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Daily report for 19 April 2000

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

Delegates met in Committee I during the morning to complete their work. Plenary convened during the afternoon to review and adopt the work of Committee I, Committee II and the Budget Committee, and to elect new members of the Standing Committee, the Nomenclature Committee and the two technical Committees.


COELACANTHS: GERMANY introduced, and delegates adopted, a proposal to list all coelacanths species in Appendix I (Prop. 11.50). INDONESIA withdrew its proposal to list coelacanths subspecies (Prop. 11.51), noting it would be redundant.

EASTERN HEMISPHERE TARANTULAS: SRI LANKA proposed an Appendix II listing for the Eastern Hemisphere Tarantulas (Prop. 11.52). Noting export of the species is prohibited in Sri Lanka and India, he said the species has been subjected to unsustainable collection for international trade, primarily to Europe. INDIA, ALGERIA, KENYA and the US supported the proposal. SWITZERLAND and the EU opposed, citing limited examples of international trade and calling for national action instead. The CZECH REPUBLIC preferred an Appendix III listing. The US regretted that only consuming countries opposed the proposal, which was rejected.

PANGOLIN: The US amended a proposal on the Indian, Chinese and Malayan Pangolin (Prop. 11.13), suggesting these species remain in Appendix II with a zero-quota annotation. The proposal was adopted.

BLACK SEA BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN: The US presented a draft decision on this species that, inter alia, urges Parties not to allow any export of live dolphins without evidence from a destination-based Management Authority that the animals will be maintained in proper facilities (Com. 11.23). The decision was adopted.

RAINSTICKS: The Secretariat introduced a draft amended proposal on Echinopsos spp. (Rainsticks) (Com. 11.15) that recommends Parties harmonize their national legislation related to personal exemptions. The amended proposal was adopted.

DEVIL’S CLAW: The Secretariat introduced a document on Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil’s Claw) (Com. 11.11) that requires range and importing States to submit all available information concerning the trade, management and biological status of the species. The document was adopted.

LIGNUN-VITAE: The Secretariat introduced a draft decision regarding Guaiacum sanctum (Lignum-vitae) (Com. 11.25), noting the Plants Committee will review the genus and assess its status in the wild and in trade. The decision was adopted.

FALSE HELLEBORE: GERMANY introduced amendments on Adoinis vernalis (False Hellebore), which emphasize the need to designate all parts and derivatives, except seeds and pollen, and to accept chemical derivatives and finished pharmaceutical products. The amendments were adopted.

RHINOCEROS: The US introduced an amended resolution for the conservation of and trade in rhinoceroses (Com. 11.19), which urges, inter alia, Parties to identify, mark and register rhinoceros stocks and to implement comprehensive legislation and enforcement controls. The proposal was adopted.

FRESHWATER TURTLES AND TORTOISES: GERMANY presented a draft resolution on trade of the species (Com. 11.7), which urges Parties to increase enforcement efforts with regard to existing legislation. The resolution was adopted.

SEAHORSES: AUSTRALIA introduced a draft resolution prepared by the Animals Committee resolution (Com. 11.6), directing the Secretariat to assist in obtaining funds to support a technical workshop on seahorse conservation. The resolution was adopted.

HARD CORALS: The UK introduced a draft resolution providing coral definitions (Com. 11.9). The resolution, inter alia, calls for improving guides for coral species recognition in trade. AUSTRALIA noted the resolution should include collaboration with exporting countries. The resolution was adopted.

BIGLEAF MAHAGONY: The US introduced a revised draft resolution on the species (Com. 11.8) that establishes a working group to, inter alia, review the effectiveness of current and potential Appendix III listings, and to analyze legal and illegal trade issues. The working group will report its finding at COP-12. The resolution was adopted.

STANDARD NOMENCLATURE: Nomenclature Committee Chair Hoogmoed suggested nomenclature changes in Doc. 11.4.2 and Doc. 11.39 (Com. 11.30). SWITZERLAND enquired how the changes relate to IWC nomenclature. The Secretariat said it would forward copies tothe IWC, reflecting changes made at CITES. The document was adopted.

