Summary report, 24 September – 4 October 2016
17th Meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties (COP17)
The seventeenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened in Johannesburg, South Africa from Saturday, 24 September through Tuesday, 4 October 2016.
CoP17 was the largest CITES meeting to date, with more than 3,500 participants representing 152 governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and media. Delegates considered 90 agenda items and 62 species-listing proposals submitted by 64 countries. Some of the resolutions and decisions adopted concern: actions to combat wildlife trafficking; demand reduction strategies to combat illegal trade in CITES-listed species; provisions on international trade in hunting trophies of species listed in Appendix I or II aimed at enabling better controls of the sustainable and legal origin of those specimens; illegal trade in cheetahs; elephants and trade in ivory; agarwood-producing taxa; and ebonies.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CITES
CITES was established as a response to growing concerns that over-exploitation of wildlife through international trade was contributing to the rapid decline of many species of plants and animals around the world. The Convention was signed by representatives from 80 countries in Washington, DC, on 3 March 1973, and entered into force on 1 July 1975. There are currently 183 parties to the Convention.
The aim of CITES is to ensure that international trade of wild animal and plant species does not threaten their survival. CITES parties regulate wildlife trade through controls and regulations on species listed in three appendices. Appendix I lists species endangered due to international trade, permitting such trade only in exceptional circumstances. Appendix II species are those that may become endangered if their trade is not regulated, thus require controls aimed at preventing unsustainable use, maintaining ecosystems and preventing species from entering Appendix I. Appendix III species are those subject to domestic regulation by a party requesting the cooperation of other parties to control international trade in that species.
In order to list a species in Appendix I or II, a party needs to submit a proposal for approval by the CoP, supported by scientific and biological data on population and trade trends. The proposal must be adopted by a two-thirds majority of parties present and voting. As the trade impact on a species increases or decreases, the CoP decides whether or not the species should be transferred or removed from the appendices.
There are approximately 5,600 fauna species and 30,000 flora species protected under the three CITES appendices. Parties regulate international trade of CITES species through a system of permits and certificates that are required before specimens listed in its appendices are imported, exported or introduced from the sea. Each party is required to adopt national legislation and to designate two national authorities, namely a Management Authority, responsible for issuing these permits and certificates, and a Scientific Authority, responsible for providing advice. These two national authorities also assist with CITES enforcement through cooperation with customs, police and other appropriate agencies. Parties maintain trade records that are forwarded annually to the CITES Secretariat, thus enabling the compilation of statistical information on the global volume of international trade in appendix-listed species.
The operational bodies of CITES include the Standing Committee (SC) and two scientific committees: the Plants Committee (PC) and the Animals Committee (AC).
CONFERENCES OF THE PARTIES: The first CoP was held in Bern, Switzerland, in November 1976, and subsequent CoPs have been held every two to three years. The CoP meets to, inter alia: review progress in the conservation of species included in the appendices; discuss and adopt proposals to amend the lists of species in Appendices I and II; consider recommendations and proposals from parties, the Secretariat, the SC and the scientific committees; and recommend measures to improve the effectiveness of the Convention and the functioning of the Secretariat. The CoP also periodically reviews the list of resolutions and decisions, as well as the species listed in the appendices.
CITES CoP13: CoP13 met in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2-14 October 2004. Delegates addressed a range of topics, including 50 proposals to amend the CITES appendices. CoP13 approved the listing of ramin, agarwood, the great white shark and the humphead wrasse in Appendix II, as well as the uplisting of the Irrawaddy dolphin from Appendix II to I. Regarding the African elephant, Namibia saw its request for an annual ivory quota rejected, but was allowed to proceed with a strictly-controlled sale of traditional ivory carvings. Delegates also agreed on an action plan to curtail unregulated domestic ivory markets. Namibia and South Africa were each allowed an annual quota of five black rhinos for trophy hunting, and Swaziland was allowed to open up strictly controlled hunting of white rhinos. Other decisions focused on synergies with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Enforcement issues also received considerable attention.
CITES CoP14: CoP14 met in The Hague, the Netherlands from 3-15 June 2007. Delegates addressed a range of topics, including: the CITES Strategic Vision 2008-2013; a guide to compliance with the Convention; management of annual export quotas; and species trade and conservation issues, including Asian big cats, sharks and sturgeons. Delegates agreed that no cetacean species should be subject to periodic review while the International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium is in place. CoP14 approved the listing of: slender-horned and Cuvier’s gazelles and slow loris on Appendix I; and Brazil wood, sawfish and eel on Appendix II. It also agreed to amend the annotation on African elephants to allow a one-off sale of ivory from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe with a nine-year resting period for further ivory trade. The media spotlighted negotiations on the future of ivory trade and African elephant conservation, with many highlighting the consensus by African range states as a major achievement of this meeting.
CITES CoP15: CoP15 met in Doha, Qatar from 13-25 March 2010. The meeting considered 68 agenda items and 42 proposals to amend the CITES appendices. CoP15 adopted resolutions and decisions directed to parties, the Secretariat and Convention bodies on a wide range of topics including: electronic permitting; Asian big cats; rhinoceroses; bigleaf mahogany; and Madagascar plant species. Regarding species listings, CoP15 decided to list, among others: Kaiser’s spotted newt; five species of tree frogs; the unicorn beetle; rosewood; holy wood; and several Madagascar plant species.
CITES CoP16: CoP16 met in Bangkok, Thailand, from 3-14 March 2013. The meeting adopted 55 new listing proposals, including on sharks, manta rays, turtles and timber. Nine proposals were rejected (Caspian snowcock, Tibetan snowcock, saltwater crocodile, Siamese crocodile, South American freshwater stingray, Rosette river stingray, blood pheasant and two species of freshwater turtles). Three proposals were withdrawn: Southern white rhino and two African elephants. Three were not considered: Indochinese box turtle; Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle; and Annam leaf turtle. The CoP also adopted strong enforcement measures to address wildlife crime.
CITES CoP17 opened on Saturday morning, 24 September. South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma opened the conference saying his country is taking actions to address the illegal trade of wildlife, as called for by the UN General Assembly and UN Environment Assembly (UNEA). He stressed the importance of wildlife conservation to sustaining local communities and economic development through hunting and ecotourism.
CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon welcomed Angola, Iraq, the European Union (EU), Tajikistan and Tonga as new parties to CITES. Scanlon highlighted the challenges in fighting illegal wildlife trade and ensuring legal and sustainable trade. He noted that CoP17 is not just about those challenges, but what CITES is doing to meet them.
Øystein Størkersen, Standing Committee (SC) Chair, expressed concern that half of CITES parties still do not have legislation that complies with the Convention. He also noted an increase in political support and highlighted positive impacts from valuable collaborations and initiatives such as the National Ivory Action Plans (NIAPs).
Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), commended the efforts of those working on the frontlines of wildlife protection, including anti-poaching units, customs officers and rangers. Noting that CITES cannot succeed in isolation, he stressed the importance of working with local communities and halting illegal wildlife trade.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS: On Saturday, 24 September, the CoP appointed: Emily Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (South Africa) as CoP Chair and Edna Molewa, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs (South Africa), as alternate; as Vice-Chair Cyril Taolo (Botswana) and Shereefa Al-Salem (Kuwait) as alternate; Karen Gaynor (Ireland) as Chair of Committee I; Jonathan Barzdo (Switzerland) as Chair of Committee II; and Bandar Al Faleh (Saudi Arabia) as Chair of the Credentials Committee.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA AND WORKING PROGRAMME: On 24 September, the Secretariat introduced the agenda (CoP17 Doc.2 (Rev.2)) and working programme (CoP17 Doc.3 (Rev.2)), which were adopted.
RULES OF PROCEDURE: On 24 September, CoP Chair Mashabane introduced three documents: the Report of the Secretariat (CoP17 Doc.4.1 (Rev.1)), the proposal of Botswana and South Africa (CoP16 Doc.4.2 (Rev.1)) and the proposal of Israel (CoP16 Doc.4.3 (Rev.1)). She highlighted the proposed amendment related to the participation of a regional economic integration organization (REIO) as a party to the Convention, specifically the paragraph stating that REIOs shall exercise their right to vote with a number of votes equal to the number of Member States that are parties to the Convention.
The Russian Federation expressed the view that only the votes of CoP-attending EU members should count. The US, supported by Venezuela, said that that only the votes of registered and accredited REIO members should be counted and added that REIOs should only participate in matters related to their competence. Mexico highlighted that REIOs have a right to vote with a number of votes equal to the number of Member States that are parties to the Convention. The EU expressed support for the Secretariat’s proposed Rule 26, wherein in the fields of their competence, REIOs shall exercise their right to vote with a number of votes equal to the number of their Member States that are parties to the Convention; and such organizations shall not exercise their right to vote if their Member States exercise theirs, and vice versa. However, the EU noted it could support the bracketed text saying that when REIOs exercise their right to vote, they shall do so only with a number of votes equal to the number of their Member States that are present at the time of the vote, and eligible to vote. The CoP17 Chair proposed, and the CoP agreed, to set up a working group to work overnight to address the issue report back the next day.
On Sunday, 25 September, the Secretariat reported back on the in-session working group. He noted that the discussion was constructive on issues raised, including those related to the participation of REIOs, and reached the compromise set forth in document CoP17 Plen.2. He emphasized that the working group asks the CoP to, inter alia: adopt the Rules of Procedure with the amendments proposed in Annex 2 of CoP17 Doc. 4.1 (Rev.1) with the changes recorded in Annex 1 to CoP17 Plen.2; and take note of the EU statement, contained in Annex 2 of the same document. In this statement, the EU noted that it attends this COP together with 28 Member States that are all present and accredited at the meeting and will remain present during the entire CoP17.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the Rules of Procedure with the amendments described in document CoP17 Plen.2.
ESTABLISHMENT OF CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE: On 24 September, SC Chair Størkersen reported that SC66 had nominated Bandar Alfaleh (Saudi Arabia) as Chair and as members: Rod Hay (New Zealand), Oceania; Kristen Koyama (United States), North America; and Milan Chrenko (Slovakia), Europe. The CoP adopted these nominations by acclamation.
ADMISSION OF OBSERVERS: On 24 September, the Secretariat introduced the agenda item (CoP17 Doc.6 (Rev.1)), which the CoP accepted without amendment.
FINANCING AND BUDGETING OF THE SECRETARIAT AND OF MEETINGS OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES: This agenda item was discussed in Committee II on 25 September and Monday, 3 October. The budget and work programme for 2017-2019 was discussed in the budget working group throughout the CoP.
