Report of main proceedings for 12 March 2013
16th Meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP16)
In the morning, CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon exchanged the Maldives non-party plaque for a party plaque, welcoming them as a party to CITES. The MALDIVES informed delegates that his country had conserved many species of flora and fauna before becoming a party, including banning trade and imports of endangered species. He said the Maldives looked forward to working with the CITES community to achieve full compliance of the Convention. Committee I continued and completed work on proposals to amend the Appendices. Committee II addressed, inter alia: humphead wrasse, elephants and rhinoceroses.
PROPOSALS TO AMEND APPENDICES I AND II: Paratrygon aiereba: COLOMBIA presented the proposal (CoP16 Prop.47) to include P. aiereba (Ceja river stingray) in Appendix II with an annotation to postpone entry into effect by 18 months. He urged parties to employ the precautionary principle to list the species, which would allow non-detriment findings (NDFs) to be conducted. ECUADOR, BRAZIL, COSTA RICA, EL SALVADOR, ARGENTINA, MADAGASCAR, QATAR, SENEGAL, PANAMA and DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE supported the proposal.
IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, did not support the proposal, saying there was insufficient information and they would support an Appendix-III listing instead. The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UN (FAO) indicated that the species does not meet the biological criteria for an Appendix-II listing.
With 51 votes for, 51 votes against and 19 abstaining, the proposal failed to meet the two-thirds majority necessary for it to pass.
Potamotrygon motoro and P. schroederi: COLOMBIA introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.48) to list P. motoro (South American freshwater stingray) and P. schroederi (Rosette river stingray) on Appendix II, with an annotation to postpone its entry into effect. ECUADOR, as co-proponent, recognized the lack of information about these species, but said an Appendix II, rather than Appendix III, listing would allow, inter alia, international control and NDFs.
BRAZIL, VENEZUELA and URUGUAY, as range states, along with SENEGAL, ARGENTINA and the US, supported the proposal.
PARAGUAY and GUYANA, as range states for P. motoro, supported by IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, opposed the proposal and preferred listing these species on Appendix III.
In a vote, Committee I did not accept the proposal, with 55 voting yes, 52 no and 25 abstaining.
Papilio hospiton: IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.49) to transfer P. hospiton (Corsican swallowtail butterfly) from Appendix I to Appendix II, noting that the species is not traded either legally or illegally.
PERU and SWITZERLAND supported the proposal.
The Committee agreed to the proposal.
Yucca queretaroensis: MEXICO introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.50) to list Y. queretaroensis (Queretaro yucca) in Appendix II, highlighting, inter alia, growing demand on international markets. He pointed to an identification guide, included in an annex, to differentiate the species from other Yucca species.
IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, noted that, in spite of limited available information on trade levels and the effects of harvest, they supported the proposal.
Committee I agreed to the proposal.
Madagascar plants: MADAGASCAR introduced seven proposals for Appendix II listings: CoP16 Prop.51 (Operculiya decaryi); Prop.64 (Senna meridionalis); Prop.65 (Adenia firingalavensis); Prop.66 (A. subsessifolia); Prop.67 (Uncarina grandidieri); Prop.68 (U. stellulifera); and Prop.71 (Cyphostemma laza). He outlined the justification for each proposal.
The US highlighted the improvement in data on these proposals since CoP15, particularly through significant field research on population trends. NIGERIA and QATAR also supported the proposal.
SOUTH AFRICA said explanations provided informally by Madagascar had convinced him of threats to wild populations from international trade and the difficulties in tracking trade, and so did not oppose the listing.
IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, did not support the proposal, explaining, inter alia, the available trade information does not justify the listing, but said it would not block consensus. IUCN noted a lack of funding had prevented its assessment of Madagascar’s submitted data and hoped funding would become available to support this work.
Committee I accepted the seven proposals.
Hoodia: NAMIBIA introduced Cop16 Prop.52 to amend the annotation of Hoodia spp. (Hoodias), with Botswana and South Africa as co-proponents. She said the annotation had caused confusion on the term “agreement,” which other parties interpreted to mean an agreement between the three governments. She said the original aim of the proposal was to address individual agreements by management authorities with either manufacturers, distributors or agents within the country.
SWITZERLAND explained it had previously entered a reservation because the annotation focused on artificially propagated species but said it would not block consensus.
IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, welcomed the amendment and, supported by the US, proposed including a draft decision directed to the SC Working Group on Annotation to “review the annotation to the listing of Hoodia species with a view to its standardization and amendment as appropriate.”
IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, supported by the US, also requested excluding finished products. NAMIBIA opposed this suggestion, expressing concern it would expand the scope of the proposal, which Chair Caceras supported in a ruling.
Committee I then adopted the proposal with a minor amendment by the Secretariat and the decision directed to the SC.
Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius: The US introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.53) to amend the annotation to the listings of P. ginseng and P. quinquefolius, included in Appendix II, to exclude manufactured parts and derivatives. She noted previous annotations had been changed to harmonize with other Appendix-II listed medicinal species, but that had created confusion in enforcement.
IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, supported the proposal, but also proposed a new decision recommending the SC refer the amended annotations to its Working Group on Annotations for standardization and amendment as appropriate. CANADA supported this proposed new decision. On the US proposal, CANADA said she did not view a change to the annotation as necessary but would not block consensus.
Committee I agreed to the proposal to amend the annotation and to the proposed decision.
Tillandsia species: BRAZIL introduced proposals (CoP16 Prop.54-56) on the deletion of three Tillandsia species from Appendix II: T. kautskyi (Prop.54); T. sprengeliana (Prop.55); and T. sucrei (Prop.56). He clarified the species no longer qualify for an Appendix II listing.
The PC Chair, IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, CHILE and MADAGASCAR supported the proposal.
Committee I agreed to the three proposals.
Dudleya stolonifera and Dudleya traskiae: The US introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.57) to delete D. stolonifera (Laguna beach live-forever) and D. traskiae (Santa Barbara Island live-forever) from Appendix II. She said no wild trade or illegal trade has been recorded, since their transfer from Appendix I to Appendix II, following a periodic review of the appendices for these two species.
Committee I agreed to the proposal.
Diospyros spp. and Dalbergia spp.: MADAGASCAR presented together the proposals to include the populations of Diospyros spp. (Malagasy ebony) (CoP16 Prop.58) and Dalbergia spp. (Malagasy rosewood) (CoP16 Prop.63) in Appendix II, with an annotation limited to logs, sawn wood and veneer sheets. He noted, inter alia, that the Appendix III listing had not prevented exploitation and the populations continued to decline.
The US, SENEGAL, SOUTH AFRICA, CAMEROON, REPUBLIC OF KOREA, THAILAND, IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, COLOMBIA and the PC Chair supported the proposals. CHINA, supported by IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, proposed amending the text of the proposed action plan to add “especially developed country parties” when requesting importing countries to work with Madagascar.
Parties agreed to the proposals and the action plan (CoP16 Inf.52) as amended by China and with a minor amendment by the Secretariat.
Aniba rosaeodora: BRAZIL introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.59) on amending the annotation to the Appendix-II listing of A. rosaeodora (Brazilian rosewood), to reflect the new definition of “extract,” as agreed to by Committee II (CoP16 Doc.75), specifying the annotation excludes finished products. He noted the new definition considers essential oils as extracts.
ARGENTINA, MADAGASCAR and SENEGAL supported the proposal.
Committee I accepted the proposal to amend the annotation for A. rosaeodora.
Dalbergia cochinchinensis: THAILAND introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.60) to include D. cochinchinensis (Siamese rosewood) in Appendix II, with an annotation specifying logs, sawn wood and veneer sheets. VIET NAM, as the co-proponent, highlighted the vulnerability of the species.
Several speakers, including MADAGASCAR, SENEGAL, SOUTH AFRICA, INDONESIA, SWITZERLAND, LIBERIA, BELIZE and ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY UK supported the proposal. IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, suggested the species meets the criteria for listing on Appendix I.
Committee I accepted the proposal with the annotation.
Dalbergia retusa and D. granadillo: BELIZE introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.61) to include D. retusa (black rosewood) and D. granadillo in Appendix II, and proposed adding an annotation specifying logs, sawn wood, veneer and plywood. He said D. retusa meets the listing criteria for Appendix II and that D. granadillo qualifies as a look-alike.
Several spoke in support of the proposal, including PANAMA, THAILAND, MADAGASCAR and SSN.
Committee I agreed to the proposal with the proposed annotation.
Dalbergia stevensonii: BELIZE introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.62) to include D. stevensonii (Honduras rosewood) in Appendix II, adding annotation 6. He noted this species was included in the action plan referred to during discussions of CoP16 Prop.61. He pointed to threats from legal and illegal logging for international trade.
Committee I agreed to the proposal with its annotation.
Osyris lanceolata: KENYA introduced its proposal to include O. lanceolata (East African sandalwood) on Appendix II (CoP16 Prop.69). He amended the proposal to restrict inclusion in Appendix II to populations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia and to add Annotation 2.