SIGNIFICANT TRADE IN APPENDIX II SPECIES: The RUSSIAN FEDERATION presented a draft resolution (Com. 11.4) on the conservation of sturgeons and paddlefish resulting from an informal working group formed in relation to resolution 8.9 on trade in wild-caught animal species (Doc 11.41.2). IRAN supported amendments, including a request to Parties to establish both export and catch quotas, and text indicating that Parties failing to report quotas would be automatically allowed a zero quota for the following year. The Secretariat noted that CITES does not regulate catch quotas. The EU supported Iran’s amendments. The US suggested decisions specify Eurasian sea basins, noting that look-alike species have implications for the North American conservation. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION stressed that the decisions should apply to all populations, not only those in the Eurasian region. The Secretariat noted disagreement between the US and the Russian Federation, and suggested holding a vote on the US amendment. Delegates rejected the amendment and the US and CANADA registered their objection to the entire document.

IRAN presented its amendment to resolution 10.12 (Conf. 11.16) indicating that since COP-10, range States are unable to develop a sturgeon strategy as directed by this resolution. The Secretariat offered to assist with the strategy and with this amendment, the decision was adopted.

TRADE IN ELEPHANT SPECIMENS: SWITZERLAND outlined the result of the technical working group’s revision of resolution 10.10, including amendments by the Secretariat. He noted many new ideas required accommodation, and that the role of range States and capacity building were strengthened. He stressed that adoption of the entire document was necessary due to the delicate balance it represented, and the document was approved.

Chair Clemente drew Committee I to a close at 12:00 pm, thanking everyone for their hard work.


COP-11 Chair Asadi opened the afternoon Plenary, and drawing attention to the good working atmosphere, appealed to Parties to extend full cooperation to the Chair to complete the agenda.

EFFECTIVNESS OF THE CONVENTION: FRANCE introduced a revised resolution on improving CITES’ effectiveness (Com. 11.33), and noted the Standing Committee will form a working group to, inter alia, inventory existing funding mechanisms for flora and fauna conservation. The resolution was adopted.

OBSERVER CONTRIBUTION: The US introduced a resolution on recognition of the importance of observers’ contributions (Doc. 11.16). JAPAN endorsed the presence of NGOs, but emphasized that member countries should have priority in the process. The resolution was adopted.

RESOLUTION CONSOLIDATION: The Secretariat introduced a document on consolidation of valid resolutions (Doc. 11.17), noting three annexes on: conservation of cetaceans and relationship with the IWC; enforcement and compliance; and non-commercial loans. JAPAN and AUSTRALIA opposed the resolution and annexes, noting they were inappropriate and unnecessary. Of the two proposed versions of each annex, the Secretariat recommended, and delegates agreed, adopting draft consolidated resolutions in Annex 1b, 2b and 3b.

STANDING COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Delegates took note of the Standing Committee’s new regional composition, including (member/alternate): Burkina Faso/Cameroon, Tanzania/ Kenya, South Africa/Zambia and Tunisia/Ghana for Africa; China/ Thailand and Saudi Arabia/India for Asia; Saint Lucia/Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ecuador/Chile and Panama for Central, South America and the Caribbean; France/Portugal, Italy/ the Czech Republic and Norway/Turkey for Europe; US/ Canada for North America; and Australia/Vanuatu for Oceania.

TECHNICAL COMMITTEES MEMBERS: Delegates also noted the Animals Committee’s new members, including (member/ alternate): Kenya for Africa; Indonesia/Bangladesh and Thailand/ Singapore for Asia; Dominican Republic/Cuba and Honduras/ Venezuela for Central and South America and the Caribbean; the Netherlands/Switzerland and Hungary/the UK for Europe; US/ Mexico for North America; and Fiji for Oceania. The new members for the Plants Committee are: Kenya/Cameroon for Africa; Malaysia/ Indonesia and India/China for Asia; Suriname/ Paraguay and Colombia/Costa Rica for Central and South America and the Caribbean; Spain/ Poland and the Netherlands/Switzerland for Europe; Canada/Mexico for North America; and Australia/ Papua New Guinea for Oceania.

