Report of main proceedings for 12 October 2004
13th Meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties (COP13)
Delegates met in Committees throughout the day. Committee I considered draft revisions of trade and conservation issues, whale stocks and proposals to amend the Appendices. Committee II considered, inter alia, personal household effects, bushmeat, sturgeons and finance.
SAIGA ANTELOPE: Draft decisions from the working group (Com.I.6) were adopted by consensus.
SHARKS: NEW ZEALAND presented draft decisions of the working group (Com.I.7). Noting that stricter domestic measures impose unfair trade restrictions, JAPAN and SINGAPORE rejected the decision on stricter domestic measures for CITES-listed sharks. Delegates voted to maintain the decision for the AC to identify cases where trade is having an adverse impact on sharks (71 in favor, 24 against and 28 abstentions). The draft decisions were adopted without reference to stricter domestic measures.
WHALE STOCK AND IWC: JAPAN introduced the document on CITES listing of whales stocks and the IWC (Doc.12.2), urging completion and implementation of IWC’s Revised Management Scheme. The draft resolution was rejected following a secret ballot (63 against, 57 in favor and 13 abstentions).
AGARWOOD: The US reported that no consensus had been reached in the working group on the agarwood proposal, but delegates approved a draft decision to convene a capacity-building workshop on trade in agarwood prior to COP-14 (Com.I.11).
PROPOSALS TO AMEND THE APPENDICES: Minke whale: Transferring Balaenoptera acutorostra from Appendix I to Appendix II (Prop.4) was rejected, following a secret ballot (63 against, 57 in favor and 13 abstentions).
Southern white rhinoceros: Swaziland’s population of Ceratotherium simum simum was downlisted from Appendix I to Appendix II (88 in favor, 15 against and 21 abstentions) (Prop.9).
Bald eagle: Haiaeetus leucocephalus was downlisted from Appendix I to Appendix II (Prop.10).
Lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo: Cacatua sulphurea was uplisted from Appendix II to Appendix I (Prop.11).
Peach-faced lovebird: Agapornis roseicollis was deleted from Appendix II (Prop.12).
Lilac-crowned Amazon parrot: Amazona finschi was uplisted from Appendix II to Appendix I (Prop.13).
Painted Bunting: Inclusion of Passerina ciris in Appendix II (Prop.14) was rejected (63 in favor, 57 against and 13 abstentions).
Malagasy spider tortoise: Pyxis arachnoids was uplisted from Appendix II to Appendix I (Prop.15).
Malayan snail-eating turtle: Malayemys subtrijuga was listed in Appendix II (Prop.17).
Malayan flat-shelled turtle: Notochelys platynota was listed in Appendix II (Prop.19).
Southeast Asian softshell turtle: Amyda cartilaginea was listed in Appendix II (Prop.20).
Pig-nosed turtle: Carettochelys insculpta was listed in Appendix II (Prop. 22).
American crocodile: Cuba’s populations of Crocodylus acutus were transferred from Appendix I to Appendix II (Prop.24).
Nile crocodile: Namibia’s populations of Crocodylus niloticus were transferred from Appendix I to Appendix II (Prop.25), while Zambia withdrew its proposal to subject its Appendix II-listed Crocodylus niloticus to an annual export quota (Prop.26).
Leaf-tailed geckos: Uroplatus spp. was listed in Appendix II (Prop.27).
Leaf-nose and Arboreal snakes: Proposals to list Langaha spp. (Prop.28) and Stenophis citrinus in Appendix II (Prop.29) were withdrawn.
Mt. Kenya bush viper and Kenya horned viper: Proposals to include Atheris desaixi (Prop.30) and Bitis worthingtoni in Appendix II (Prop.31) were withdrawn.
Great white shark: After withdrawal of the proposed zero annual export quota, Carcharodon carcharias was listed in Appendix II (Prop.32), following a vote by secret ballot (87 in favor, 34 opposed and 9 abstentions).
