CoP14 Prop.24 by Argentina); deleting Pereskiopsis spp. from Appendix II (CoP14 Prop.25 by Mexico); and removing Shortia galacifolia (Oconee bells) from Appendix II (CoP14 Prop.28 by the US).
ANNOTATIONS FOR PLANT SPECIES: Committee I considered proposals on annotations for plant species from 6-13 June. Switzerland introduced its proposal to merge and amend annotations on Cactaceae spp. (#4) and Orchidaceae spp. (#8) in Appendix II, and all taxa annotated with #1 (CoP14 Prop.26). The US opposed the proposal, and TRAFFIC highlighted several inconsistencies, urging parties to refer the proposal to the PC for review. Delegates adopted a revised decision referring the issue to the PC, following the withdrawal of earlier proposals by Switzerland (CoP14 Prop.26, CoP14 Prop.29 on including Euphorbia spp. in Appendix II, and CoP14 Doc.31 on annotations to Euphorbia spp. and Orchidaceae spp.).
A proposal to amend annotations for various taxa (CoP14 Prop.27 by Switzerland at the request of the PC), (Adonis vernalis, Guaiacum spp., Hydrastis canadensis, Nardostachys grandiflora, Panax ginseng, Panax quinquefolius, Picrorhiza kurrooa, Podophyllum hexandru, Pterocarpus santalinus, Rauvolfia serpentina, Taxus chinensis, T. fuana, T. cuspidata, T. sumatrana, T. wallichiana, Orchidaceae spp. in Appendix II, and all Appendix-II and –III taxa annotated with annotation #1) was adopted by consensus with an amendment removing references to Appendix-III species.
Orchids: Switzerland’s proposal to amend the annotation to Orchidaceae spp. in Appendix II for the genera Miltonia, Odontoglossum and Oncidium (CoP14 Prop.34) was rejected, failing to achieve a two-thirds majority, with 45 votes in favor and 40 against. The Committee subsequently accepted by consensus two draft decisions on monitoring issues concerning implementation of the annotation for Orchidaceae spp. included in Appendix II (CoP14 Doc.8.3 (Rev.1)).
A proposal by Switzerland as Depository Government to amend the annotation to Orchidaceae spp. in Appendix II for hybrids of the genera Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis and Vanda (CoP14 Prop.35) was adopted by consensus.
Yew: Committee I referred the US proposal to amend annotations for Taxus cuspidata (Japanese yew) (CoP14 Prop.36) to a drafting group. Following consultations, the US withdrew its proposal, replacing it with a draft decision to discuss issues of hybrids and cultivars in the PC, which was approved by consensus.
Switzerland, as Depository Government, introduced a proposal to Committee I to delete an annotation on yew species Taxus chinensis, T. fuana and T. sumatrana from Appendix II, and amend the annotation to T. cuspidata (CoP14 Prop.37). He explained that the SC had deemed that the earlier annotations contravened CITES, which does not allow the exclusion of any live or dead plant of a listed species, and that this proposal would solve the problem while retaining the original intent. Supporting the proposal, Canada said the amendment would help develop Taxus plantations and reduce threats to wild species, while Japan opposed, suggesting that the PC discuss the issue. Following an amendment by China to refer solely to artificially propagated “live plants,” the proposal was adopted by consensus.
On Friday, 15 June, the CoP adopted all these proposals.
Final Outcome: The CoP requests the PC to, inter alia:
Brazil wood: On Thursday, 7 June, Brazil introduced its proposal to list Caesalpinia echinata (Brazil wood) in Appendix II (CoP14 Prop.30), with a new annotation that seeks to exempt finished products such as bows for stringed musical instruments. Several delegates supported the proposal, while the US said the annotation needs to conform to harmonized customs codes. The proposal (CoP14 Com.I Rep.10) was referred to a small drafting group to finalize the annotation, and was subsequently adopted by the CoP.