TANZANIA, ETHIOPIA, UGANDA, BURUNDI and others supported the proposal, stressing that exploitation and trade threatens its survival.
The Committee agreed to adopt the proposal as amended by Kenya with Annotation 2 and to adopt the decision directed to the PC, the East African Range States and the Secretariat.
Aquilaria spp. and Gyrinops spp.: CHINA introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.70), with co-proponents KUWAIT and INDONESIA, to delete the current annotation to the listing of Aquilaria spp. and Gyrinops spp. (agarwood-producing taxa) in Appendix II, and replace it with a new annotation. She also presented two new proposed draft decisions, directing: export and import states of agarwood-producing taxa on the development of an identification manual for agarwood products; and the Secretariat to make this manual available through the CITES website.
SENEGAL, EGYPT, QATAR and MALAYSIA supported the proposal with the amendments.
TRAFFIC raised concerns about the exemption of exhausted powder, pointing to difficulties for regulatory and enforcement officers to distinguish between exhausted and unexhausted, or pure, powder.
Committee I agreed to the proposal for the deletion of the annotation, replacement with the new annotation as amended and the two proposed draft decisions by consensus.
STRATEGIC MATTERS: IPBES: MEXICO introduced the draft decisions on the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) (CoP16 Com.I.4).
Committee I agreed to adopt CoP16 Com.I.4 and to repeal decisions 15.12, 15.13 and 15.14.
Strombus gigas: COLOMBIA introduced the draft decisions on the management of and trade in S. gigas (queen conch) (CoP16 Com.I.5).
FRANCE requested several amendments to decisions, adding reference to the Working Group on Queen Conch (Decision 16AA).
CUBA, JAMAICA and BELIZE stressed their commitment to the conservation of S. gigas. IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, supported the proposed decisions.
The FAO drew attention to a 2009 FAO publication on S. gigas.
Committee I agreed to adopt the decisions, as amended by Colombia and France.
EXEMPTIONS AND SPECIAL TRADE PROVISIONS: Proposed revision of Resolution Conf.13.7 (Rev.CoP14) on control of trade in personal and household effects: KUWAIT requested an amendment to CoP16 Doc.47 (Rev.1) to exempt species of agarwood products and quantities on personal and household effects.
QATAR, MALAYSIA, INDONESIA and OMAN supported the amendment.
The Committee agreed to adopt the proposed revision of Resolution Conf.13.7 (Rev.CoP14).
HUMPHEAD WRASSE: CHINA introduced the document (CoP16 Doc.62 (Rev.1)). He highlighted its recommendations, including that the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Groupers and Wrasses Specialist Group (GWSG) supports parties in achieving sustainable fisheries.
CHINA highlighted the importance of bilateral cooperation. The US and IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, welcomed the Secretariat’s proposed amendments. The IUCN SSC GWSG highlighted the existence of illegal markets and wild-caught humphead wrasse exported as ranched.
The Committee accepted the document with the understanding that the recommendations would be considered draft decisions.
TOOTHFISH: REPORT OF THE COMMISSION FOR THE CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC MARINE LIVING RESOURCES (CCAMLR): The Committee noted the report without introduction (CoP16 Doc.63 (Rev.1)).
REPORT OF THE CENTRAL AFRICA BUSHMEAT WORKING GROUP: DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO introduced the document (CoP16 Doc.70 (Rev.1)). He highlighted the recommendation that the Central Africa Bushmeat Working Group should meet regularly to exchange information, with support from the Secretariat.
IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, expressed disappointment with the lack of progress on the implementation of Decisions 14.73 and 14.74 (Rev.CoP15) directed to the Working Group, noting the Group has not met since 2011.
The Committee noted the document and the Secretariat’s comments and agreed to retain the decisions.
STURGEONS AND PADDLEFISH: Report of the Secretariat: The Committee considered CoP16 Inf.53, which contains a proposal by the informal working group on sturgeons. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION introduced the document and highlighted the differences between its proposed revisions to Resolution Conf.12.7 (Rev.CoP14) and those proposed by the Secretariat in CoP16 Doc.60.2.
The RUSSIAN FEDERATION, UKRAINE, JAPAN and IRAN supported the revisions proposed in CoP16 Inf.53, including deletion of reference to SC61 Doc.48.2 on, inter alia, stock assessments. The US and IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, opposed the proposed amendments, favoring instead the Secretariat’s proposals.