Humphead wrasse: Cheilinus undulates was listed in Appendix II (Prop.33).
Mediterranean date mussel: Lithophaga lithophaga was listed in Appendix II (Prop.35).
Orchidaceae annotations: Delegates voted and approved a revised proposal on an annotation of artificially propagated specimens of orchid hybrids (Prop.40, Doc.60 Addendum 2) excluded from CITES (60 in favor, 20 against and 11 abstentions). The removal of three South American orchid species in Switzerland’s Orchidaceae annotation (Prop.41) was approved (33 in favor, 16 against and 45 abstentions).
Delegates adopted the following revised draft resolutions and decisions without further amendments: standard nomenclature (Com.II.21); operation of the Nomenclature Committee (Com.II.25); electronic permits (Doc.45 Annex (Rev.1)); conservation of, and trade in, great apes (Com.II.26); in situ conservation and ex situ breeding (Com.II.13); and an amended review of decisions (Doc.17).
DISPOSAL OF SPECIMENS: KENYA introduced its proposal on disposal of illegally traded, confiscated and accumulated specimens (Doc.53), which the Secretariat, the EU, INDONESIA and PERU supported. SURINAME and UGANDA suggested that guilty importers also cover disposal and returning costs for Appendix I species. Delegates agreed that, inter alia, financial assistance should also be sought for return of Appendix I species. The proposal was adopted with amendments.
PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS: CHINA introduced its proposal to amend Res. Conf. 12.9 (Doc.55.1 (Rev.1) and Annex (Rev.1)). The US, supported by others, amended the proposal to ensure consistency with Article VII.3 of the Convention that exempts most household effects from CITES regulations. Delegates adopted the proposal as amended, including preambular references to stricter domestic measures and posting exemption information on CITES website.
The EU introduced its proposal (Doc.55.2 and Com.II.18) setting quantitative limits for dead corals and giant clams’ shells. Noting their countries’ conservation efforts, SAINT LUCIA, JAMAICA, BELIZE, MAURITIUS, COLOMBIA, INDIA, INDONESIA and EGYPT opposed the proposal. The EU withdrew its proposal regarding dead corals, noting that the SC should address the issue. NEW ZEALAND proposed, and the EU agreed, to increase the number of giant clam specimens eligible for exemption to three. The draft resolution was agreed as amended. Regarding a process to consider additions to the list of exemptions, the US requested, inter alia, adding a reference to quantitative limits that may be necessary for exemption and, supported by IFAW, setting a timeframe to define the process. Delegates adopted the proposal as amended.
AUSTRALIA presented, and delegates approved, a proposal limiting exemptions for hippocampus spp. to four specimens per person (Doc.55.3).
BUSHMEAT: The Secretariat presented the Bushmeat working group’s outcomes (Doc.62.1 (Rev.1)), highlighting that the issue touches upon matters beyond CITES’ mandate. The Republic of Congo, bushmeat working group Chair, emphasized that the group’s work enabled Central African countries to adopt relevant action plans, and with the support of others, proposed to continue working within CITES. The EU proposed working with FAO and the CBD on this issue. Delegates adopted a draft resolution and decisions, including the continuation of the working group, and a request to FAO to convene a bushmeat working group.
FINANCE AND BUDGETING: The US, finance working group Chair, presented the outcome of the working group’s discussions (Com.II.23), highlighting: lack of consensus for a 10.3% increase in party contribution; a 10.3% reduction in the Convention’s work programme entailed by a zero growth budget; and recommendations and options to achieve a zero growth budget. CITES Secretary General Wijnstekers cautioned against the implications of a budget based on zero growth contributions on the Convention’s future.
