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Daily report for 18 April 2000

11th Meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties (COP11)

Committee I reviewed proposals on, inter alia, Musk Deer, Dugong, the Hawksbill Turtle and sharks. Committee II discussed proposals on introduction from the sea, caviar and micro-chips.


DUGONG: AUSTRALIA introduced a proposal to uplist the Australian Dugong population to Appendix I (Prop. 11.26), eliminating the split-listing of the species. SWITZERLAND and JAPAN opposed, citing little evidence of illegal trade. ICELAND suggested downlisting other populations. The US, VANUATU, INDONESIA, MADAGASCAR, ISRAEL, the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, ERITREA, MONACO, the CZECH REPUBLIC and the INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE COALITION supported the proposal, which was adopted.

VICUÑA: BOLIVIA withdrew its proposal to downlist Appendix I populations of Vicuña (Prop. 11.27). He noted that live shearing ensures sustainable use of the specimen. ECUADOR, BRAZIL, the EU, SPAIN, ARGENTINA, JAPAN, COSTA RICA, COLOMBIA, the US, TRAFFIC and others supported, and delegates adopted, another proposal eliminating the zero-quota applicable to Appendix II Vicuna species (Prop. 11.28).

MUSK DEER: The US presented, as alternatives to its joint proposal to uplist the Musk Deer (Prop. 11.29), a draft decision and resolution (Com. 11.12, 13) providing for, inter alia, trade monitoring by the Standing and Animals Committees, Parties’ efforts to reduce trade, alternatives to musk and financial assistance to range States. INDIA, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, PAKISTAN, CHINA, JAPAN and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA supported the draft decision. The decision and resolution were adopted.

URIAL: GERMANY introduced an amended proposal to list the Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan Urial sub-species on Appendix I and the Iran, Afghanistan, and Kazakhstan sub-species on Appendices II (Prop. 11.30). The EU and IRAN supported, while PAKISTAN opposed. UZBEKISTAN said some sub-species are already listed in Appendix II under different taxonomic appellations. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION asked that the proposal be amended to reflect this. The amended proposal was adopted.

DARWIN'S RHEA: ARGENTINA introduced, and delegates adopted, a proposal to uplist its population of Darwin's Rhea to Appendix I (Prop. 11.30).

GYRFALCON: The US proposed downlisting its Gyrfalcon population to Appendix II (Prop. 11.32). CANADA, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, SAUDI ARABIA and the US FISH AND WILDLIFE AGENCY supported the proposal. The EU, SWEDEN, ISRAEL and PRO-WILDLIFE opposed, indicating possible enforcement problems and genetic pollution of other populations. JAPAN and NORWAY opposed creating a split listing. The proposal was rejected.

HORNED AND UVEA PARAKEETS: FRANCE, on behalf of New Caledonia, proposed uplisting the illegally traded Horned Parakeet (Prop. 11.33) and Uvea Parakeet (Prop. 11.34) to Appendix I. The EU, NEW ZEALAND, INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE COALITION and DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE supported the proposal, which was adopted.

MELODIOUS LAUGHING THRUSH: CHINA introduced its proposal to list this species in Appendix II (Prop. 11.35). The US, MALAYSIA and others supported. The EU and JAPAN opposed, preferring placement in Appendix III. The proposal was adopted.

ASIAN BOX TURTLES: GERMANY and the US presented a proposal covering four species of Box Turtles for Appendix II inclusion (Prop. 11.36). The proposal was adopted.

SPOTTED TURTLE: The US outlined their proposal to include the Spotted Turtle in Appendix II (Prop. 11.37) citing the negative impact of international trade specifically for pet collecting. The EU and SWITZERLAND opposed noting that domestic rather than international trade impacted the species. COLOMBIA, CANADA and KENYA expressed support. The proposal was rejected by vote.

AFRICAN SPURRED TORTOISE: FRANCE, invoking the Precautionary Principle, presented its proposal to uplist the Tortoise (Prop. 11.38). SUDAN, TOGO, BENIN and GHANA rejected the proposal. FRANCE’s revised proposal to leave the Tortoise on Appendix II with a zero-quota for wild species was adopted.