The Committee voted to retain reference to SC61 Doc.48.2 in the draft resolution, with 51 in favor, 8 against and 27 abstaining. The Committee voted to accept the revisions proposed by the Secretariat on page five of Inf.43, with 51 for, 14 against and 30 abstaining. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION stressed that stock assessment was “beyond the competence of CITES,” and stated she would not accept reference to SC61 Doc.48.2. She lodged a complaint in accordance with Rule 29 of the Rules of Procedure.
The Committee voted on CoP16 Inf.53 with the two controversial aspects of the text as agreed by the previous votes. The Committee accepted CoP16 Inf.53 with the agreed amendments, with 59 in favor, 5 against and 29 abstaining.
STRATEGIC MATTERS: CITES and livelihoods: PERU introduced the document prepared by a drafting group, on the basis of document CoP16 Doc.19 (Rev.1) and Annex 1 with all proposed amendments accepted (CoP16 Com.II.11 (Rev.1)).
The PHILIPPINES, ARGENTINA, SOUTH AFRICA, ZIMBABWE, TRAFFIC and others supported the document. MEXICO and the US proposed minor textual changes. The US noted its concern with some elements of the document and expressed its interest in addressing those concerns through participation in the Intersessional Working Group.
The Committee agreed to the amended document.
Proposal concerning a needs assessment for strengthening the implementation of CITES in developing countries: GHANA introduced the document (CoP16 Com.II.10) following discussion of CoP16 Doc.22.
GHANA proposed expanding the document’s scope to include developed countries. The US proposed expanding the document’s scope to all parties.
The Committee accepted the document with the proposed changes.
COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT: Disposal of illegally-traded and confiscated specimens of Appendix-I, -II and -III species: INDONESIA presented the draft decision (CoP16 Com.II.21) prepared by a drafting group. The decision directs the SC to review Resolutions Conf.9.9, Conf.9.10 and Conf.10.7 (Rev.CoP15) to determine whether to consolidate or simplify any of their provisions, and report its conclusions and recommendations to CoP17.
The Committee accepted the document.
Improving the efficiency of international cooperation on permit and certificate verification: CHINA presented the Working Group’s draft amendment (CoP16 Com.II.20) to Resolution Conf.12.3 (Rev.CoP15). JAPAN supported the revised draft amendment, stating he hoped this would encourage prompt communication between relevant management authorities. The Committee accepted the proposal with a minor modification.
EXEMPTIONS AND SPECIAL TRADE PROVISIONS: Personal and household effects: IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, presented the drafting group’s proposed amendment to CoP16 Doc.46 (Rev.1), which added text to specify that the export of rhino horn or elephant ivory do not qualify for the personal and household effects exemption.
The Committee accepted the draft amendment with a modification.
PERIODIC REVIEW OF APPENDICES: Development and application of annotations: The US introduced the document (CoP16 Com.II.27), reflecting recommendations prepared by the Working Group on the basis of CoP16 Doc.75 (Rev.1) and CoP16 Doc.76 (Rev.1). The Committee accepted the recommendations.
The US and the PC Chair reviewed the definitions proposed in CoP16 Doc.75 (Rev.1) and CoP16 Doc.76 (Rev.1). The Committee accepted the definitions.
The PC Chair invited the Committee to note the recommendations included in paragraph 13 of CoP16 Doc.76 (Rev.1), relating to annotations for orchids listed on Appendix II. The Committee noted the paragraph and accepted the proposed recommendations, including the draft decision as amended in the annex.
TRADE CONTROL AND MARKING: Purpose codes on CITES permits and certificates: IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, introduced the draft amendment (CoP16 Com.II.2) to CoP Resolution Conf.12.3 (Rev.CoP15) on permits and certificates based on CoP16 Doc.38 (Rev.1).
IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, noted there was no consensus on the document but stated that no changes would be put forward at this stage. The Committee accepted it.
Identification Manual: The Secretariat introduced the document he prepared on the basis of document CoP16 Doc.44.2 (Rev.1) (CoP16 Com.II.16), which the Committee accepted.
ELEPHANTS: Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) and monitoring of illegal trade in ivory and other elephant specimens: IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, introduced the draft decisions of the CoP on monitoring of illegal trade in ivory, prepared in the drafting group (CoP16 Com.II.22).
The US proposed language requesting the Secretary-General to cooperate with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on national security implications and illegal killing of elephants. KENYA proposed, inter alia: lowering the weight of ivory seizure requiring forensic analysis to 500kg and backdating the analysis of seizures recorded by the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) to 24 months. THAILAND said that expanding the analysis to 24 months would be challenging.
