Daily report for 14 April 2000
11th Meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties (COP11)
Committees met throughout the day. Committee I reviewed proposals for amendments to Appendices I and II; Committee II discussed timber species, trade in bear specimens, and bushmeat; and the Budget Committee met in its first official session to discuss the 2000-01 budget.
PROPOSALS FOR APPENDICES I & II AMENDMENTS: Plants: Inclusion in Appendix II: The EU supported a proposal on Harpagophytum Procumbens (Devil’s Claw) (Prop. 11.60) to limit import by member States until sustainable harvest is achieved. JAPAN and most range States underscored insufficient evidence of threat to or trade of the specie and opposed the proposal. Delegates adopted a decision postponing the proposal until COP-12 to allow range States to collect additional data. GERMANY amended a proposal on Adonis Vernalis (False Hellebore) (Prop 11.61) to include only dead specimen. The Secretariat said CITES cannot allow differentiation between live and dead specimen. GERMANY suggested reference to dried specimen and delegates adopted the revised proposal. Delegates also adopted proposals on Panax Ginseng (Asian Ginseng) (Prop 11.54) and Cistanche Deserticola (Desert-living Cistanche) (Prop. 11.59).
Deletion from Appendix II: SWITZERLAND explained that species proposed for deletion from Appendix II are not internationally traded or artificially propagated for trade. KENYA, NEPAL, INDIA, and BANGLADESH opposed deletion of Ceropegia (Lantern Flower) (Prop. 11.1) due to the endemic characteristics of the specie. UGANDA added that the Plants Identification Manual is incomplete and illegal trade might be underestimated, making the proposal unjustified. Delegates adopted the proposal. SWITZERLAND noted the withdrawal of Lewisia maguirei and Lewisia serrata from the proposal on Lewisia Cotyledon (Heckner’s Lewisia) (Prop. 11.10) and delegates adopted the proposal. Delegates also adopted proposals for deletion of Frerea Indica (Prop. 11.2); Byblis (Rainbow Plant) (Prop. 11.3); Cephalotus Follicularis (Albany Pitcher Plant) (Prop. 11.6); Darlingtonia Californica (Californian Pitcher Plant) (Prop. 11.11); and Kalmi Cuneata (White Wicky) (Prop. 11.57).
Uplisting to Appendix I: Delegates adopted proposals to up-list the Araucaria Araucana (Argentinean Monkey Puzzle Tree) (Prop. 11.55), and the Guaiacum Sanctum (Lignum Vitae) (Prop. 11.62).
Downlisting: Delegates adopted a proposal to down-list the Dudley Traskiae (Laguna Beach Liveforever) (Prop. 11.7), but decided to maintain Sclerocactus Mariposensis (Lloyd’s Mariposa Cactus) (Prop. 11.5) in Appendix I. Invoking the Precautionary Principle, MEXICO opposed down-listing the Disocactus Macdougalli (Macdougall’s Cactus). The US suggested, and BRAZIL and MEXICO supported, the Plants Committee conduct additional research on the specie. Delegates voted in favor of the proposal.
Annotations: Delegates adopted a proposal changing the current listings of Cyatheaceae and Dicksoniaceae (Tree Ferns) (Prop. 11. 8). Delegates also adopted a proposal to harmonize exemptions related to medicinal products by combining a current annotation for Podophyllum Hexandrum and Rauvolfia Serpentina (Himalayan May-apple) with an annotation for Taxus Wallichiana (Prop. 11.53). CHILE withdrew a proposal on Echinopsis, Eulychnia and other Bolivian Cactaceae used in the fabrication of rainsticks (Prop 11.56) and suggested instead amending resolution 9.18 to include a paragraph on rainsticks. Delegates adopted the new decision.
Animals: Uplisting to Appendix I: NEPAL introduced a proposal to up-list three Asian pangolin species (Prop. 11.13), noting extensive harvesting for parts and massive trade. Faced with many delegations’ opposition, the US proposed establishing an informal working group to amend the proposal. Several delegations, including TURKEY, ROMANIA, FIJI and MONACO, supported uplisting the Bottlenose Dolphins (Prop. 11.14). JAPAN opposed, stating the proposal lacked sufficient data. The EU opposed, and ICELAND called for a regional solution. Delegates accepted to withdraw the proposal and refer it back to the Animals Committee.