Cedar and rosewood: On Thursday, 7 June, the EU introduced its proposal to list Cedrela odorata (cedar) in Appendix II (CoP14 Prop.33) with additional amendments, including a provision for an 18-month delay in implementation. Underscoring cedar’s vulnerability to overexploitation, he noted that the EU was prepared to provide support and capacity building to assist range states with implementation of the listing. Many range states opposed the proposal, highlighting its insufficient scientific basis as well as potential livelihood impacts, with some suggesting an Appendix-III listing instead. Other parties noted the lack of range state support and highlighted difficulties faced by range states in implementing CITES listings of timber species. ITTO urged parties to consult its experts when developing timber listing proposals.
Following informal consultations, the EU withdrew its proposal and delegates agreed to establish a working group to draft a decision mandating the PC to advance the issue before CoP15. The EU then withdrew its proposals for listing rosewood (Dalbergia retusa and Dalbergia granadillo (CoP14 Prop.31) and Dalbergia stevensonii (CoP14 Prop.32), on the condition that these species also be considered by the working group addressing cedar. The Committee agreed, and the revised decision on both cedar and rosewood was approved by consensus on Tuesday, 12 June, and adopted in plenary on Thursday, 14 June.
Final Outcome: The CoP (CoP14 Com.I.10) adopted a plan of action to complete knowledge on the conservation status, trade in and sustainable use of Cedrela odorata, Dalbergia retusa, Dalbergia granadillo and Dalbergia stevensonii.
Actions set out for range states include: completing and updating the available information on these species; reporting on existing forest plantations and export volumes, including the percentage from plantations; and considering the inclusion of their populations of Cedrela odorata in Appendix III.
Other parties are requested to report on imports and exports and existing forest plantations of these species. The CoP further mandates the Secretariat, inter alia, to request technical and financial support from ITTO, and to promote capacity building in range states.
On Friday, 15 June, delegates adopted all outstanding agenda items, reported in the relevant sections of this summary. After adopting the budget, delegates viewed a video announcement of Australia committing approximately US$200,000 to fund two posts in the Secretariat to address illegal timber trade. Qatar offered to host CoP15 in Doha, Qatar, in 2010 and presented a video about his country. Delegates accepted the offer by acclamation.
CoP14 President Verburg expressed satisfaction with the meeting’s results, highlighting the agreement reached on the African elephant. She thanked all participants and declared the meeting closed at 5:45 pm.
CITES CoP14 will be remembered as the meeting that chartered the Convention’s future by strategically positioning this well-established treaty within new global priorities and realities such as globalization, biodiversity loss and natural resource depletion, and the fight against poverty, while building upon its mandate and core competencies. The inaugural ministerial-level meeting held in parallel with the CoP was also intended to boost political will for implementing CITES, strengthen the Convention’s role within the broader development agenda, and consider appropriate protection for commercially-exploited timber and fisheries species. Indeed, opponents of many of the new species listing proposals that were put before CoP14 argued that listing would have a direct impact on major industrial sectors such as logging, fisheries, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, music and jewelry, which sustain millions of livelihoods worldwide. Supporters pointed out that listing could ensure protection and better-controlled trade in those species, sustaining both the species and the livelihoods that depend upon them.
This brief analysis will examine the key drivers for policy decisions within CITES, illustrated by negotiations on the Strategic Vision, elephants, and the listing of marine and timber species, and their implications for the future role of the Convention.
Perhaps less dramatic than debates on proposed species listings, negotiations on CITES Strategic Vision 2008-2013 took place mainly behind the scenes but were nonetheless central to determining the Convention’s future direction, as the document is intended to serve as a CITES “roadmap” for the next six years. Discussions focused on the following three key arguments.
The first argument focuses on defining what constitutes “sustainable trade” and whether CITES’ ultimate conservation purpose includes or, in fact, requires, addressing not just the international trade component, but a more holistic approach to the management of commercially-exploited species, in particular timber and fisheries.
The second argument involves incorporating broader sustainable development objectives, or in the words of one developing country delegate, “bringing the Rio perspective” into the debate. The difference in opinions was patently clear when delegates found it hard to agree on how to reflect the Millennium Development Goals and World Summit on Sustainable Development objectives in the development of the new Strategic Vision, some embracing them, while others insisting the Convention’s role in the broader agenda should be narrower. Ultimately a cautious compromise was reached that firmly links any such role to reducing the rate of biodiversity loss.