GABON introduced language on demand reduction strategies. SOUTH AFRICA, supported by BOTSWANA, preferred the original wording. IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, requested that this text be directed to major consumer states. SAVE THE ELEPHANTS supported Gabon, urging consumer states to initiate public awareness campaigns to reduce demand.
The Committee accepted the decisions with the amendments from the US, Kenya and Thailand.
Draft CoP resolution on proposed new resolution concerning the African Elephant Action Plan (AEAP) and African Elephant Fund (AEF): NIGERIA introduced the document (CoP16 Com.II.17), prepared in consultation with the Secretariat, on the basis of document CoP16 Doc.53.3 (Rev.2) Annex 1.
KENYA proposed recognizing the work of the IUCN SSC Elephant Specialist Group in the preamble. The US asked, inter alia, that the language on the modalities of UNEP support to the Elephant Fund Steering Committee be revised.
The Committee accepted the document without the US proposed revisions.
Draft revision of Resolution Conf.10.10 (Rev.CoP15) on trade in elephant specimens: The US presented the recommendations of the drafting group (CoP16 Com.II.26) concerning the draft revision of Resolution Conf.10.10 (Rev.CoP15) on trade in elephant specimens.
The Committee accepted: the recommendations of the drafting group (CoP16 Com.II.26); the renewal of Decision 14.78 (Rev.CoP15); textual amendments to the draft revision of Resolution Conf.10.10 (Rev.CoP15) suggested by the US, KENYA, GABON, SOUTH AFRICA and MALAYSIA; and the deletion of Decisions 13.26, 14.76, 14.79 and 15.74 (Rev.CoP15).
Draft decision of the CoP on a Decision-making mechanism (DMM) for a process of trade in ivory: The Secretariat introduced CoP16 Com.II.18 which harmonized documents CoP16 Doc.36 (Rev.1) and CoP16 Doc.37 (Rev.1) on the DMM for a process of trade in ivory, proposing postponing the approval of the DMM to CoP17 and requesting the SC to develop a DMM in consultation with all African and Asian elephant range states, in French and English when possible. KENYA expressed concern that deleting reference to “authorizing” a process of ivory trade would change the meaning of the text. The Secretariat agreed to note this comment. DAVID SHEPHERD WILDLIFE FOUNDATION called on CITES to suspend discussion on the DMM.
The Committee accepted the document.
Proposed revision of Resolution Conf.10.9 on consideration of proposals for the transfer of African elephant populations from Appendix I to Appendix II: CÔTE D’IVOIRE introduced the draft decision (CoP16 Com.II.19) prepared following discussion of document CoP16 Doc.73 (Rev.1) and asked the SC to establish a working group to review Resolution Conf.10.9.
The Committee accepted the draft decision.
TORTOISES AND FRESHWATER TURTLES: The US introduced the document (CoP16 Com.II.23), prepared by the SC Chair of the Working Group on tortoises and freshwater turtles, in consultation with the AC Chair and the Secretariat, on the basis of documents CoP16 Doc.58.1 (Rev.1) and CoP16 Doc.58.2 (Rev.1).
The Committee accepted the report.
RHINOCEROSES: The UK introduced the document (CoP16 Com.II.24) prepared by the working group on the basis of documents CoP16 Doc.54.1 (Rev.1) and CoP16 Doc.54.2 (Rev.1) and highlighted a large degree of consensus.
Several amendments were proposed. UGANDA and TANZANIA proposed referencing rhino “specimens” instead of “horns” when discussing illegal seizures. SWAZILAND proposed adding reference to rhino “possession” in addition to illegal trade. VIET NAM asked for a review of the term “hunting trophy.”
The Committee I agreed to the document with amendments.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The raucous cheers that followed Monday’s Committee I discussions on sharks and rays had quieted by Tuesday. Instead, many breathless delegates were seen running between Committees I and II, as the Committee II schedule for discussion of documents became more unpredictable as the day progressed. Committee II ended a half-hour later than scheduled, with unresolved items still on its agenda and reports pending from three working groups. Some delegates groaned about the resumed discussion on Wednesday and the delay of plenary, but one said she was “relieved no one called for an evening session.”
Participants emerging from Committee I’s meeting room spoke more buoyantly, with several expressing relief the discussions on stingrays and plants had proceeded so smoothly. One pointed to the resolution of several proposals on precious timber species, noting these decisions would have been “undreamed of” a few CoPs ago. Throughout the day, some participants continued to lobby for their positions on some of the more divisive proposals, in case the decisions were re-opened in plenary. Several delegates, however, felt most parties would respect the work of the Committees and let their decisions stand.