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Report of main proceedings for 6 October 2004

13th Meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties (COP13)

Delegates to COP‑13 met in committees throughout the day. Committee I addressed the Bigleaf Mahogany Working Group, evaluation of the Review of Significant Trade (RST), review of plant‑related resolutions, registration of Appendix I species in captivity for commercial purposes, and criteria for amendment of Appendices I and II. Committee II considered economic incentives, ex situ breeding and in situ conservation, review of resolutions and decisions, and reporting.


BIGLEAF MAHOGANY: BRAZIL introduced the report on the Bigleaf Mahogany Working Group (Doc.39), highlighting recommendations on national and subregional management plans, forest inventories and capacity building. PARAGUAY, ARGENTINA, MEXICO and others said the Working Group should continue its work, and PC Chair Clemente stressed the need to secure its funds. The EU said the PC=s priority actions on bigleaf mahogany should become decisions and be extended to importing countries. TRAFFIC and WWF called for monitoring implementation of these decisions.

REVIEW OF SIGNIFICANT TRADE: AC Chair Althaus presented proposed terms of reference (ToR) for the RST evaluation (Doc.40). The EU supported the ToR. MALAYSIA, supported by TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, proposed: deleting a proposal; to engage consultants to assist evaluation; adding text on financial assistance and capacity building for implementation; and deleting language on monitoring and review, noting that the scientific authority of the Party involved should undertake monitoring. The EC, Chair of the ToR working group, said the ToR guarantees objectivity, and suggested amendments to reflect that the ongoing monitoring and reviewing process should take into account differing points of view as to where authority should lie. The document was approved with the proposed amendments.

REVIEW OF PLANT RESOLUTIONS: The US introduced the document on the review of resolutions on plants and plant trade, and the definition of >artificially propagated= (Doc.51). On Res. Conf. 11.11 (Definition of >artificially propagated=), the US opposed an alternative definition proposed by Chile allowing some Appendix I plants grown from wild‑collected seeds to be considered as artificially propagated and, with CANADA and the EU, suggested that such species be considered under ranching provisions. The Secretariat warned that the alternative definition may be interpreted in a way that violates the Convention.

SOUTH AFRICA, SWITZERLAND, MALAYSIA, ARGENTINA, BRAZIL and others supported Chile=s definition, indicating that for some species, particularly long‑lived late‑maturing trees, artificially propagated seeds collected from Appendix I species can be useful for conservation of wild populations. BOLIVIA proposed limiting collection to countries of origin. MEXICO requested explicit reference to the percentage of seeds extracted, and said that the collected material should serve as seed stock and for reforestation activities. The US requested that the PC monitor the trade impact of Appendix I propagated seeds, particularly cycads. A drafting group was established to revise this proposal.

After delegates agreed to recommendations on Aquilaria spp. and Harpagophytum spp. species in the PC Chair=s report (Doc.9.2.1), SOUTH AFRICA asked the Secretariat to explore options to include information on the impact of a CITES listing on poor peoples= livelihoods when reviewing proposals to amend the Appendices. While the US said proposals for listing a species in the Appendices should be based on science and not socioeconomic aspects, FAUNA AND FLORA INTERNATIONAL noted the importance of linking biodiversity conservation with poverty reduction. Chair Dublin suggested Australia and South Africa draft alternative text.

REGISTRATION FOR APPENDIX I SPECIES: AC Chair Althaus presented the document on evaluating registration of operations that breed Appendix I species in captivity for commercial purposes (Doc.56). MEXICO, QATAR, SENEGAL, ISRAEL, INDIA, ARGENTINA and the PHILIPPINES supported the AC=s recommendations on improving the registration system in accordance to Res. Conf. 12.10 (Registration for Appendix I species breeding), but opposed the Secretariat=s suggestion that the system might not need to be kept. ISRAEL and QATAR noted a compliance and implementation problem with Res. Conf. 12.10. AUSTRALIA said the SC should not examine trade in Appendix I species from non‑registered operations. WORLD SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANIMALS, WWF, SPECIES SURVIVAL NETWORK, GLOBAL TIGER FORUM and WILDLIFE TRUST OF INDIA urged maintaining registration. Delegates established a working group to incorporate the AC=s recommendations into Res. Conf. 12.10, with the exception of the recommendation to refer discussion on trade of non‑registered operations to the SC.

CRITERIA FOR AMENDMENT OF APPENDICES I AND II: AC Chair Althaus introduced a document on criteria for amendment of Appendices I and II (Doc.57), noting the criteria were tested on a wide range of animal and plant species and deemed applicable and scientifically sound. He said the proposed resolution amends and revises Res. Conf. 9.24 (Rev.Cop12) (Criteria for amendment of Appendices I and II). Many delegates including the EU, JAPAN, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, the US, SOUTH AFRICA, CANADA and MEXICO supported the document with additional amendments suggested by the Secretariat, and opposed reopening the text. NORWAY and SENEGAL supported deleting a paragraph referring to the precautionary approach as the Secretariat had amended. ARGENTINA, HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL and the WHALE AND DOLPHIN CONSERVATION SOCIETY preferred retaining the paragraph. MALAYSIA, supported by ARGENTINA and IWMC, preferred retaining original language referring to possible future extinction of a species, while the US opposed, noting that ambiguities existed in the original language.

NEW ZEALAND suggested the criteria be reviewed every few COPs, but delegates opposed setting a specific timeframe for future review. FAO supported adopting the resolution. DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE lamented a proliferation of informal criteria. Delegates approved the resolution by consensus.