The third argument is over the relationship between CITES and other international forums dealing with environment and trade issues, such as UNCLOS, IWC, FAO and ITTO, with parties seeming to have strong disagreements on whether the relationship should be one of kinship and mutual support, or subordination and respect.
During discussions on the Strategic Vision, the view that CITES should ensure “sustainability of trade” was ultimately defeated, with parties opting to place the onus on biodiversity conservation in the vision statement. The debates on timber and marine species, as well as on ivory trade, however, showed that these arguments are far from settled, and form the basis of country positions at CITES.
According to TRAFFIC, international wildlife trade is estimated at US$240 billion a year, with over 80% of this total generated through trade in timber and fisheries. Following the trend since CoP12, proposals for the listing of these commercially-valuable species continued to be high on the CoP’s agenda. Eleven marine and timber proposals were put before parties at CoP14, including cedar, rosewood, sharks, eels and corals. Of these, only Brazil wood, sawfish and eels entered the Convention’s appendices, while other proposals, albeit unsuccessful, generated heated debate on the best ways of ensuring sustainable management of those species, and ultimately to ensure the sustainability of their international trade. For instance, during the heated debate on the proposed listings of shark species, several fishing nations asserted that stocks are healthy in southern and northwestern Atlantic, in contrast with heavily depleted stocks in northeastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, arguing that overall, trade was still “sustainable.” Others warned that such a view ignores the ongoing trend of “serial depletion” whereby fishers systematically exhaust a stock, only to move on to exploit other regions or species. This debate highlights the philosophical divide over what is the core purpose of CITES interventions – simply preventing already endangered species from going extinct, or ensuring long-term sustainable harvesting.
Some read CoP14’s rejection of the majority of proposed timber and marine listings as a suggestion that the “tide may be turning” compared to CoP12, which listed seahorses, basking and whale sharks, and mahogany on Appendix II, and CoP13, which put the humphead wrasse and the great white shark and ramin on Appendix II. EU proposals to list cedar and rosewood on Appendix II at this CoP were met with staunch opposition from Latin American range states, who emphasized potential livelihoods impacts as well as difficulties in implementing CITES listings of timber species. As for corals, their listing was opposed by several parties and the industry involved, who claimed that livelihoods and artisanal traditions would be jeopardized. The proposal’s dramatic rejection in the closing plenary and CoP14’s decision to take note of livelihoods considerations in making non-detriment findings testifies to the prominence of socioeconomic and cultural considerations in parties’ decision-making.
Another new feature at CoP14 with regard to marine species was the FAO Expert Panel’s assessment of marine proposals made in parallel, and some say in competition with, that of the Secretariat. Out of seven marine species proposals assessed according to identical criteria, FAO and the CITES Secretariat disagreed on four, with FAO recommending only two species – sawfishes and eels – for inscription on CITES appendices. While CoP14’s decisions followed FAO’s recommendations, its assessment did not go down well with many parties – all the shark and coral listings opposed by FAO came close to winning the necessary two-thirds majority during the CoP. As a result, some underscored FAO’s guiding role pursuant to the recent CITES-FAO Memorandum of Understanding and cautioned that unless its advice was adhered to, “the whole system may collapse before it even started working.” Given the steady drive by CITES parties to ensure coherence with other forums addressing fisheries and timber trade and management, the forest community and ITTO will no doubt continue to keep “a watching brief” on developments in the marine realm and their future implications for timber species issues.
In spite of the Ministerial Roundtable’s focus on timber and marine species, CoP14 sent mixed messages on CITES’ continued expansion into these areas. In the long term, however, the push to control international trade in these valuable resources is likely to continue. As one delegate who opposed marine listings at this CoP reflected, his side “may have won the battle, but is losing the war.”
Another battle that has raged almost since the Convention’s inception is that over ivory trade, closely linked with the concern about the survival of elephants in the wild. SC55’s decision to finally give a go-ahead to the one-off sale of ivory stockpiles from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, set the tone for CoP14’s discussions.
Following several days of suspense, in keeping with the tradition of previous CITES CoPs, the predicted “big elephant show” did arrive, culminating in a “grand finale,” with African countries reaching consensus on the future of ivory trade – identified by many participants as the conference’s major outcome. Many felt that good progress was made on this longstanding issue, highlighting that consensus among African countries was reached “for the first time in a long time.” Some said that the arrival of the political muscle that enabled the deal should be credited to the Dutch hosts’ idea to convene a ministerial-level roundtable.