Quota change: TANZANIA presented, and delegates adopted, a proposal to maintain the export quota of Tanzanian populations of Nile Crocodiles (Prop. 11.12).
APPROPRIATE AND ACCEPTABLE DESTINATIONS: KENYA appreciated the support for its proposal (Doc 11.26) and submitted amendments emphasizing export procedures for the humane treatment of wildlife and determination of appropriate destinations. Delegates will revisit this issue.
TRADE IN BEAR SPECIMENS: Several delegates, including the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, CHINA and the US supported a Secretariat recommendation (Doc. 11.29) that, inter alia, Parties should report on action taken to implement resolution10.8, which requested Parties to confirm, adopt or improve national legislation to reduce illegal trade in bear parts and derivatives. INDIA submitted a proposal specific to Appendix I bear species that requests, inter alia, development of a forensic scientific cooperative for identifying origin of species, and a review of bear trade in range and consumer States, including technical and political missions to examine the status of wild bear populations and of bear farming. The INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR ANIMAL WELFARE urged identification of substitutes for medicines containing bear products. Several delegations supported India's proposal, and a working group was established to further consider this issue.
VICUÑA WOOL AND CLOTH: Delegates adopted a draft resolution allowing for import of vicuña cloth bearing a trademark stating the country of origin and requesting exporters to provide the Secretariat details of exports (Doc. 11.33).
TIBETAN ANTELOPE: With the EU’s request to exclude privately owned Tibetan antelopes, delegates adopted China’s proposal requesting the Standing Committee to address illegal trade and to investigate shahtoosh processing (Doc. 11.34). INDIA noted a constitutional constraint in one of its States affecting its ability to curb shahtoosh production and called for Nepal’s support in cracking down on smugglers.
TIMBER SPECIES: Delegates considered Secretariat recommendations on whether to repeal or maintain 14 COP-10 decisions on timber species (Doc 11.38.1). Delegates accepted all proposals except for the recommendation to repeal decision 10.52 requiring submission of species’ names to importers and CITES’ enforcement agencies. The US noted an educational document on CITES-listed timber products.
TRADE IN APPENDIX II SPECIES: The Secretariat introduced a draft resolution amending resolution 8.9, establishing a process for the Animal Committee to review biological and trade information on Appendix II species to identify problems in trade regulation (Doc. 11.41.2). The resolution extends the process to the Plants Committee. The EU, COLOMBIA, SWITZERLAND, AUSTRALIA and others supported the resolution. Delegates adopted the resolution on principle, pending minor amendments by the EU and Colombia.
NATIONAL LAWS: Delegates reviewed and adopted the revised document (Doc. 11.21.1).
AMENDMENT OF RESOLUTION 5.10: SOUTH AFRICA introduced its draft resolution amending resolution 5.10 on the definition of "primarily commercial purposes" (Doc. 11.43), noting it wished to withdraw the operative sections, but retain preambular language referring to commercial purposes of imports. CANADA, supported by the EU and the US, opposed the preambular language, noting it made the term "commercial purposes" more imprecise. The resolution was withdrawn.
BUSHMEAT: The UK introduced a discussion paper and draft decision (Doc. 11.44) to establish an on-going working group to explore the trade and wildlife management issues associated with bushmeat. In support, the CONGO said bushmeat consumption has moved from traditional subsistence to commercial trade, causing population decline. The decision was adopted.
COSMETIC PRODUCTS CONTAINING CAVIAR: GERMANY, supported by the EU and SWITZERLAND, proposed amending its resolution (Doc. 11.45.2) to eliminate re-exportation permits for final cosmetic products that contain "less than 0.05 gm of caviar of sturgeon species included in Appendix II per kg of cosmetic product." The US and others opposed on the grounds that it sets an unacceptable precedent, fails to demonstrate the impact on sturgeon and that re-exported cosmetic products are used for commercial and not personal uses. An informal group was established.