Administration of the Secretariat: On 25 September, the Secretariat introduced CoP17 Doc.7.1, highlighting that the staffing resources available to the Secretariat have been declining while the effort required to fulfill its mandates and functions has been expanding. The Committee noted the document.
Report of the Executive Director of UNEP on administrative and other matters: On 25 September, UNEP introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.7.2 (Rev.1)) and noted the withdrawal of UNEP’s request to the SC for a review of the memorandum of understanding between CITES and UNEP in light of UNEA Resolution 2/18 on the relationship between UNEP and multilateral environmental agreements. The Committee noted the document.
Financial reports for 2014-2016: On 25 September, the Secretariat introduced the Financial Reports for 2014-2016 (CoP17 Doc.7.3), highlighting the fundraising efforts of the Secretariat, the increasing volume of documents requiring translation and a revised registration fee structure for observer organizations.
The US, supported by the EU, stated they did not support the proposal in CoP17 Doc.7.3 Annex 14 to introduce consolidated executive summaries in place of summary records. Israel proposed that the Secretariat collaborate with the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) to produce a summary record of meetings, noting that ENB reports “are more complete in many ways than the official records.” Chile urged for prompt translation of all documentation into Spanish.
Scanlon noted that ENB also costs money and that hiring them to create an official meeting record would not necessarily reduce the budget. The Committee noted the document.
Budget and work programme for 2017 to 2019: On 25 September, the Secretariat introduced the document on Budget and Work Programme for 2017 to 2019 (CoP17 Doc.7.4) and annexes. He highlighted that the Secretariat is too small given what it is tasked with and the increasing interest and participation in CITES meetings. The Secretariat highlighted three different budget scenarios: zero real growth, zero nominal growth and incremental growth.
Austria, Australia and Botswana expressed concern over the decline in financial resources for the Secretariat and, together with Italy and Greece, supported the incremental growth scenario. Japan expressed openness to discussing budget options other than the zero real growth scenario. Senegal recognized the need for ongoing adjustments and for exploring options for funding the Convention’s work. Brazil expressed a preference for the zero nominal growth option. The Russian Federation supported the zero real growth scenario and highlighted the increase in some expenditures even under this scenario. France also supported a zero real growth scenario. The Committee established a budget working group chaired by Botswana.
On Monday, 3 October, Botswana introduced CoP17 Com.II.34, presenting, inter alia, a core budget increase of 0.24% and two additional posts, one Junior Programme Officer at P-2 level and one Programme Assistant at General Service level.
The US noted that the budget lines related to captive breeding and ranching were removed from the core budget, and said he intended to seek ways to support that work. The EU accepted the proposed budget resolution, but expressed support for a more ambitious core budget to support the increasing demands parties make on the Secretariat. The Committee accepted the document
Final Outcome: In the draft resolution (CoP17 Com. II.34 (Rev.1)), the CoP:
- decides that the implementation of the costed programme of work for the triennium 2017-2019 shall be covered by the Trust Fund budget, Annexes 2 and 3, in the amounts of US$5,911,418 for 2017, US$5,999,700 for 2018 and US$6,643,674 for 2019 and by the Support to CITES Activities Trust Fund, Annex 3; and
- adopts the scale of contributions for 2017-2019, as contained in Annex 5 of CoP17 Doc.7.4.
Access to finance, including Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding: On 25 September, the Secretariat introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.7.5) summarizing the various financial resources made available since CoP16 for the implementation of the Convention. The document was referred to the budget working group chaired by Botswana.
On Monday, 3 October, Botswana introduced CoP17 Com.II.33, noting it presents a draft decision directing the Secretariat to, inter alia, convey CITES priorities to the GEF to take into account when developing the biodiversity strategy in the GEF-7 replenishment.
The Committee adopted the draft decision.
Final Outcome: In the decision (CoP17 Com.II.33), the CoP directs, inter alia, the Secretariat to convey CITES priorities to the GEF in order to be taken into account by the GEF when developing the biodiversity strategy in the GEF-7 replenishment.
SPONSORED DELEGATES PROJECT: This item was discussed in Committee II on Sunday, 25 September and on Thursday, 29 September. The EU introduced a resolution prepared with Senegal (CoP17 Doc.8) aimed at securing funds to facilitate the participation of developing countries.
The Secretariat recommended repealing Resolution Conf. 13.8 (Rev. CoP16) on the participation of observers at CoP meetings and suggested the draft resolution’s final operative paragraph instruct the Secretariat not to provide sponsorship through the Sponsored Delegates Project to any representative of a party at a meeting of the CoP who is also an observer for a non-governmental organization. The Secretariat also proposed wording on eligibility criteria for the sponsored delegate project Brazil, Kuwait and the US expressed support for the project and the Secretariat’s recommendations. The US also welcomed an open and transparent funding process. On Thursday, 29 September, the Secretariat introduced and the Committee adopted the revised draft resolution, capturing the changes proposed.
Final Outcome:In the resolution (CoP17 Com.II.1), the CoP, inter alia, instructs the Secretariat not to provide sponsorship through the Sponsored Delegates Project to any representative of a party at a meeting of the Conference of the Parties who is also an observer for a non-governmental organization.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORT: This item was discussed on Saturday, 24 September in plenary and on Thursday, 29 September in Committee II. Øystein Størkersen, SC Chair, introduced the SC report (CoP17 Doc.10.1.1 (Rev.1)) in Plenary. The CoP noted the report and forwarded the recommendations associated with it to Committee II.
The Committee adopted the report with the amendment.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the report.
ANIMALS COMMITTEE REPORT: On 24 September, AC Chair Carolina Caceres (Canada) presented the AC report (CoP17 Doc.10.2.1). She highlighted progress made intersessionally, such as resolutions on review of significant trade and periodic review of appendices.
Final Outcome: The CoP noted the report.
PLANTS COMMITTEE REPORT: On 24 September, Adrianne Sinclair (Canada), Acting Chair of the PC, presented the PC report (CoP17 Doc.10.3.1) and summarized progress, highlighting new proposals on Beaucarnea recurvata and the genus Dalbergia and joint work with the AC on periodic review.
Final Outcome: The CoP noted the report.
RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR THE CITES BODIES: This item was discussed on Monday, 26 September, in Committee II. The Secretariat introduced the documents (CoP17 Docs.11 and 10.2.1) and associated draft decisions. The US and Australia suggested textual amendments to the draft decisions.
The Committee agreed to the draft decisions as amended.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.II.3), the CoP, inter alia: directs the AC and PC to review their respective rules of procedure and align them as closely as possible with the Rules of Procedure of the CoP and the SC.
POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST IN THE ANIMALS AND PLANTS COMMITTEES:
This item was discussed on Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee II. SC Chair Størkersen introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.12). The US called for completing the work on potential conflicts and proposed small amendments. The EU expressed support for the proposed amendments.
The Committee adopted the draft decisions with amendments.
Final Outcome: In the draft decisions, (CoP17 Com.II.8), the CoP directs the SC, at its 69th and 70th meetings and on the basis of a review from the Secretariat, to assess the functioning of the conflict of interest policy set, and make recommendations for refining the definition of conflict of interest, if appropriate, and for a mechanism to deal with such conflicts.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE RURAL COMMUNITIES COMMITTEE OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES This item was discussed in Committee II on Tuesday, 27 September, and Sunday, 2 October, and in a working group chaired by Brazil. Zambia introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.13), co-sponsored by Namibia, noting that the participation of rural communities has been neglected despite their role in natural resource management.
Several African countries spoke in favor of this proposal. China expressed support, highlighting the need to pay attention to the voices of local people. Canada expressed concern over the mandate of the proposed committee and could not support the proposal, despite being in support of the principle behind it and being open to exploring the concept further. Japan expressed support for engagement of local communities in CITES, suggesting instead to set up a working group at CoP17 or an SC intersessional working group to discuss this concept further. In response to the interventions, Zambia, as co-proponent, favored establishing an in-session working group.
On Sunday, 2 October, Brazil introduced draft decision (CoP17 Com.II.7) on how to effectively engage rural communities in CITES processes, calling for the establishment of an intersessional working group.
Canada noted the request of rural communities to participate in intersessional work. The Committee adopted the draft decision.
Final Outcome: In the decision (CoP17 Com.II.7), the CoP directs the SC to establish an intersessional working group to consider how to effectively engage rural communities in the CITES processes.
COOPERATION WITH ORGANIZATIONS AND MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS: These items were discussed on Saturday, 24 September in plenary and in Committee II on Tuesday, 27 September, and Monday, 3 October, as well as in a working group.
Cooperation with other biodiversity-related conventions: On 24 September in plenary, SC Chair Størkersen presented the report on cooperation with other biodiversity-related conventions (CoP17 Doc.14.1). The EU proposed to amend the draft decision to engage relevant biodiversity processes and to achieve synergies by gaining access to GEF funding. The US expressed support for synergy with other biodiversity-related conventions.
On 27 September, SC Chair Størkersen introduced CoP17 Doc.14.1 in Committee II. The EU and Brazil introduced references to new processes, to which the US objected. The Committee referred the item to a working group.
On 3 October, the Committee adopted the document with amendments.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.II.21), the CoP encourages parties to strengthen synergies among biodiversity multilateral environmental agreements at the national level by, among others, improving coordination and cooperation between national focal points and strengthening capacity-building activities. The COP directs the SC, with support of the Secretariat, to explore options consistent with the CITES Strategic Vision to strengthen cooperation, collaboration and synergies at all relevant levels between CITES and the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, its Aichi Targets and a possible follow-up framework, as appropriate, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime: On 24 September, the CITES Secretariat presented the report on International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) (CoP17 Doc.14.2), updating parties on activities undertaken by the ICCWC such as development of learning materials on anti-money laundering for a wildlife specific programme and the ICCWC Guidelines for forensic methods and procedures of ivory sampling and analysis. INTERPOL stressed the importance of building capacity from customs to the judiciary level in order to shut down criminal wildlife networks. The World Bank said the ICCWC is a critical platform for ensuring legal trade flows and ending illegal trade flows in wildlife.
Final Outcome: The CoP noted the document (CoP17 Doc.14.2) and adopted its draft decisions.
Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources: On Sunday, 25 September, the Secretariat introduced the document on Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) (CoP17 Doc.14.3) regarding trade in toothfish, reporting that no information has been made available by CITES to CCAMLR. He noted that the draft recommendations include an invitation to CITES parties involved in harvest and/or trade in toothfish to report to CCAMLR.