NOMENCLATURE COMMITTEE MEMBERS: The Secretariat proposed, and delegates supported, that the present Chair and vice-Chair of the Committee continue to serve.

BUDGET COMMITTEE: Budget Committee Chair Stansell presented the Secretariat financing and budgeting (Com. 11.21). He noted that the Budget Committee accepted the financial reports for 1997, 1998 and 1999 (Doc. 11.10.1.Rev.1), and took note of the estimated expenditures for 2000 (Doc. 11.10.2). He added that the Committee had approved a 26.53% budget increase, but noted that it fell short of the Secretariat’s requested biennium budget. In order to balance between the need for increased staffing and increased programme activities, the Budget Committee reduced the number of approved posts from seven to five and noted the need to apply available funds to such priority issues as capacity building, enforcement and regional coordination as they become available. JAPAN requested that UNEP provide Parties with explanatory notes on its 13% programme support costs. WWF expressed concern with the loss of several Secretariat staff positions, particularly those offering regional assistance for developing country Parties. The budget was approved.

REPORT OF COMMITTEE II: Committee II Chair Koester outlined the status of proposals considered by the Committee, a majority of which were adopted with few amendments and noted for the record, Iceland’s objection to the draft resolution (Com. 11.28) on registration of operations breeding Appendix-I species specimens in captivity for commercial purposes, on the grounds that it creates split-listing of the species.

He identified proposals developed and adopted at COP-11 that replace proposals submitted to COP-11 on: the implementation of Resolution 8.14 on measures taken with regard to Parties without adequate legislation; trade in bear specimens; conservation of and trade in tigers; the use of microchips for marking live animals in trade; movement of sample crocodilian skins; and universal labelling system for the identification of sturgeon specimens (caviar). He remarked that only three proposals were rejected by vote: the relationship with the IWC; introduction from the sea; and cosmetic products containing caviar. The proposals withdrawn were on: synergy between CITES and the IWC; reporting of seizures; persistent offenders; recognition of risks and benefits in trade in wildlife; proposal to amend resolution 5.10 that defines "primary commercial purposes"; definition of the term "prepared"; and the potential risk of wildlife trade to the tourism industry.

SECRETARIAT STAFF: Delegates adopted Doc. 11.9.2.

REPORT OF COMMITTEE I: Chair Clemente reported on the Committee’s work and overviewed documents and proposals considered by delegate and adopted by the Plenary. The US asked that the debate on trade in sturgeon and paddlefish species be re-opened (Com. 11.4). He said an informal group had agreed to amend the reference to range States establishing annual export quotas to read that range States "declare" export quotas, and to add a mention that Parties failing to inform the Secretariat will be issued with a zero-quota. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION and IRAN supported the amendments and the document was adopted.

On the Urial (Prop.11.30), SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL announced a workshop in Asia and called for financial support. Chair Clemente noted she had intentionally skipped some proposals, which might need additional debate, and suggested they be dealt with in the next Plenary.


An air of ambivalence hangs over COP-11 in respect to its success, with delegates cautious to claim victory. While many acknowledge that important milestones have been achieved in the development of criteria, systems and legislation, real success or failure seems to be measured on the basis of uplisting or downlisting of species in Appendices. Many delegates champion the compromise reached by the Africans on the elephant issue, having anticipated a battle, and tout the rejection of proposals to downlist Minke and Grey Whale populations as a success. Despite this, the lurking possibility that proposals on the Hawksbill Turtle, Basking Shark and Minke Whale will resurface during the last Plenary leave many anxious.


PLENARY: Delegates will convene in Plenary at 9:00 am to adopt outstanding proposals on turtles, whales and sharks. The closing Plenary will meet in the afternoon.

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