WORKING GROUP ON BEARS: The working group, chaired by Yvan Lafleure (Canada), discussed the Secretariat recommendations and the Indian proposal on trade in bear specimens. They agreed the Standing Committee should review trade in bear specimens at its next meeting and report its findings to COP-12, and suggested Parties evaluate the recommendations from the technical and political missions on tigers to determine which of them may also be applied to bears.
EXTERNAL FUNDING: The Secretariat introduced a document summarizing donor contributions for projects received in addition to the CITES Trust Fund (Doc. 11.10.4). Budget Committee Chair Stansell underlined that external funding comprises a significant portion of the Secretariat's budget and that it will play an important role in implementing the Strategic Plan. JAPAN noted that it could not guarantee increased contributions in the future. The UK said the projected 13% overhead cost may effect contributions negatively. The Committee approved the document .
FINANCIAL REPORT FOR 1997-1999: The Secretariat introduced the financial report for 1997-1999 (Doc. 11.10.1.Rev.1), and drew attention to the annexes, which detail each year’s total expenditures. He noted, inter alia, that investment of the Trust Fund’s reserve balance had been streamlined, and that the budget projected for 2000 would not create a deficit. The US, and others, asked for clarification on expected over- and under-expenditures of several budget line items. The Secretariat said large differences resulted from receiving external funding for certain line items. Chair Stansell suggested the Secretariat provide additional explanations in cases where over- or under-expenditures exceed 20%. GERMANY and the UK asked for better methods to refine future projections. The Secretariat said a closer alignment had been achieved in recent years, and assured a concerted effort to formulate realistic projections. The Committee approved the document.
EXPENDITURES FOR 2000: The Secretariat noted the budget was rescheduled as a result of holding COP-11 in 2000 instead of 1999 (Doc. 11.10.2). He also noted that the Standing Committee budget had been reduced since it had already met twice in 1999. SAINT LUCIA expressed concern that insufficient funds were earmarked for training. The Secretariat noted an increased budget for training courses and suggested that additional funds for developing capacity-building programmes could come from external donors. The document was approved.
SECRETARIAT STAFFING: The Committee noted seven new posts approved by the Standing Committee would be funded through the Trust Fund reserve balance (Doc. 11.9.2). The Secretariat highlighted the need for three additional posts, including a regional assistance officer and an information management officer.
BUDGET FOR 2001-2002 AND THE MEDIUM TERM PLAN 2001-2005: The Secretariat introduced the budget plan (Doc. 11.10.3.Rev.1). He said estimates for the first biennium are higher than agreed upon at COP-10 due to an increase in programme work, necessitating a 19% budget increase to finance current activities. Chair Stansell added that a deficit for 2003 is looming if Parties do not increase contributions. The Secretariat also asked Parties to agree on an acceptable withdraw level from the Trust Fund reserve balance. SWITZERLAND, supported by the UK, the US and others, suggested a gradual approach to financing posts and activities, taking half from the reserve balance and half from the budget. AUSTRALIA expressed concern that a low reserve balance would be a liability. The Budget Committee will continue its deliberations on setting a 1.5 million Swiss Franc Trust Fund carry over limit and a gradual approach to drawing upon the balance, as well as an overall proposed 20% budget reduction.
IN THE BREEZEWAYS
What was expected to be a routine Budget Committee discussion on the Convention’s upcoming biennium programme turned to confusion as the Secretariat and delegates interpretation diverged on whether a COP-10 resolution to increase the budget and, consequently, Party contributions, was binding.
Some considered the need to review budgetary commitments in light of new developments in the Secretariat’s heavily loaded work programme and a review of its activities in the first phase of its mid-term plan. Many could not guarantee additional funding for new staff beyond 2002, whereas others were sympathetic to the increased demands for an expanded Secretariat to keep up with CITES growing membership. Although CITES is not subject to the current UN zero-growth policy, some foresee difficulties in justifying an increase in budgetary contributions to their governments.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
COMMITTEES: Committee I will continue addressing proposals for amendments to Appendices I and II, including on whale species. Committee II will discuss Switzerland’s resolution concerning diagnostic samples and Kenya's proposals on the definition of "appropriate and acceptable destinations" and the risks and benefits of trade in wildlife. The Budget Committee will convene throughout the day in the ICAO room to continue its discussion of the 2001-2002 budget.