The EU, echoed by New Zealand, supported the draft decisions, underscoring the voluntary nature of engagement with CCAMLR.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft decisions (CoP17 Doc.14.3).
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES): On 25 September, Mexico, Chair of the SC Working Group on IPBES, introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.14.4) and its two draft decisions, describing the “promising progress” made on fostering a relationship between CITES and IPBES.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the decisions (CoP17 Doc.14.4) with a minor amendment by the US.
Cooperation with other organizations: On 25 September, the Secretariat introduced the report on cooperation with other organizations (CoP17 Doc.14.5) and stressed the importance of collaboration on marine and tropical timber species with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).
Brazil proposed referencing the UN Agenda 2030 and SDGs in the amendments to the CITES Strategic Vision 2008-2020.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the document (CoP17 Doc.14.5) with Brazil’s proposed amendments.
Cooperation with the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation on Biological Diversity: On 25 September, Mexico introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.14.6 (Rev.1)) and proposed forwarding the document to CBD COP 13.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the document.
CITES AND LIVELIHOODS: On Tuesday, 27 September, South Africa introduced CoP17 Doc.16, summarizing the Livelihoods Working Group progress, highlighting decisions to sustain momentum. Several parties expressed support and offered amendments.
The Committee adopted revised draft decisions (CoP17 Com.II.4) and resolution (CoP17 Com.II.5 (Rev. 1)).
Final Outcome: The CoP encourages: promoting transparency and participation of rural communities in the development and implementation of national CITES-related policies; maximizing the benefits for rural communities of CITES implementation and trade concerned; promoting associations of primary users of wildlife, however they are defined; and recognizing resource tenure and ownership, and traditional knowledge of or in rural communities associated with CITES-listed species. The CoP directed, inter alia, parties to promote the use of the CITES and livelihoods toolkit, guidelines and handbook to carry out rapid assessments of the impact of the implementation of CITES-listing decisions on the livelihoods of rural communities.
LIVELIHOODS AND FOOD SECURITY: On Wednesday, 28 September, in Committee II, Antigua and Barbuda introduced a draft resolution on livelihoods and food security (CoP17 Doc.17). Given mixed support for the resolution, the Committee agreed to recommend to the SC to set up an intersessional process.
On Monday, 3 October, Antigua and Barbuda introduced CoP17 Com.II.22, which the Committee adopted with minor amendments.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.II.22 (Rev.1)), the CoP directs the SC to consider the proposed resolution contained in document CoP17 Doc.17 on food security and livelihoods.
DEMAND REDUCTION: Demand reduction strategies to combat illegal trade in CITES-listed species and Development of CITES demand-reduction guidelines: On Wednesday, 28 September, in Committee II, the US introduced CoP17 Doc.18.1 and its draft resolution, followed by Gabon, introducing draft decisions on demand reduction guidelines in CoP17 Doc.18.2. Committee II Chair Barzdo reminded parties to consider the draft decision on demand reduction from CoP17 Doc.25 together with CoP17 Doc.18.2. Many parties expressed support.
The Committee adopted the draft resolution and decisions with minor amendments.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.II.11), the CoP directs:
- parties and technical and financial partners to provide the financial and technical support necessary to promote and facilitate the implementation of demand-reduction strategies; and
- the SC to assess the need for the development of CITES guidance on demand reduction strategies and make recommendations for consideration by CoP18.
In the resolution (CoP17 Com.II.16), the CoP urges parties to: develop strategies to reduce the demand for illegal products of wild animals and plants through demand reduction campaigns and to enhance, as appropriate, policy, legislation and law enforcement in this regard; conduct in-depth and regular research on the demand for specimens of illegally traded CITES-listed species; and actively develop and implement well-targeted, species-specific, evidence-based campaigns by engaging key consumer groups and targeting the motivations for the demand, including the speculative nature of the demand, and develop specific messaging approaches and methods for target audiences.
WORLD WILDLIFE DAY: On 25 September, the Secretariat introduced the relevant document and highlighted the activities organized to celebrate World Wildlife Day.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the document (CoP17 Doc.19) with a minor amendment introduced by Japan.
EMPOWERING THE NEXT GENERATION: CITES AND YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – REPORT OF THE YOUTH FORUM ON PEOPLE AND WILDLIFE: On 24 September, Megan Reed, Youth delegate, US, introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.20), noting the importance of engaging young people in conservation. Martha Nomaele, Youth delegate, South Africa, described what it means for African youth to be engaged in CITES and conservation.
The US introduced a draft resolution and decision for adoption.
Final Outcome: In the resolution and decision (CoP17 Plen.1) the CoP invites parties to explore opportunities to engage today’s youth in CITES and other wildlife conservation issues, and to include youth delegates on official delegations and provide learning opportunities at CITES meetings.
REVIEW OF RESOLUTIONS
REVIEW OF RESOLUTIONS AND DECISIONS: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee II, the Secretariat presented CoP17 Doc.21 (Rev.1), identifying corrections of errors and an annex of decisions to be retained or deleted.
On Monday, 3 October, the Committee adopted CoP17 Com.II.20 and CoP17 Com.II.40.
Final Outcome: The CoP agreed to a revision of Res. Conf. 4.6 (Rev. CoP16) on Submission of draft resolutions, draft decisions and other documents for meetings of the Conference of the Parties.
COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
NATIONAL LAWS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee II, the Secretariat presented CoP17 Doc.22, providing updates on the National Legislation Project (NLP), noting challenges and responses to those challenges contained in draft decisions. Many parties reported national progress to ensure full implementation of CITES. The EU and the US proposed amendments and expressed support for suspending trade with parties that are not compliant.
The Committee adopted a revised draft decisions.
Final Outcome: In the draft decisions (CoP17 Com.II.2), the CoP, inter alia, urges parties whose legislation is in Category 2 or 3 under the NLP to submit to the Secretariat as soon as possible, and no later than SC70, details of appropriate measures that have been adopted for the effective implementation of the Convention.
CITES COMPLIANCE MATTERS: On Wednesday, 28 September, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced CoP17 Doc.23 and the draft decisions focused on assessing and bridging gaps in CITES compliance matters.
The EU, supported by the US, suggested deleting text directing the SC to: explore ways to further improve the handling of compliance matters; and assess the factors and criteria for deciding on compliance measures in accordance with Res. Conf.14.3. The US, supported by New Zealand and Australia, suggested additional text concerning founder stock of captive-bred CITES-listed species.
The Committee agreed to the draft decisions with the deletions suggested by the EU and the addition suggested by the US.
Final Outcome: The CoP, in CoP17 Com.II.13, inter alia, encourages parties to provide to the Secretariat: any examples and relevant information regarding methodologies, practical tools, legislative information, forensic expertise and other resources used to monitor compliance with the Convention and to verify the legal acquisition of specimens of CITES-listed species to be exported.
ENFORCEMENT MATTERS AND ILLEGAL INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN WILDLIFE: On Wednesday, 28 September, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced the relevant document and draft decisions (CoP17 Doc.25), followed by South Africa, introducing the document on international trade in wildlife (CoP17 Doc.26). She proposed to withdraw it if the issues could be included in Res. Conf.11.3 on compliance and enforcement.
The EU called for strengthening Res. Conf.11.3 and suggested forming a drafting group to address all proposed amendments. China supported the draft decisions in general but noted that the proposed amendments to the resolution place too much emphasis on importing countries.
Committee II Chair Barzdo suggested addressing draft decision 17.A with CoP17 Doc.28 on corruption; and draft decision 17.B with CoP17 Doc.18.2 on demand reduction guidelines.
The Committee called for a drafting group to prepare a clean text including the proposals by the US and Canada.
On 3 October, South Africa introduced CoP17 Com.II.25.
Argentina, supported by Peru, Bolivia and Mexico, opposed draft decision 17.C, which requests that vicuña range states compile information on the conservation of and illegal trade in vicuña and on their efforts to combat it. The same parties requested to delete draft decision 17.D (c) since it refers to draft decision 17.C. The US agreed to withdraw 17.C and 17.D (c).
The Committee accepted the document (CoP17 Com.II.25) with minor textual amendments from the Chair and the US and the removal of 17.C and 17.D (c).
Final Outcome: The CoP directs the Secretariat to:
- request ICCWC to develop guidelines that could be used to promote adequate integrity policies, and assist parties to mitigate the risks of corruption in the trade chain as it relates to CITES-listed specimens;
- convene a Task Force to develop strategies to combat illegal trade in specimens of CITES-listed tree species, including measures to promote and further strengthen international cooperation; and
- support interested parties in implementing demand-reduction strategies and provide necessary technical cooperation to those Parties on an ongoing basis.
PROHIBITING, PREVENTING AND COUNTERING CORRUPTION FACILITATING ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED IN VIOLATION OF THE CONVENTION: On Wednesday, 28 September, in Committee II, the EU introduced CoP17 Doc.28 and the draft resolution contained in its annex, noting the latter aims to strengthen the measures implemented by parties to combat corruption.
The US, supported by Jamaica and New Zealand, suggested a number of textual amendments and supported the Secretariat’s suggestion to delete text on the reporting of activities undertaken by parties to counter corruption as it relates to CITES implementation, citing the reporting burdens of parties. The EU opposed this deletion. China suggested that CITES work with existing UN instruments to combat corruption rather than set up a separate mechanism.
The Committee agreed to the draft resolution with amendments as agreed upon by the EU, the US, Brazil and China, including the addition of an operative paragraph on cooperation between CITES, the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).
Final Outcome: In the resolution (CoP17 Com.II.26), the CoP requests, inter alia, that:
- parties ensure that agencies responsible for the administration and regulation of CITES, particularly with regard to the issuance, inspection and endorsement of permits and certificates, and the inspection and clearance of shipments authorized by such documents, implement measures which aid in the deterrence and detection of corrupt practices;
- parties, and intergovernmental, international and national non-governmental organizations, and the donor community, as appropriate, provide, as appropriate and upon request, funds and expertise to enable anti-corruption measures, including provision of related training or materials, so as to ensure that all personnel responsible for administration, implementation and enforcement of the Convention are adequately trained, equipped and able to respond to corruption; and
- the SC, with support from the Secretariat, ensure close cooperation of CITES with UNCAC and UNTOC.