Delegates approved the working group’s recommendations and options for cost-saving measures, including reducing publication costs and convening COP meetings in Geneva only, unless cost differences are covered by another country. NIGERIA cautioned against cost-saving measures that sacrifice documentation and communication requirements. ARGENTINA favored cost-saving measures regarding travel and meeting costs rather than regarding AC and PC meetings. Delegates adopted the draft resolution by consensus. MEXICO recorded their concern regarding reduction in AC and PC meetings and the determination of assessed contributions.
STURGEONS: Romania, sturgeon working group Chair, presented a draft revision of Res. Conf. 12.7 (Sturgeons and paddlefish) and draft decisions (Com.II.19 and Com.II.30). ROMANIA, the EU and IRAN, opposed by the RUSSIAN FEDERATION, proposed recommending, inter alia, that range States, starting in 2006, export all caviar stocks before the end of the year when they were harvested. IRAN proposed that the Secretariat only confirm that quotas have been agreed by all relevant range States by 30 November of the preceding year. Delegates adopted the drafts with these amendments.
ASIAN BIG CATS: Regarding conservation of, and trade in, Asian big cats, delegates agreed that external funding be secured to convene a meeting of relevant members of the CITES Tiger Enforcement Task Force to examine, in particular, the illicit trade in Asian big cats to facilitate exchange of enforcement information and coordination of investigations (Doc.28 and Com.II.Rep.8).
COOPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: CITES-CBD: Regarding a revised draft decision on sustainable use (Com.II.24), NEW ZEALAND, ARGENTINA, NORWAY, UGANDA and the US said the preparation of a report on incorporation of the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines in the Secretariat’s work should not be subject to availability of external funding, and delegates agreed to delete related wording. NEW ZEALAND noted the voluntary nature of the Principles and, supported by several delegates but opposed by NAMIBIA and SOUTH AFRICA, said the report should precede their incorporation in CITES work. The draft decision was adopted following deletion of the paragraph on preparing a report.
CITES-FAO: Regarding development of a CITES-FAO MoU, SC Chair Stansell recommended, and delegates agreed, to reinstate and revise Decision 12.7 (Establishment of a CITES-FAO MoU) to reflect the current status of negotiations and enable the SC to continue its work.
ENFORCEMENT: A proposal by Fiji, on behalf of the OCEANIA REGION, for the Secretariat to seek funding to convene a capacity-building workshop and a regional meeting before SC-54 for full participation of the region in Committee meetings (Com.II.22) was agreed without amendment.
INTRODUCTION FROM THE SEA: The US introduced a revised draft resolution and decision on interpretation of CITES provisions on introduction from the sea (Doc.41 Annex 2 (Rev.1) and Com.II.15). While the EU supported the proposal, AUSTRALIA and the RUSSIAN FEDERATION opposed it, noting that terms used under CITES must be consistent with the UN Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) and not seek to reinterpret its concepts. JAPAN and SAINT LUCIA opposed the proposal, stressing that fishery bodies, in particular FAO, are appropriate fora to consider the issue. The US withdrew its proposal. While the EU and ARGENTINA supported the draft decision to convene a workshop to address the issue, JAPAN opposed. Following a vote, the draft decision was rejected.
REVISION OF COMMITTEES: The Netherlands, scientific committees working group Chair, presented a revised proposal (Com.II.20), including a draft recommendation for the AC, PC and NC to draft the ToRs for a review of the Committees, and draft decisions to ensure appropriate participation and communication of committee members. ARGENTINA proposed that the Committees make the revision themselves. Delegates adopted the proposal with editorial amendments.
IN THE CORRIDORS
With the bulk of proposals for Appendix listing considered, conservationists expressed overall satisfaction with the outcomes, particularly the rejection to downlist minke whale populations and the Appendix II listing of the great white shark and humphead wrasse. To many delegates, this confirmed a trend to protect marine species, an area that CITES has traditionally shied away from in the past. Far from admitting defeat, Parties opposed to discussing marine species within CITES, expressed their disappointment, going so far as accusing Committee I of “railroading aquatic species” through limiting their floor time.