In many ways, elephants have been the “poster child” and forerunners of the arguments on sustainable use and livelihoods within CITES. At CoP14, the debate conformed to well-rehearsed statements on the benefits of ivory trade from sustainably-managed populations on the one hand, and the potential adverse impacts of trade on elephant conservation on the other. In the end, as in every true compromise, both sides claimed a victory. Some felt that treating trade in ivory products from Appendix-II elephant populations in a similar way to other species in the same appendix is long overdue, advocating a new decision-making mechanism for ivory trade, while others believed that the nine-year resting period has bought precious time for some of Africa’s less robust elephant populations. Many therefore hoped that this outcome would put the issue to rest for the foreseeable future, and allow CITES to devote more attention to “other species lurking in the forest.”
Ultimately, ensuring that no species is endangered as a result of international trade results in a constant tension between those preferring CITES to have a role in species management and those sticking to a more limited definition of conservation. While there has been demonstrable success on some Appendix I species that have been downlisted, like black caimans and vicuñas, for others, such as tigers, which have been on Appendix I for almost thirty years, the situation remains dire. Some attribute this to factors beyond trade, such as habitat loss. Yet others point out that allowing “some trade” would provide economic incentives for the protection of CITES-listed species and may become a driver for increased enforcement and conservation measures, illustrated, for example, by sturgeon management in the Caspian Sea. Still others contend that where to draw the line depends upon the species in question, saying that while some trade may help elephants, tigers are in too critical a condition to allow any trade at all.
Such arguments center around the question of when CITES’ involvement is most effective, or in the words of one delegate, how to ensure that it is not just “an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.” In the minds of a few observers, some parties seem to only revert to CITES trade regulations when the species is on the brink of collapse, exemplifying the “too little, too late” approach. In the case of mahogany and sturgeons, two intensely-traded species, members of the Animals and Plants Committees have expressed hopes that they may become examples of species addressed “just in time” to guarantee their long-term sustainability.
CITES’ biggest challenge therefore remains ensuring that the ambulance remains at the top of the cliff. If the Convention is restricted to being a last-resort mechanism after management systems collapse, its hard-won reputation will suffer. At the same time, as was clear from budget discussions, competition for financial resources in today’s globalized world requires CITES to showcase its value and relevance, by incorporating outcome-oriented objectives, good governance and transparent mechanisms. To what degree this will be achieved by the new Strategic Vision is yet unclear, as a new costed work programme and indicators remain to be developed by the SC.
With the upcoming CITES CoP15 likely coinciding with the 2010 global target to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss, pressure is mounting for this mature Convention, often hailed as a flagship example of international environmental problem-solving, to demonstrate its continued ability to lead conservation efforts in the twenty-first century.
EIGHTH MEETING OF THE UNITED NATIONS OPEN-ENDED INFORMAL CONSULTATIVE PROCESS ON OCEANS AND THE LAW OF THE SEA: This meeting will take place from 25-29 June 2007, at UN headquarters in New York. UNICPOLOS-8 will focus its discussions on the topic of marine genetic resources. For more information, contact: UNDOALOS; tel: +1-212-963-3962; fax: +1-212-963-2811; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/consultative_process/consultative_process.htm
FIRST MEETING OF THE CHAIRS OF THE SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BODIES OF BIODIVERSITY-RELATED CONVENTIONS: This meeting will take place on 1 July 2007, in Paris, France, and aims to strengthen the cooperation among the scientific advisory bodies of the biodiversity-related conventions, and further improve the scientific advice available to these bodies. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.cbd.int
CBD SBSTTA-12: The twelfth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity will take place from 2-6 July 2007, in Paris, France. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.cbd.int
SECOND MEETING OF THE CBD OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION: The second meeting of the CBD’s Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention is scheduled for 9-13 July 2007, in Paris, France. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.cbd.int
ITTO LATIN AMERICAN REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT: This workshop, scheduled for 10-13 July 2007, in Medellín, Colombia, is one of three regional workshops organized by the International Tropical Timber Organization in each ITTO tropical timber-producing region to exchange experiences on the implementation of sustainable forest management. For more information, contact: Heliodoro Sanchez; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or the ITTO Secretariat at tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.itto.or.jp