COMBATING WILDLIFE CYBERCRIME: This item was discussed on Wednesday, 28 September, in Committee II. Kenya introduced CoP17 Doc.29, noting that, in lieu of the original draft decisions, they accepted the Secretariat’s proposed draft decision directing the Secretariat to engage with INTERPOL on efforts to combat wildlife crime linked to the internet, but disagreed with deleting Decision 15.57 on e-commerce. Kenya suggested two additional draft decisions, one requesting the Secretariat to report to parties at SC69, SC70 and CoP18 on their engagement with INTERPOL.
Syria, Guinea, Israel, Indonesia and others supported the revised draft decisions, with the EU, inter alia, calling for the incorporation of draft decision 17.C from CoP17 Doc.49 on wildlife cybercrime into the document, minus specific reference to cheetah. The Committee agreed to the revised draft decisions.
Final Outcome: In the draft decisions (CoP17 Com.II.36), the CoP:
- invites the Secretariat to engage with INTERPOL on efforts to combat wildlife crime linked to the internet, and invite INTERPOL to consider establishing capacity, at the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation, to support the efforts of parties to combat such crimes, and to develop guidelines for parties on how to combat wildlife crime linked to the internet more effectively; and
- directs the SC, at its 69th meeting, to form a workshop on wildlife cybercrime that includes both producer and consumer countries and those with large internet companies, NGOs with expertise, lawyers, and other relevant experts.
WILDLIFE CRIME ENFORCEMENT SUPPORT IN WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA: This item was discussed on Wednesday, 28 September, in Committee II. Senegal introduced CoP17 Doc.30 and accepted the Secretariat’s revisions of certain draft decisions and the deletion of others. Guinea, Cameroon, Niger, Liberia, and Nigeria supported the document as amended. IUCN emphasized the importance of engaging communities in combating wildlife crime. The Committee agreed to the amended draft decisions.
Final Outcome: In the draft decisions (CoP17 Com.II.24), the CoP, inter alia, directs the Secretariat in collaboration with UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and with the support of ICCWC and relevant stakeholders, to commission a threat assessment report on illegal wildlife trade in West and Central Africa, to identify and collate information regarding trade routes, techniques and trends relating to wildlife trafficking in the two sub-regions, including recommendations on priority measures necessary to address and significantly reduce wildlife crime in the two sub-regions.
IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE CONVENTION AS IT RELATES TO THE TRADE IN SPECIES LISTED IN APPENDIX I: This item was discussed on Wednesday, 28 September, in Committee II. The US introduced the relevant document (CoP17 Doc.31) with proposed changes to existing resolutions. The Committee agreed.
Final Outcome: The CoP agreed to amend Resolution Conf. 12.8 (Rev. CoP13) on Review of Significant Trade in Specimens of Appendix-II species to include new preambular text noting that Resolution Conf. 4.25 (Rev. CoP14) recommends that any party having entered a reservation with regard to any species included in Appendix I treat that species as if it were included in Appendix II for all purposes, including documentation and control.
The CoP also agreed to amend Resolution Conf. 11.3 (Rev. CoP16) on Compliance and Enforcement in the section to say that when major compliance matters are brought to the attention of the Secretariat, the Secretariat will, in consultation with the SC Chair and as expeditiously as possible, work with parties concerned to try to solve the matter and offer advice or technical assistance as required.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION RELATING TO CAPTIVE-BRED AND RANCHED SPECIMENS: On Thursday, 29 September, in Committee II, SC Chair Størkersen introduced CoP17 Doc.32, including draft decisions and a draft resolution.
New Zealand highlighted concerns, namely the origin of the breeding stock and use of source codes. Canada supported the principle of addressing fraudulent trade but expressed concern that the proposed resolution is based on an outdated resolution on review of significant trade (RST). The US, EU and others supported the draft resolution and decisions with some amendments.
The Committee established a working group, chaired by the EU, to address this item.
On Sunday, 2 October, the EU introduced the working group’s draft resolution and decisions.
The Committee agreed to the document.
Final Outcome: In the resolution and decisions (CoP Com.II.18), the CoP directed:
- the AC and PC, in cooperation with the Secretariat, relevant experts and in consultation with parties, to review biological, trade and other relevant information regarding animal species subject to significant levels of trade using source codes C, D, F or R, to identify problems associated with the implementation of the Convention and to develop solutions;
- the Secretariat to review ambiguities and inconsistencies in the application of the use of source codes R, F, D, A and C, including the underlying CITES policy assumptions and differing national interpretations that may have contributed to uneven application of these provisions, as well as the captive breeding issues presented in document SC66 Doc.17 and legal acquisition issues, including founder stock, as presented in Document SC66 Doc.32.4; and
- the AC to review the differences in the nature of non-detriment findings (NDFs) made for specimens with source code W, R and F and provide guidance for parties, to be sent to the Secretariat for inclusion in the section for NDFs on the CITES website.
EVALUATION OF THE REVIEW OF SIGNIFICANT TRADE: This item was considered on Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I. The AC and PC Chairs introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.33) containing revisions to Resolution Conf. 12.8 (Rev.CoP13) on RST in specimens of Appendix II species, as well as four draft decisions, aimed at improving and streamlining the RST process for the benefit of CITES parties and for the conservation and sustainable use of species.
The EU, Israel, New Zealand and Cameroon supported the document with minor amendments. The EU noted that CoP17 Doc.31, under consideration in Committee II, includes a proposal to add preambular text to Resolution Conf. 12.8 (Rev. CoP13).
The Committee agreed to the document with amendments from parties and the Secretariat.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the document (CoP17 Com.I.31) as amended.
DISPOSAL OF ILLEGALLY-TRADED AND CONFISCATED SPECIMENS OF APPENDIX-I, -II AND -III SPECIES: This item was discussed on Wednesday, 28 September, in Committee II. Switzerland introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.34), calling for combining three existing resolutions dealing with the disposal of confiscated illegally-traded specimens of CITES-listed species, and the included draft decisions.
The Committee adopted the combined resolution with amendments as well as the draft decisions as amended
Final Outcome: In CoP17 Com.II.12, the CoP recommends, inter alia, that when specimens are exported or re-exported in violation of the convention, importing parties:
- consider that the seizure and confiscation of such specimens are generally preferable to the definitive refusal of the import of the specimen;
- notify as soon as possible the Management Authority of the state from which the specimens were consigned of the violation; and
- take enforcement actions against the party that violated the Convention in addition to seizure and confiscation of the specimens.
REVIEW OF REPORTING REQUIREMENTS: Report of the Standing Committee and Report of the Secretariat: This item was discussed on Sunday, 2 October, in Committee II. The UK introduced CoP Doc.35.1 on special reporting requirements, followed by the Secretariat, introducing CoP17 Doc.35.2.
The Committee agreed to both documents as well as proposals to amend and delete several decisions and resolutions.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the documents.
TRADE CONTROL AND TRACEABILITY
INTRODUCTION FROM THE SEA: On Sunday, 2 October, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced CoP17 Doc.36, highlighting the lack of responses to the notification issued by the Secretariat inviting parties to provide information on chartering practices.
China and New Zealand supported extending the validity of Decisions 16.48, 16.49, 16.50 and 16.51 (Annex 1). The EU, opposed by Brazil, Japan and New Zealand, suggested deleting text on chartering arrangements.
The Committee agreed to the document, including an amended version of the Secretariat’s draft decision on Introduction from the Sea.
Final Outcome: In the draft decisions (CoP17 Com.II.37), the CoP, inter alia, directs the Secretariat to report to SC69 or SC70 on the implementation of the Convention by the parties concerned in relation to the provision on chartering arrangements provided for in Resolution Conf. 14.6 (Rev.CoP16).
PURPOSE CODES ON CITES PERMITS AND CERTIFICATES: On Sunday, 2 October, in Committee II, Canada introduced CoP17 Doc.37, proposing draft amendments to Decision 14.54 (Rev. CoP16) to re-establish the intersessional joint working group, explaining that sufficient progress had not yet been made to conclude the group’s work.
The Committee agreed to the draft amendments of Decision 14.54 (Rev. CoP16).
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the amendments (CoP17 Doc.37).
IDENTIFICATION OF ELEPHANT AND MAMMOTH IVORY IN TRADE: On Sunday, 2 October, in Committee II, Israel introduced the addendum to CoP17 Doc.38, explaining that it was prepared following comments received from the Secretariat. The US supported the amended document.
The Committee agreed to the document with a proposed revision to Res. Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP16) on trade in elephant specimens and two draft decisions.
Final Outcome: In the document (CoP17 Com.II.38), the CoP recommends that all parties and non-parties enact, as appropriate, legislation that allows for inspection of specimens in trade labeled as mammoth ivory in order to ensure that they are not in fact specimens of elephant ivory, for example by requiring a determination from a proper wildlife forensic laboratory.
HUNTING TROPHIES: Hunting Trophies of Species Listed in Appendix I or II and Trade in Hunting Trophies of Species Listed on Appendix II: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I, the EU introduced a document prepared with South Africa on hunting trophies (CoP17 Inf.68), which consolidates their two similar but separate proposals (CoP17 Doc.39.1 and CoP17 Doc.39.2). South Africa introduced a proposed draft decision on the conservation of the African lion and the role of international trade (CoP17 Inf.73). The Chair suggested moving discussion of this document to discussions of CoP17 Prop. 4 on the transfer of all African populations of Panthera leo from Appendix II to Appendix I.
Canada and the US supported the proposal but requested amendments to CoP17 Inf.68 including, inter alia, the retention of reference to rhino horn and elephant ivory with regard to the personal and household effects exemption, so that such trophies do not qualify for the exemption. Several parties opposed. Pakistan stated that markhor populations in Pakistan have increased as a result of trophy hunting from which communities benefit. Tajikistan supported CoP17 Inf.68 and said he planned to submit a resolution at CoP18 on the establishment of quotas for markhor hunting trophies, including by working through Res. Conf.10.15 (Rev. CoP14).
The Committee proposed a drafting group to consolidate proposed amendments to CoP17 Inf.68, co-chaired by the EU and South Africa.
On Thursday, 29 September, the EU summarized the revised draft decisions and resolution contained in CoP17 Com.I.3 on hunting trophies, noting a link to proposals contained in CoP17 Inf.68.