PANCAKE TORTOISE: KENYA outlined its revised proposal, co-sponsored by the US, requesting an Appendix II listing with a zero-quota for wild species (Prop. 11.39). TANZANIA opposed, noting that trade in wild species is already banned. KENYA withdrew the proposal and agreed to work with Tanzania to ensure wild species.

HAWKSBILL TURTLE: CUBA withdrew a joint proposal to downlist this species allowing for an initial export to Japan of its existing stockpile and an annual quota of 500 specimens after this (Prop. 11.40). She instead urged Parties to support another proposal allowing for only a one-off sale with Japan (Prop. 11.41). She said specimens found in Cuban waters do not warrant listing in Appendix I and noted the work of the national management programme had prevented illegal trade. FIJI noted there was no size differentiation between shells that would indicate maturity and sex of the specimens. JAPAN entered a reservation on Appendix I listing of the Hawksbill Turtle, noting the proposal would not affect existing national legislation and monitoring controls. SOUTH AFRICA said the proposal is justified as a sovereign national decision and is sustainable since the shells come from dead specimens. The DOMINCAN REPUBLIC, GUINEA, HONDURAS, NAMIBIA, MONGOLIA, BENIN, ZIMBABWE, VANUATU, JAMAICA, ANTIGUA and BARBUDA supported the proposal. The EU, BRAZIL, KENYA, the BAHAMAS, the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, the US and CANADA opposed the downlisting, with many citing the threat of illegal trade and the risk incumbent with downlisting the whole population in Appendix II, especially when migratory habits render its management difficult. The UK called for a global seminar on this issue before COP-12. WWF agreed that it was premature to downlist the whole population and offered funds for a workshop. TRAFFIC supported the downlisting and close monitoring of the effects of the one-off trade. CUBA called for a secret ballot. Delegates rejected the proposal.

REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS: GERMANY and the US withdrew their respective proposals on the Quince Monitor Lizard (Prop. 11.43) and the Timber Rattlesnake (Prop. 11.44). Delegates adopted proposals to delete the Sonoran Green Toad from Appendix II (Prop. 11.45) and to include the frog genus in Appendix II (Prop. 11. 46).

WHALE SHARK: The US amended its proposal on Whale Sharks to add the Great White and Basking Sharks for listing in Appendix II (Prop. 11. 47). He further suggested instituting a six-month wait to collect data. He highlighted over-exploitation and IUCN’s characterization of the species as "rare," and said this proposal could complement the FAO Plan of Action on the species. The CZECH REPUBLIC, MONACO, the PHILIPPINES, EL SALVADOR, the EU and TRAFFIC supported, while INDONESIA opposed, highlighting food security and species identification concerns. AUSTRALIA noted DNA techniques would guide identification. CUBA, NORWAY, JAPAN, CHINA, the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, THAILAND, VENEZUELA, SINGAPORE, OLDEPESCA and IWMC opposed, with most noting lack of evidence of threats resulting from commercial exploitation and the absence of trade, as well as the exclusive competence of the FAO. The US called for a vote and delegates rejected the proposal.

GREAT WHITE SHARK: AUSTRALIA introduced its proposal to list this species on Appendix I (Prop. 11.48), and amended the proposal for an Appendix II listing. KENYA, the EU and NEW ZEALAND supported the proposal, while PANAMA, JAPAN and SINGAPORE opposed. The proposal was rejected by secret ballot.

BASKING SHARK: The UK proposed including this species in Appendix II (Prop. 11.49) to ensure its sustainable use. He highlighted DNA testing available for identifying Basking Shark products. The proposal was rejected by secret ballot.


INFORMATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGY: The Secretariat introduced, and delegates approved, CITES’ information management strategy (Doc. 11.57). He described CITES’ website as the core for information and noted the need to focus on internet connectivity in Africa. LIBERIA and SIERRA LEONE stressed the need for equipment assistance.