FIRST INTERNATIONAL TECHNICAL CONFERENCE ON ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES: This conference, to be held in Interlaken, Switzerland, from 1-7 September 2007, will seek to address priorities for the sustainable use, development and conservation of animal genetic resources. For more information, contact: FAO Animal Production Services Secretariat; tel: +39-6-570-54698; fax: +39-6-570-53927; e-mail: Interlaken-AnGR@fao.org; internet: http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/genetics/angrvent2007.html
STRATEGIES FOR THE SUSTAINABLE USE AND MANAGEMENT OF TIMBER TREE SPECIES SUBJECT TO INTERNATIONAL TRADE: This Southeast Asian regional technical workshop will take place from 5-7 September 2007, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For more information, contact: Harriet Gillett, UNEP-WCMC; tel: +44-1223-277-314; fax: +44-1223-277-136; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/timber/index.htm
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE TO PROMOTE THE DEVELOPMENT OF NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS AND SERVICES: This conference will take place from 19-21 September 2007, in Beijing, China, and will be convened by ITTO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and the State Forestry Administration of the People’s Republic of China, to consolidate lessons learned among ITTO members on promoting the development of non-timber forest products and services. For more information, contact: ITTO Secretariat, Forest Industry Division; tel: +81-45-223-1110; fax: +81-45-223-1111; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.itto.or.jp/
THIRD MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO ACCOBAMS: This meeting will be held from 22-25 October 2007, in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and is organized by the Secretariat to the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area. For more information, contact: ACCOBAMS Secretariat; tel: +377-9898-2078; fax: + 377-9898-4208; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.accobams.org/2006.php/parties/show/5
FIFTH TRONDHEIM CONFERENCE ON BIODIVERSITY: This conference is scheduled for 29 October - 2 November 2007, in Trondheim, Norway. Hosted by the Norwegian Government in cooperation with UNEP, the conference aims to provide input to CBD and its preparations for COP9 in 2008. For more information, contact: Norway’s Directorate for Nature Management; tel: +47-7358-0500; fax: +47-7358-0501; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.dirnat.no/
THIRTY-SECOND MEETING OF THE CMS STANDING COMMITTEE: The 32nd meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) will take place on 8-9 November 2007, in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: CMS Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2401; fax: +49-228-815-2449; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.cms.int/
MEETING ON INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ON MIGRATORY SHARKS UNDER THE CMS: This meeting will take place from 11-13 December 2007, in Mahé, Seychelles. For more information, contact: CMS Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2401; fax: +49-228-815-2449; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.cms.int/
CITES AC23/PC17: The 23rd meeting of the Animals Committee and the 17th meeting of the Plants Committee of CITES will take place in April 2008, in Geneva, Switzerland (exact dates to be determined). For more information, contact: CITES Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-8139; fax: +41-22-797-3417; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.cites.org
CBD COP9: The ninth Conference of the Parties to the CBD will take place in Bonn, Germany, from 19-30 May 2008. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.cbd.int/
RAMSAR COP10: The tenth Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance will take place from 28 October - 4 November 2008, in Changwon, Republic of Korea. For more information, contact: Ramsar Secretariat; tel: +41-22-999-0170; fax: +41-22-999-0169; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.ramsar.org
CMS COP9: The ninth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species will take place from 9-21 November 2008, in Rome, Italy. For more information, contact: CMS Secretariat; tel. +49-228-815-2401; fax: +49-228-815-2449; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.cms.int/
XIII WORLD FORESTRY CONGRESS: This conference will be held from 18-25 October 2009, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to address a wide range of issues related to forests, biodiversity and development. For more information, contact: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; internet: http://www.fao.org/forestry/site/37075/en/page.jsp or http:/www.wfc2009.org
CITES CoP15: CITES CoP15 will be held in 2010, in Doha, Qatar (exact dates to be determined). For more information, contact: CITES Secretariat; tel: +41-22-917-8139; fax: +41-22-797-3417; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.cites.org