The Committee retained text and other amendments developed by the drafting group and adopted the document.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.3), the CoP:
- agrees that the export of hunting trophies of species listed in Appendix I or II should be conditional upon issuance of an export permit in accordance with Articles III or IV of the Convention except as provided in Res. Conf. 13.7 (Rev. CoP16) on Control of trade in personal and household effects;
- urges exporting countries to only authorize the export of hunting trophies of species listed in Appendix I or II when the following conditions are met: a Management Authority of the state of export is satisfied that the specimen was not obtained in contravention of the laws of that country for the protection of fauna; and in reviewing trade in hunting trophies, a Management Authority of the state of export is satisfied that said specimen conforms to the definition of hunting trophy as contained in Res. Conf. 12.3 (Rev. CoP16) on Permits and Certificates; and
- recommends that parties exporting hunting trophies of CITES-listed species ensure that trophy hunting is sustainably managed, does not undermine the conservation of target species and, as appropriate, provides benefits to local communities.
In the revised draft Res. Conf.12.3, the CoP agrees that: parties shall not require export permits or re-export certificates for personal or household effects except: for the export and re-export of all other hunting trophies unless parties have entered into bilateral written arrangements for cross-border trade between neighboring countries that include the required findings in Article IV of the Convention, provided that such arrangements have been duly notified to the CITES Secretariat; and the export or re-export of rhino horn and elephant ivory contained in hunting trophies does not qualify for the personal and household effects exemption.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN LIVE APPENDIX-II ANIMALS TO APPROPRIATE AND ACCEPTABLE DESTINATIONS: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee II, the US introduced CoP17 Doc.40 on international trade in live Appendix II animals to appropriate and acceptable destinations. Mali presented CoP17 Doc.57.4, which seeks to limit trade in live elephant, highlighting that the trade of ivory and live elephants impact elephant populations. Mali, supported by Kenya, Togo, Uganda and Ethiopia, but opposed by South Africa, Japan, Namibia, Swaziland, Botswana and Zimbabwe, supported the document that limits the international trade of wild elephants. The EU cautioned that revising a decision on an appropriate destination for wild specimens could fall outside the scope of CITES.
The Committee established a drafting group to see if agreement could be reached on the documents.
On Monday, 3 October, the US introduced CoP17 Com.II.30 on the definition of “appropriate and acceptable destinations.” South Africa supported the document. Canada suggested replacing “recommends” with “encourages” in reference to the permit condition.
The Committee adopted the document with amendments.
Final Outcome: In the document (CoP17 Com.II.30 (Rev.1)), the CoP agrees, inter alia, that, where the term “appropriate and acceptable destinations” appears in an annotation to the listing of a species in Appendix II of the Convention with reference to the trade in live animals, this term shall be defined to mean destinations where:
the Scientific Authority of the state of import is satisfied that the proposed recipient of a living specimen is suitably equipped to house and care for it; and
the Scientific Authorities of the state of import and the state of export are satisfied that the trade would promote in situ conservation.
IDENTIFICATION OF ORIGIN OF CETACEANS BRED OR KEPT IN CAPTIVITY: On Sunday, 2 October, in Committee II, Ukraine introduced CoP17 Doc.41 with minor amendments. The Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) welcomed the establishment of marking and registration systems, expressing concern over difficulty in verifying origin of cetaceans. The Committee set up a working group to discuss this agenda item.
On Monday, 3 October, Ukraine introduced the draft decisions on the Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus ponticus). The Chair and the US suggested minor textual amendments.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.II.35), the CoP directs range states that are parties to use genetic analysis to confirm the subspecies of the specimen of T. truncatus and its origin prior to the issuance of an export permit.
DRAFT REVISION OF RESOLUTION CONF. 16.8 ON FREQUENT CROSS-BORDER NON-COMMERCIAL MOVEMENTS OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: On Sunday, 2 October, in Committee II, the EU introduced CoP17 Doc.42, aimed at further facilitating the cross-border non-commercial movements of musical instruments by deleting the requirement that such movements should be controlled and endorsed at the border by inspecting officers.
The League of American Orchestras, on behalf of several groups, welcomed the proposed changes. Israel asked that manufacturers of musical instruments no longer use CITES Appendix-I listed species.
The Committee adopted revised resolution with minor changes.
Final Outcome: In the revised resolution (CoP17 Com.II.27), the CoP agrees, inter alia, that the parties concerned treat each musical instrument certificate as a type of passport that allows the non-commercial movement of the identified musical instrument across their borders upon presentation of the original musical instrument certificate to the appropriate border control officer.
REVIEW OF THE DEFINITION OF “ARTIFICIALLY PROPAGATED” FOR PLANTS: On Sunday, 2 October, in Committee II, China introduced CoP17 Doc.43, noting that the current definition of “artificially propagated” outlined in Res. Conf.11.11 (Rev. CoP15) does not adequately address the range and complexity of current cultivation and propagation mechanisms for CITES-listed plants. The Committee adopted the document with an amendment.
Final Outcome: In the draft decisions (CoP17 Com.II.28), the CoP directs the PC to assess the applicability and utility of the current definitions of “artificial propagation” and “under controlled conditions” in Res. Conf. 11.11 (Rev. CoP15).
ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES: On Sunday, 2 October, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced the draft decisions contained in CoP17 Doc.44 (Rev.1).
Many parties expressed support, highlighting the need for capacity building and advisory support in transitioning to electronic CITES systems. The US proposed amending draft sub-paragraph (b) of draft decision 17.CC by replacing “supports and is consistent with electronic, risk-based border clearance processes” which allows for electronic border clearance processes that are consistent with and incorporate the requirements of Articles III, IV, V, and VI into any e-permitting system.
The Committee adopted the document and the amendment proposed by the US.
Final Outcome: The CoP directs:
- parties to submit to the Secretariat information regarding their planned and ongoing projects related to the use of electronic systems and information technologies in improving the management of CITES trade, and regarding the lessons learned; and
- the SC to re-establish the Working Group on Electronic Systems and Information Technologies.
TRACEABILITY AND PILOT TESTING OF A GLOBAL TRACEABILITY INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR REPTILE SKINS: On Sunday, 2 October, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced CoP17 Doc.45 on traceability, followed by Mexico introducing CoP17 Doc.46 on a pilot system for reptile skins, with the aim of consolidating both documents.
Several parties proposed amendments to the draft decisions, and expressed differing views as to whether a working group would be the most appropriate mechanism to address a traceability mechanism.
The Committee asked a small group to discuss the documents. On Monday, 3 October, Mexico introduced the draft decisions relating to traceability. Several parties suggested minor amendments.
The Committee adopted the draft decisions with amendments.
Final Outcome: In the document (CoP17 Com.II.29), the CoP directs, inter alia, the SC to establish a working group on traceability.
STOCKS AND STOCKPILES OF SPECIMENS OF CITES-LISTED SPECIES: The Secretariat introduced CoP17 Doc.47, including a draft decision directing the SC to review the existing provisions agreed by the parties concerning controls on stocks of specimens of CITES-listed species. The Committee agreed to the document.
Final Outcome: In the decision (CoP17 Doc.47), the CoP directs the SC, with the assistance of the Secretariat, to review the existing provisions agreed by the parties concerning controls on stocks of specimens of CITES-listed species; consider their objectives and implementation as well as the resource implications for parties and the Secretariat; and report its conclusions and recommendations at CoP18.
CAPACITY BUILDING AND IDENTIFICATION OF SPECIMENS IN TRADE: These items were discussed in Committee II.
Identification Manual: On Sunday, 2 October, Canada, as acting PC Chair, introduced CoP17 Doc.48.2, including draft decisions with new terms of reference for a merged working group that combines the original terms of reference of the working groups on capacity building and identification materials. The Secretariat also introduced CoP17 Doc.15 on capacity building.
The Committee adopted both documents.
Final Outcome: The CoP directs:
- the AC and PC to establish a working group on capacity-building and identification materials; and
- the Secretariat to explore means to improve and promote the accuracy and availability of identification materials on CITES-listed species.
Timber Identification: UNODC introduced CoP17 Doc.48.1. The EU suggested amending one of the draft decisions to reflect work from existing initiatives. The Committee agreed to the document as amended.
Final Outcome: The CoP directs:
- parties to expand or create and maintain scientific reference collections essential for the development of methodologies to identify CITES-listed tree species and distinguish them from look-alike species; and
- the PC to prioritize taxa for the adoption of new or updated standard nomenclature references, in particular where nomenclature poses a barrier to identification of CITES-listed trees in trade.
SPECIES TRADE AND CONSERVATION
ILLEGAL TRADE IN CHEETAHS: On Thursday, 29 September, in Committee II, Kuwait introduced CoP17 Doc.49 on cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), including the Secretariat’s revisions to its draft decisions. Kuwait opposed deletion of a decision concerning the Secretariat reporting to the SC on progress made in halting illegal trade in cheetahs.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kenya, South Africa, the EU and Cheetah Conservation Fund supported the amended draft decisions. The US supported the Secretariat’s amendments with the exception of removing deadlines from draft decisions 17.B and 17.C.
The Committee accepted all the recommendations and draft decisions, as amended by the Secretariat, Kuwait and the US.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.II.9), the CoP directs:
- the Secretariat to report to the SC on progress on all of the recommendations in SC66 Doc.32.5, paragraphs 17 and 18, and progress in halting illegal trade in cheetahs;
- the SC to review the draft CITES cheetah trade resource kit; and
- parties and potential donors to provide funding support to the Secretariat for the implementation of decisions regarding illegal trade in cheetah.
STURGEONS AND PADDLEFISH: On Thursday, 29 September, in Committee II, SC Chair Størkersen introduced CoP17 Doc.50 on sturgeons and paddlefish (Acipenseriformes pp.) containing proposed amendments to Res. Conf.12.7 (Rev.CoP16), including changes to the definition of “country of origin of caviar.” The Committee formed a drafting group to consolidate the rest of the text.
On Monday, 3 October, Japan introduced proposed amendments to Res. Conf.12.7 (Rev. CoP16) and proposed decisions (CoP17 Com.II.32). The EU proposed that Annex 1 on CITES guidelines for a universal labelling system for the trade in and identification of caviar not be reviewed as a whole. The Russian Federation noted objections to the table in Annex 3, offering an overview on stocks shared by range states and the respective species.
In an effort to resolve the impasse on the issue of “country of origin,” Committee II Chair Barzdo, supported by the US, Russian Federation and Iran, suggested amending draft Decision 17.DD by adding “taking into account the draft definition considered by the SC Working Group on the Conservation of Sturgeons and Paddlefish.” The EU offered a small counter amendment to the effect that instead of “considered by the Working Group,” it would read, “proposed by the majority of the Working Group.” In a spirit of compromise, the US accepted those changes and withdrew their amendments.