INTRODUCTION FROM THE SEA: AUSTRALIA introduced draft resolutions on introduction from the sea (Conf. 11.17 and Conf. 11.18). Amendments to the original documents include, inter alia, clearer definition of marine environment not under a State’s jurisdiction; clarification on information requirements; and mechanism refinements for non-detriment findings. The EU, BRAZIL, VANUATU, FIJI, the CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW and others supported the proposed draft resolution. The US expressed support and noted Parties had agreed in 1973 to focus on commercial fisheries. CANADA also expressed support and underlined that the resolutions should become applicable only if a species is listed on Appendix II. JAPAN, ICELAND, BELIZE, URUGUAY, VENEZUELA, SAINT LUCIA, CHINA, MEXICO, TUNISIA, OLDE PESCA with others, opposed the document noting that fishing management issues should be dealt with by national and regional organizations. NORWAY noted FAO’s jurisdiction in this matter. ANTIGUA and BARBUDA also opposed, citing the burden of additional management responsibilities. The proposal was rejected by a secret ballot vote.

CONSERVATION OF TIBETAN ANTELOPE: Amendments were proposed (Com. 11.5 Rev) by the US, INDIA and the EU emphasizing: internal and external trade; other raw materials besides wool; a ban in producer and consumer countries; government responsibility to source external funding; and registration procedures for legal stocks only. The amended proposal was adopted, with reservations on internal trade from SURINAME, INDONESIA and SOUTH AFRICA.

MICROCHIPS: The Secretariat presented a revised draft resolution resulting from an informal group on coded-microchip implants (Com. 11.20). The EU proposed substantive revisions and the CZECH REPUBLIC withdrew its counter proposal. Parties adopted the resolution with the addition of reference to ISO standards.

CROCODILIAN AND REPTILE SKINS: Delegates adopted directives requiring the Secretariat to streamline export and re-exportation procedures of product samples of crocodilian and other reptile species (Com. 11.24). The proposals will be submitted to COP-12.

WILDLIFE TRADE TO TOURISM: KENYA withdrew its proposal on the potential risk of wildlife trade to the tourism industry (Doc. 11.58).

APPROPRIATE AND ACCEPTABLE DESTINATIONS: KENYA presented its revised resolution on "appropriate and acceptable destinations" (Doc. 11.26 (Rev.1)). Parties agreed to use the definition in cases where a State’s Scientific Authority is satisfied that a species’ recipient is suitably equipped to house and care for it. The US and others supported the document. Following EU amendments, the document was accepted.

DIAGNOSTIC SAMPLES: Working group Chair Sober�n introduced the proposal dealing with trade in sensitive research samples (Com. 11.31) and outlined a TOR and requested a report for COP-12. BRAZIL, the PHILIPPINES, VENEZUELA, MEXICO and SWITZERLAND supported Germany�s proposals mandating the technical work to the Animals Committee, and if necessary, Plants Committee, and the legal work to the Standing Committee. SWITZERLAND withdrew its related resolution (Doc. 11.45.1). The proposal was adopted.

CONSERVATION AND TRADE IN TIGERS: Working group Chair Gnam reported consensus on conservation and trade in tigers (Com. 11.32). The Secretariat noted the replacement of the CITES Enforcement Task Force with a Tiger Enforcement Task Force (TETF), whose tasks largely remain the same and in addition has a provision for a 90-day withdrawal notice for Parties. The proposal was adopted.

CAVIAR: Working group Chair Jenkins presented the consensus document (Com. 11.29), outlining the importance of identifying legal caviar in trade. The US and IRAN said they had developed a molecular markers system. Due to the Secretariat�s lack of expertise and resources, the directive to develop molecular markers was deferred to the Animals Committee. The proposal was adopted.

GUIDELINES FOR REGISTERING OPERATIONS BREEDING APPENDIX I SPECIES: AUSTRALIA presented the Animals Committee�s revised draft resolutions on guidelines (Com. 11.27 and Com. 11. 28). He suggested listing species that are critically endangered in the wild or known to be difficult to breed in captivity. FRANCE, supported by CHILE, said listing notifications to the Secretariat should apply to all Parties, not just range States. ISRAEL expressed concerned about split-listing species. Following minor amendments, the resolution was adopted.


A series of close votes today revealed clear divisions on certain issues. Some speculated that the rejection of the Hawksbill Turtle proposal by a mere four votes would not leave delegates satisfied or resolve this contentious issue. Certain delegates intimated that this issue is bound to be re-visited in Plenary.


PLENARY: Plenary will convene at 9:00 am to review the outcomes of the Committees.

COMMITTEE I: Committee I will convene at 9:00 am to finish amendments to Appendices I and II.

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