ECONOMIC INCENTIVES: The Secretariat introduced a document on economic incentives and trade policy (Doc.13 (Rev.1)). NEW ZEALAND said economic incentives must be targeted and compatible with the WTO, and INDONESIA said they require adequate regulation and law enforcement. INDIA stressed the need to provide economic incentives for local stakeholders. Regarding national trade policy reviews, NEW ZEALAND, the US and AUSTRALIA noted that some of the proposals may go beyond CITES= mandate and are resource intensive. SAINT LUCIA called for assistance for developing country and SIDS participation in workshops. The EU supported seeking GEF funds to carry out the review. INDONESIA said the review should assess whether national policies build local capacity. Delegates approved draft paragraphs with an amendment proposed by Uganda clarifying that the scope of the review is limited to wild flora and fauna‑related trade policies.

Regarding further work, BOLIVIA stressed the need to address all CITES‑listed species. AUSTRALIA, the US, ARGENTINA and DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE stressed the need for country‑level work rather than a second workshop. COLOMBIA highlighted that workshops could benefit regional‑level communication. SAINT LUCIA supported both holding a workshop and country‑level work. TRAFFIC said future workshops should be organized jointly with the CBD. FAUNA AND FLORA INTERNATIONAL also supported the workshop, noting that perverse incentives may compromise regulation and enforcement efforts. GLOBAL TIGER FORUM said the issue of incentives may go beyond CITES capacity and mandate.

EX SITU BREEDING AND IN SITU CONSERVATION: AC Chair Althaus introduced the AC=s report (Doc.56.3.1), noting recommendations to refer the issue to the SC and consider it in the context of the CITES‑CBD work programme. The BAHAMAS and the EU stressed that the issue touches upon access and benefit‑sharing (ABS). While the EU, INDIA, JAPAN and TRAFFIC supported the AC=s recommendations, the US and ISRAEL opposed. WWF said the AC should continue working on the issue. The Secretariat proposed that the SC, through its clearing‑house mechanism on technical implementation issues, continue to consider the issue and report to COP‑14.

MEXICO presented its proposal aimed at encouraging cooperation between Parties with ex situ breeding operations and those with in situ conservation programmes (Doc.56.3.2). MALAYSIA, CHILE, and the BAHAMAS supported the proposal. BOLIVIA, INDIA and BRAZIL suggested noting ongoing negotiations on ABS in the CBD. The EU and JAPAN said adopting the proposal is premature, with the EU favoring revising the MOU between CITES and the CBD. Mexico was asked to revise its proposal and report back to the committee.

RESOLUTIONS REVIEW: The Secretariat introduced a document on review of resolutions (Doc.16 (Rev.1)). Delegates approved revisions of: Res. Conf. 4.6 (Rev COP12) (Deadlines for submission of documents); Res. Conf. 11.21 (Annotations to Appendices I and II); and Res. Conf. 9.11 (Interpretation and application of quotas for species included in Appendix I).

Regarding Res. Conf. 5.11 (Pre‑Convention specimens), delegates agreed to use the date of incorporation of a species into an Appendix to define such specimens.

Regarding consolidation of Res. Conf. 10.6 (Control of trade in tourist souvenir specimens) and Res. Conf. 12.9 (Personal household effects), the EU, INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR ANIMAL WELFARE and INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW PROJECT suggested establishing a working group to consider the issue within the context of household effects. Delegates approved consolidating the resolutions provisionally pending the outcome of discussions on household effects.

DECISIONS REVIEW: Delegates approved most of the proposals on the review of decisions (Doc.17). Regarding consolidation of Decision 9.7 (Issuance of permits) into Res. Conf. 12.3 (Permits and certificates), the US proposed, and delegates agreed, that Parties verify the origin of Appendix I species to avoid issuing exports permits when use is primarily for commercial purposes and specimens do not originate in CITES‑registered breeding operations. Regarding consolidation of Decision 9.31 (Reports on infractions) into Res. Conf. 11.3 (Compliance and enforcement), the US suggested, and delegates agreed, that a report on enforcement matters be submitted at each SC meeting in addition to COP meetings. The US opposed integrating Decision 9.15 (Violation of CITES by diplomats and UN troops) into Res. Conf. 12.9 (Personal and household effects), and agreed to propose a draft resolution on CITES violation by diplomats and UN troops at a later stage.

Regarding consolidation of Decisions 10.54, 10.76 and 10.86 on trade in alien species into a COP‑13 resolution, the EU proposed that the Secretariat, in conjunction with the AC and PC, cooperate with the CBD Secretariat, in addition to the IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group. Following a request by NEW ZEALAND, Chair Brasher said the Secretariat will make the EU proposal available in writing in order to enable discussions later during the week. Delegates agreed to continue consultations on decisions proposed for deletion.

REPORTS: The Secretariat presented, and delegates approved, a proposal on reporting requirements (Doc.18), including the format for biennial reports. Delegates added a decision directing the Secretariat to collaborate with other biodiversity‑related conventions to prevent duplication in reporting requirements.


Committee I had the opportunity to address some plant-related items, an area some delegates said is often sidelined to make way for the more ‘sexy’ animal topics. Several ‘plant people’ expressed optimism, noting that ramin is expected to garner considerable attention when discussing amendments to the Appendices.

Committee II discussions on ex situ breeding and in situ conservation predictably touched upon the sensitive issue of access and benefit sharing. While recognizing the relationship between the two situs, some delegates want to make sure that Appendix I species bred ex situ have been legally obtained and provide benefits for the conservation of their cousins in the wild.

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