The Committee adopted the document with the amendments put forward.
Final Outcome: In the document (CoP17 Com.II. 32 (Rev.1)), the CoP, inter alia, directs the SC to discuss the issue of the definition of country of origin of caviar, taking into account the draft definition proposed by the majority of the SC Working Group on Sturgeons and Paddlefish and report to CoP18.
CONSERVATION OF AND TRADE IN EUROPEAN EELS: On Sunday, 25 September, in Committee I, the EU presented draft decisions on European eels (Anguilla spp.) in CoP17 Doc.51, including recommendations from the Secretariat to make available to the SC information on illegal trade in European eel. The US, New Zealand, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Peru and China expressed support for the proposed draft decisions. The US, supported by Japan and Canada, expressed support and proposed amendments to further recognize the role of range states in gathering information on the species. The EU accepted the US amendments.
The Committee adopted the document, including amendments by the Secretariat and US.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.10), the CoP directs:
the Secretariat to: undertake a study on challenges and lessons learned in regards to implementing the Appendix II listing of European eels as well as a non-CITES listed Anguilla species; make reports available to AC29 for consideration; and organize international workshops to focus on challenges specific to eel species; and
range states and parties in trade to collaborate with the Secretariat and FAO to promote cooperation, share information and participate, where appropriate.
REVIEW OF PRECIOUS CORALS IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE: On Sunday, 25 September, in Committee I, the US presented the review of precious corals in international trade in CoP17 Doc.52. Noting the demand for corals has increased dramatically in some Asian markets, he drew attention to the document’s draft decision for CITES to collaborate with FAO to undertake a study on CITES and non-CITES listed black, red and pink coral species within the order of Antipathariaand Coralliidae.
China cautioned that listing aquatic species under CITES can lead to price increases and illegal trade. Noting that the decision calls for voluntary RST, China, supported by Japan, raised concerns about the reporting burden on range states. Japan proposed deleting questionnaires relating to raw coral used in jewelry, domestic trade and government stockpiles. The EU proposed to invite not only coral range states, but also RFMOs to report data on their coral resources. A trilateral meeting with Japan, China and US was proposed to incorporate their concerns in the document.
Final Outcome:In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.11), the CoP directs:
- the Secretariat to issue a notification to invite range states and relevant RFMOs to, on a voluntary basis, complete a questionnaire, report on the coral resources and compile data for AC29; and collaborate with FAO to commission a study on CITES and non-CITES listed species;
- the AC to analyze the outcomes of the survey and FAO to study and prepare recommendations for SC70; and
- the SC to consider the AC recommendations to make its own recommendations for CoP18.
AGARWOOD-PRODUCING TAXA: Implementation of the Convention for Agarwood-Producing Taxa: Sustainable Production of Agarwood-Producing Taxa: On Monday, 26 September, in Committee I, PC Acting Chair Sinclair presented progress on Agarwood-producing taxa (Aquilaria spp. and Gyrinops spp.) in CoP17 Doc.53.2, highlighting a proposal to amend annotations to include wood chips, even when packaged. Sinclair also introduced CoP17 Doc.53.1. China recommended deleting a decision to develop an identification manual, and instead consider developing a glossary. The US, with Thailand and PC Acting Chair Sinclair, noted that the glossary should not replace the identification manual.
The Committee took note of the document and adopted its draft decisions with minor amendments.
Final Outcome: In the draft decisions (CoP17 Com.I.21), the CoP directs:
- the PC to consider the current production systems of tree species and assess applicability of the current definitions of artificial propagation in Res. Conf.10.13 (Rev. CoP15) and Res. Conf.11.11 (Rev. CoP15) and report back at CoP18; and monitor implementation of Res. Conf.16.10 to assess any potential conservation impacts to the long-term survival of agarwood-producing species and possible problems and report back to CoP18;
- the Secretariat with the PC to compile and publish identification manuals and distribute to management and enforcement officials;
- range states to generate and compile biological and ecological data of agarwood-producing species in the wild and report to regional workshop; and develop policies to encourage the sustainable use and trade in parts and derivatives of artificially propagated agarwood-producing trees;
- the Secretariat, with range states and the PC, to organize a regional workshop and report to PC prior to CoP18;
- the PC to consider the report of the Secretariat and report accordingly to CoP18; and
- consumer and trading parties to contribute financially to the in situ conservation of wild populations in range states and facilitate cooperation with the fragrance industry.
HUMPHEAD WRASSE: On Sunday, 25 September, in Committee I, SC Chair Størkersen presented CoP17 Doc.54 on humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus). He outlined recommendations to extend Decisions 16.139, 15.87 (Rev. CoP16) and 16.140. The Secretariat highlighted draft decisions on collaboration with FAO in its multi-year project to support Indonesia in achieving sustainable management.
Indonesia and China supported the draft decisions. FAO and IUCN described efforts to address challenges in unregulated trade and enforcement, and expressed support for the proposals.
The Committee adopted the proposals.
Final Outcome: In CoP17 Com.I.12, the CoP directs:
- parties to implement effectively the Appendix II listing of the humphead wrasse and strengthen bilateral and regional cooperation;
- the SC to review the actions of parties; consider whether further information from states is needed on action for implementation; develop recommendations to improve regulation of international trade; and report conclusions and recommendations for follow-up actions at CoP18; and
- the Secretariat to collaborate with FAO to support Indonesia in achieving sustainable management and trade, reporting progress to the SC and report implementation of decision at SC69 or 70.
EBONIES AND PALISANDERS AND ROSEWOODS: Action Plan for Diospyros Spp. and Dalbergia Spp.: Report from Madagascar: Implementation of the Convention for Trade in Malagasy Ebonies and Palisanders and Rosewoods: On Monday, 26 September, in Committee I, the Secretariat introduced CoP17 Doc.55.2, highlighting the Action Plan for Diospyros spp. and Dalbergia spp. and the SC recommendation for all parties to suspend commercial trade in these species until Madagascar strengthens its enforcement actions.
Madagascar proposed amendments to decisions adopted at CoP16 addressed to her country. She proposed selling the audited stockpiles of ebonies (Diospyros spp.) and rosewoods (Dalbergia spp.), opposed by the EU and supported by Switzerland, Norway, Chile, WWF and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). A drafting group was formed.
On Sunday, 2 October, Canada, Chair of the drafting group, introduced CoP17 Com.I.9 on ebonies and palisanders and rosewoods. The Committee adopted the draft decisions.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.9), the CoP directs:
- source, transit and destination parties to enforce all measures recommended by SC, including suspensions of trade; develop actions plans to manage timber stockpiles from Madagascar; and provide written reports describing progress to the SC;
- Madagascar to develop a process to identify species to be exported; establish a precautionary export quota based on NDFs; organize workshops to strengthen national capacity to formulate NDFs; produce identification materials; strengthen control and enforcement measures against illegal logging and export; submit updates and use plans to the SC; and report progress to CoP18;
- the PC to review and assess reports from Madagascar and make recommendations to Madagascar and the SC; support preparation of a standard reference for names of species to be adopted at CoP18; and
- the Secretariat to assist Madagascar in implementation with capacity-building activities and report on progress of implementation to the PC and the SC.
SHARKS AND RAYS: Report of the Secretariat: Report of the Animals Committee: On Monday, 26 September, in Committee I, the Secretariat introduced the Secretariat’s report (CoP17 Doc.56.1) on sharks and rays (Elasmobranchii spp.). The EU, Fiji, Maldives, Tonga, Samoa and Brazil supported proposed draft decisions. Fiji urged delegates to submit data on their CITES-listed species to RFMOs to improve stock assessments.
Japan proposed amendments, including removing reference to CMS. CMS, supported by Israel, the US and New Zealand, noted that many CITES parties are also members of CMS and the Sharks Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and opposed Japan’s proposal to remove the CMS reference. Committee I Chair Gaynor formed a drafting group to address Japan’s proposed amendments.
On Monday, 26 September, New Zealand introduced the AC’s report (CoP17 Doc.56.2) on sharks and rays (Elasmobranchii spp.), highlighting cooperation with FAO, CMS and RFMOs. The EU expressed support for the decisions for the SC to address look-alike and traceability issues.
The Committee adopted the document.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.13), the CoP directs, inter alia:
- parties to undertake national consultations with all stakeholders; share experiences and examples of making NDFs to the Secretariat for publication on the Sharks and Rays Portal; and provide funding for a dedicated marine officer position in the CITES Secretariat;
- the Secretariat to make guidance materials available for identification; remind parties that CITES-listed Elasmobranchii spp. occur in small-scale fisheries and that NDFs will need to be made; issue a notification to request parties to provide new information on conservation and management activities to AC for consideration and provide a summary to CITES trade database on trade since 2000 for AC consideration; and seek additional funding;
- the Secretariat and FAO to continue and expand collaboration;
- parties that are also parties to CMS and/or the CMS Sharks MoU to develop and improve conservation through mechanisms of CMS and the CMS Shark MoU; and
- the SC to consider issues and provide guidance and report to CoP18.
ELEPHANTS: This item was discussed on Monday, 26 September, in Committee II and throughout the CoP in a working group.
Report on Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE): The Secretariat introduced document CoP17 Doc.57.5 and the addendum, noting that illegal killing of elephants continues to negatively impact populations in many parts of Africa despite NIAP implementation since CoP16.
Uganda and Kenya, supported by Israel and opposed by Zimbabwe, questioned the quality of data provided to MIKE by range states. Noting the “dramatic decline” of elephant populations and the “alarming level” of illegal global trafficking in ivory, the EU opposed reauthorizing legal international ivory trade. The Committee took note of the report.
Final Outcome: The CoP noted the report.
Report on the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS): The Secretariat introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.57.6 (Rev.1)). Sri Lanka lamented its inclusion in the group of countries of “secondary concern” on the basis of one large seizure. China questioned the data and methodology used in the report. Uganda expressed concern over the grouping of countries into different levels of concern and the negative publicity it generates. UAE rejected the conclusions of the report to include UAE in the NIAP process. Singapore objected to being identified as a country of “primary concern.” The Committee noted the report and discussions.
Final Outcome: The CoP noted the report.
Implementation of Res. Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP16) on Trade in Elephant Specimens and Closure of Domestic Markets for Elephant Ivory, Actions to Combat Wildlife Trafficking and Ivory Stockpiles: Proposed Revision of Res. Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP16) on Trade in Elephant Specimens: These agenda items were considered together. The Secretariat introduced the document on trade in elephants (CoP17 Doc.57.1), highlighting the SC recommendations.
Niger introduced the document on the closure of domestic markets (CoP17 Doc.57.2). Namibia, supported by Swaziland, raised a point of order under the Rules of Procedure and motioned to close the discussion on this agenda item, noting that this proposal goes beyond the scope of the Convention. Israel and Kenya opposed Namibia’s motion.
The US introduced portions of the document on Actions to Combat Wildlife Trafficking (CoP17 Doc.27) related to the proposed amendments to Res. Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP16) providing for closure of domestic ivory markets.
Chad introduced the document on ivory stockpiles (CoP17 Doc.57.3). The Committee called for a vote on Namibia’s motion. The motion was rejected by a simple majority, with 31 parties in favor and 57 against. The Committee set up a working group to be chaired by SC Chair Størkersen.
On Sunday, 2 October, Størkersen provided updated draft decisions and amendments to Res. Conf.10.10 (Rev.CoP16) on trade in elephant specimens, including the recommendation to close domestic markets for commercial trade in raw and worked ivory as a matter of urgency. China noted the draft decisions should be directed to parties, not just range states.
The Committee adopted the draft resolution and decisions with minor amendments.
Final Outcome: In the document (CoP17 Com.II.6 and CoP17 Com.II.41), the CoP directs:
- range states of Asian elephants involved in the trade in live Asian elephants to undertake, as necessary, investigations into the illegal trade in live Asian elephants, and endeavor to enforce national laws concerning international trade in specimens of Asian elephants with the explicit intention of preventing the illegal trade; and
- the Secretariat, on ivory stockpiles, to develop practical guidance for the management of legal and illegal ivory stockpiles, including their disposal.
The CoP also recommends that all parties and non-parties in whose jurisdiction there is a legal domestic market for ivory that is contributing to poaching or illegal trade, take all necessary legislative, regulatory and enforcement measures to close their domestic markets for commercial trade in raw and worked ivory as a matter of urgency; and requests parties to inform the Secretariat of the status of the legality of their domestic ivory markets and efforts to implement the provisions of the resolution, including efforts to close those markets that contribute to illegal killing or illegal trade.
National Ivory Action Plans Process: The Secretariat introduced the document on NIAPs (CoP17 Doc.24 (Rev.1)), highlighting specific areas for improvement for the NIAPs process. The draft decisions and draft amendments contained in the annexes to the document were forwarded to the drafting group on NIAPs, chaired by Canada.
The Committee adopted the document prepared by the drafting group.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.II.17), the CoP:
- urges the identified parties to use the Guidelines to the NIAPs;
- directs the SC to review the reports presented by parties already in the NIAP process and determine whether assistance is required by these countries or if any other measures are required to ensure timely and effective completion of the NIAPs; and
- directs the Secretariat to consult with TRAFFIC in order to review current names of the categories used to group parties identified in the TRAFFIC ETIS Report and present its conclusions to SC69.
Actions to Combat Wildlife Trafficking: The US introduced the remaining draft decisions set forth in CoP17 Doc.27, as related to domestic markets for frequently illegally traded specimens of CITES-listed species and CITES controls for specimens of CITES-listed species produced from synthetic or cultured DNA.
Canada supported the draft decisions on wildlife products produced from synthetic or cultured DNA with the Secretariat’s amendment on timing of reporting. The EU supported the draft decisions related to domestic markets for frequently illegally traded specimens of CITES-listed species. China opposed the draft decisions.
The Committee adopted the two draft decisions with minor amendments.
Final Outcome: In CoP17 Doc.27, the CoP directs, inter alia, the Secretariat:
- to contract independent consultant(s) to undertake a study of domestic controls in consumer markets for specimens of CITES-listed species for which international trade is predominantly illegal; and
- to undertake a review of relevant CITES provisions, resolutions and decisions to examine how parties have applied the interpretation of Res. Conf. 9.6 (Rev. CoP16) to wildlife products produced from synthetic or cultured DNA, and whether any revisions should be considered.
DECISION-MAKING MECHANISM FOR A PROCESS OF TRADE IN IVORY: Report of the Standing Committee, Proposal of Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger and Senegal; and Proposal of Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe: SC Chair Størkersen introduced CoP17 Doc.84.1 inviting the CoP to decide whether the mandate directed to the SC in Decision 16.55 (and formerly Decision 14.77), concerning the development of a decision-making mechanism (DMM) for a process of trade in ivory, should or should not be extended.
Benin introduced CoP17 Doc.84.2 proposing that the CoP does not extend the DMM mandate provided to the SC in light of the crisis facing elephant populations in the majority of range states.
South Africa introduced CoP17 Doc.84.3 with a proposal for a DMM for a process of future trade in ivory in which the proceeds of the trade are used exclusively for elephant conservation and community development within or adjacent to range states.
Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania, Syria and several others supported the proposal for a DMM as presented in Annex I of CoP17 Doc.84.3, with several parties stressing that if a DMM were not approved at CoP17, they would consider the current annotation as though it had not been written. Kenya, on behalf of 28 other African parties, and supported by the US, the EU, Israel and many observers, stressed that establishing a DMM when African elephants are in critical decline “would send the wrong signal at the wrong time,” and instead called for, inter alia, legislative, enforcement, educational and fund-raising measures to reduce poaching rates and demand for ivory and illegal commerce. Swaziland, who supported South Africa’s proposal, said that many more parties supported it privately but feared supporting it openly because donors might withdraw funding. The Namibian Association for Community-based Natural Resource Management Support Organizations (NACSO) stressed the importance of sustainable use to community-based wildlife conservation in rural areas of Namibia.
Final Outcome: The Committee voted on the draft decisions in the order in which they were submitted, with a two-thirds majority required for a motion to pass. CoP17 Doc.84.2 was rejected (45 in favor, 46 against, 11 abstained); CoP17 Doc.84.3 was rejected after a secret ballot requested by South Africa (21 in favor, 76 against, 13 abstained); and CoP Doc.84.1 was rejected (20 in favor, 76 against, 13 abstained).
REVIEW OF RESOLUTION CONF. 10.9 ON CONSIDERATION OF PROPOSALS FOR THE TRANSFER OF AFRICAN ELEPHANT POPULATIONS FROM APPENDIX I TO APPENDIX II: Botswana provided an update on the intersessional working group, asking for its mandate to be extended (CoP17 Doc.86). The SC proposed the continuation of Decision 16.160, allowing the intersessional working group to report back at CoP18.
The Committee adopted the document as amended.
Final Outcome: The CoP agreed to extend the mandate of the working group.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN CYCADS: Cycads (Encephalartos Spp) were discussed on Thursday, 29 September, in Committee II. South Africa introduced CoP17 Doc.58 including draft decisions.
The Committee adopted the document with a minor amendment by the EU.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.II.23), the CoP directs parties to immediately bring every seizure of illegal Encephalartos specimens made within their territories to the attention of authorities in range states, countries of origin, transit and destination, as applicable, and to the attention of the Secretariat.
HAWKSBILL TURTLE: The item was discussed on Monday, 26 September, in Committee I. The Secretariat introduced the document on Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) in CoP17 Doc.59, calling for updated assessments and trade surveys to inform management and conservation efforts.
The Dominican Republic, Senegal, Maldives, Iran, Kenya, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and others supported deleting Decision 16.127, considering successful implementation, and adopting draft decisions to enhance communication and collaboration with CMS, among others.
Committee I adopted the document with minor amendments by Colombia.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.14), the CoP directs, inter alia, the Secretariat to undertake a study on the legal and illegal international trade in marine turtles; encourage communication among CITES, CMS and other agreements; and the SC to review recommendations by the Secretariat and formulate its own recommendations.
ASIAN BIG CATS: These items were discussed on Thursday, 29 September, and on Monday, 3 October, in Committee II.
Report of the SC: SC Chair Størkersen introduced the report and draft decisions (CoP17 Doc.60.1). Sri Lanka encouraged parties to pay more attention to the conservation status of leopards. Lao People’s Democratic Republic supported the draft decisions and keeping Decision 14.69 on intensive operations breeding tigers on a commercial scale. China supported most of the draft decisions as well as a review of tiger captive facilities and their connections to illegal trade, but asked to recall Decision 14.69 until the review is completed. The US and the EU supported keeping Decision 14.69.
The Committee adopted the draft decisions as amended by the Secretariat and also kept Decision 14.69.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.II.10), the CoP, inter alia, directs the Secretariat to undertake a mission to those parties in whose territories there are facilities of concern with the purpose of gaining a better understanding of the operations and activities undertaken by them.
Proposal of India: India introduced a proposal encouraging parties to contribute to photographic identification databases for tigers (CoP17 Doc.60.2). China, Indonesia and the EU offered some changes, prompting the Committee to convene a drafting group.
The Committee in the meantime agreed to integrate India’s first draft decision into Res. Conf.12.5 (Rev. CoP16).
On Monday, 3 October, the EU introduced CoP17 Com.II.31, highlighting draft decisions on Asian big cats. The Committee agreed to the draft decisions.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.II.31), the CoP directs the Secretariat to issue a notification to parties to request the tiger range states to inform the Secretariat whether they have photographic identification databases for tigers, and the capacity to identify tigers from photographs of tiger skins.
GREAT APES: Great apes (Hominidae spp.) were considered on Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I. SC Chair Størkersen introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.61) and draft decisions prepared by the Secretariat, highlighting that habitat loss and illegal domestic trade in bushmeat continue to be the most significant factors impacting great ape populations. UNEP, supported by Ol Pejeta Conservancy, noted that the seizures are not indicative of the high level in trade of great apes.
The Committee adopted the document and its draft decisions.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.26), the CoP directs:
- the Secretariat to collaborate with the IUCN/Species Survival Commission Primate Specialist Group, GRASP and other experts, to finalize a report on the status of great apes and the relative impact of illegal trade and other pressures on their status; and
- the SC to consider the report referred to above, to be considered at CoP18.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ROSEWOOD TIMBER SPECIES: On Thursday, 29 September, in Committee I, the EU and Mexico introduced CoP17 Doc.62 (Rev.1) on international trade in rosewood timber species. Senegal drew attention to a global assessment of rosewood species in trade (CoP17 Inf.48). Brazil, supported by Argentina, Kuwait and others, proposed that the PC consider the terms of reference (ToR) for the assessment on the conservation of, and trade in, non-CITES listed rosewood timber species. The Committee established a drafting group to enhance PC involvement in the ToR of this rosewood assessment.
On Sunday, 2 October, the Secretariat introduced draft decisions in CoP17 Com.I.23 on trade of rosewood species. The Committee agreed to the decisions.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.23), the CoP directs the PC to review at its regular meetings between CoP17 and CoP18 document CoP17 Doc.62 (Rev.1) and the draft decisions in the annex, and formulate recommendations to consider at CoP18.
GUIDELINES TO DETERMINE THE POSSIBLE IMPACT OF TRADE IN WILD DOGS ON THE CONSERVATION OF THE SPECIES: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I, Burkina Faso presented on wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in CoP17 Doc.63. He outlined the document, predicating precautionary actions to evaluate the impact of trade by saying such assessments are “practically nonexistent.” The US, with Switzerland, South Africa and Guyana, suggested its listing in Appendix III as a mechanism to monitor trade. The EU recommended cooperation with CMS.
The Committee established a drafting group to amend the text.
On Sunday, 2 October, Burkina Faso, Chair of drafting group, summarized amended draft decisions. The Committee adopted the draft decisions.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.28), the CoP directs range and consumer states to: take measures to prevent illegal trade and consider its listing in Appendix III; share information about trade with Burkina Faso; collaborate with CMS, IUCN and other interested organizations; and Burkina Faso to report on implementation to AC29 or AC30.
PANGOLINS: On Thursday, 29 September, in Committee II, the EU, on behalf of the SC, introduced CoP17 Doc.64, including a draft resolution on conservation of and trade in pangolins (Manis spp.) and draft decisions. Many parties supported the draft resolution and draft decisions with minor amendments, with the US requesting additional draft decision text on stockpiles of pangolins and derivatives of pangolins. China requested preambular text on conservation challenges beyond trade threatening the pangolin, including habitat loss and climate change.
The EU, the US and China held discussions to reach a compromise on the text. The Committee accepted the document with agreed-upon amendments.
Final Outcome: In the resolution (CoP17 Com.II.19), the CoP:
- urges all parties to adopt and implement comprehensive national legislation or, where applicable, review existing legislation, that makes provision for deterrent penalties to address illegal trade in specimens of native and non-native pangolin species; and
- directs the Secretariat to prepare, in cooperation with relevant organizations, and in consultation with range and implicated states, at least two months before SC69, a report on: the national and global conservation status of African and Asian pangolin species; available information about levels of legal and illegal trade; relevant information on enforcement actions taken; and stock-piles of specimens and derivatives of pangolins and stockpile management including existing registration systems.
CONSERVATION OF AND TRADE IN EAST AFRICAN SANDALWOOD: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I, Kenya presented the document on African Sandalwood (Osyris lanceolata) in CoP17 Doc.65, highlighting that due to funding constraints, some decisions could not be implemented. The Committee requested Kenya to provide amendments to consider for adoption.
On Sunday, 2 October, Kenya introduced amended draft decisions. The Committee adopted them.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (Cop17 Com.I.8), the CoP directs, inter alia, the PC and Eastern African range states to review and gather information on the conservation, trade and use of Osyris species and look-alike species and assess their impact in conservation of Osyris lanceolata; identify mechanisms to build capacity to carry out NDFs; and the Secretariat to assist in obtaining external funding and organize a consultative meeting to combat illegal trade.
TIBETAN ANTELOPE: ENFORCEMENT MEASURES: The Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii) was discussed on Sunday, 2 October in Committee II. SC Chair Størkersen introduced CoP17 Doc.66, noting ongoing seizures of shahtoosh shawls made from the wool of Tibetan antelope. China called for assistance in capacity building and improving livelihoods in local communities in range states to prevent poaching. Switzerland suggested an additional draft decision directing the SC to review the outcomes of an INTERPOL workshop that took place on the illegal trade, processing and transit of shahtoosh products, and make recommendations to countries involved in illegal trade of Tibetan antelope products.
The Committee noted the document and agreed to suggested additions, amendments and deletions of its draft decisions.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.II.42), the CoP directs:
- all parties concerned by the illegal trade in specimens of Tibetan antelope to draw upon the offer of support from the CITES Management Authority of Switzerland, in particular with regard to identification methods and exchange of information and knowledge about this topic; and
- the SC to review the results and outcomes of the workshop conducted by INTERPOL and Switzerland in July 2016 and make recommendations to the countries concerned by this trade based on that information.
HARVESTING OF AND TRADE IN AFRICAN CHERRY: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I, PC Acting Chair Sinclair introduced draft decisions on African cherry (Prunus africana) in CoP17 Doc.67. She highlighted that an international workshop is planned to be held before 2019 on the sustainable trade in Prunus africana, with Switzerland emphasizing that the workshop will help RST compliance. The Committee adopted the document.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (Cop17 Com.I.22), the CoP directs the Secretariat to organize and seek funding for an international workshop and report recommendations from the workshop to PC24; and the PC to review recommendations from workshop, advise range states, and make recommendations to SC and CoP18.
RHINOCEROSES: On Thursday, 29 September in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced CoP17 Doc.68, including draft decisions, and amendments to Res. Conf.9.14 (Rev. CoP15) on conservation of and trade in African and Asian rhinoceroses.
Kenya, supported by the US and Swaziland, suggested language to account for transit states. The US offered amendments to several draft decisions. The EU asked to add reference to Mozambique wherever Viet Nam is mentioned. Canada supported some of the revisions but expressed concern that some of the information asked of offenders is too detailed.
The Committee established a working group, chaired by the EU, to address all the amendments to the draft decisions. On Sunday, 2 October, the EU introduced the working group’s draft decisions and amendment to Res. Conf.9.14 (Rev. CoP15) on conservation of and trade in African and Asian rhinoceroses. The Committee agreed to the document.
Final Outcome: In the draft decisions and amendment (CoP17 Com.II.14), the CoP directs:
- all rhinoceros range states to continuously review poaching and trafficking trends;
- the Secretariat to conduct a mission to Viet Nam to meet with enforcement and justice sector agencies to review arrests, seizures, prosecutions, convictions, and penalties for illegal possession and trade of rhinoceros horn, including offenses detected at border points and domestic markets in Viet Nam;
- Mozambique and Viet Nam to implement the recommendations agreed by SC67; and
- based on its assessment of progress by Mozambique and Viet Nam, both at its 69th and 70th meetings, the SC to determine if Mozambique and Viet Nam have satisfactorily addressed all recommendations, or if further actions, up to and including compliance measures, are warranted.
In the resolution, the CoP urges parties that have stocks of rhinoceros horn to identify, mark, register and secure such stocks, and declare these to the Secretariat each year before 28 February, in a format to be defined by the Secretariat.
ILLEGAL TRADE IN THE HELMETED HORNBILL: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I, Indonesia introduced a draft resolution on the Helmeted hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil) in CoP17 Doc.69. The Secretariat, noting that a resolution as proposed by Indonesia is necessary, suggested a set of draft decisions based on the operational part of the draft resolution. Japan, Switzerland, the EU and the US supported the Secretariat’s proposal. Thailand supported Indonesia’s draft resolution. The Committee established a working group.
On Sunday, 2 October, Indonesia introduced amended draft decisions in CoP17 Com.I.6, highlighting a draft decision on enforcement controls and penalties, which the Committee adopted.
Final Outcome: In the draft decisions (CoP17 Com.I.6), the CoP urges parties, especially consumer and range states, to inter alia: adopt comprehensive legislation, enforcement controls and effective penalties; prohibit the display, domestic sale and acquisitions of species; designate the highest level of legal protection; and governments, donor and relevant organizations to implement the Action Plan. The CoP also directs the Secretariat to assist parties to develop and implement measures to halt, reduce and ultimately eliminate illegal trade and report to the SC on implementation; and the SC to review and report to CoP18.
SAIGA ANTELOPE: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I, SC Chair Størkersen presented CoP17 Doc.70 on the Saiga antelope (Saiga spp.), outlining nine decisions from CoP16 and underscoring recommendations to simplify reporting requirements. The Russian Federation, the US, CMS, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and others expressed support. The Committee adopted the document
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.27), the CoP directs, inter alia: range states and consumer and trading countries to implement measures in the Medium-Term International Work Programme for the Saiga Antelope (2016-2020) and report to the Secretariat, and address challenges in controlling illicit trade; and the SC to make recommendations to CoP18.
SNAKE TRADE AND CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I, SC Chair Størkersen presented CoP17 Doc.71 on snake trade (Serpentes spp.).He outlined a proposed resolution in Annex I, noting support for comments by the Secretariat. Indonesia, China, Iran, Malaysia, the EU and others expressed support. The US, Costa Rica and Brazil offered minor textual amendments. The Committee established a drafting group.
On Thursday, 29 September, Switzerland, Chair of the drafting group, introduced amendments. The Committee agreed to the draft decisions and resolution, noting amendments raised by the EU and links to traceability systems addressed in CoP17 Doc.45.
Final Outcome: In the draft decisions (CoP17 Com.I.1), the CoP directs, inter alia:
- southeast parties to verify origin of traded specimens and insure use of codes;
- Benin, Ghana, Honduras, Indonesia and Togo to address poaching and illegal trade;
- exporting countries and other parties to put in place precautionary management measures;
- the AC to review guidance on NDFs; and
- the Secretariat compile information and develop guidance and conduct interdisciplinary workshops.
REGIONAL COOPERATION ON THE MANAGEMENT OF AND TRADE IN THE QUEEN CONCH: On Monday, 26 September in Committee I, the Secretariat introduced CoP17 Doc.72 on the Queen conch (Strombus gigas), describing progress achieved in regional cooperation on management and trade. Saint Lucia, Dominican Republic, Colombia and others expressed support for the deletion of decisions that have been fulfilled. Jamaica recommended an additional draft decision to direct the AC to “review the process for the setting of scientific quotas for queen conch, in particular where scientific quotas make up a large portion of the overall export quota.” The Committee adopted the document..
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.15), the CoP directs:
- range states to develop national Queen Conch Fisheries Management and Conservation Plans, as appropriate; enhance traceability; and promote, develop and implement public education and awareness;
- the SC to review enforcement and traceability issues and make recommendations;
- the AC to review process for settling scientific quotas; and
- the Secretariat to collaborate with relevant bodies, monitor development of traceability systems and report progress at CoP18.
TORTOISES AND FRESHWATER TURTLES: On Thursday, 29 September, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced CoP17 Doc.73, including draft decisions (Annex 5). The US offered a number of substantive changes, including new draft decisions focused on strengthening the enforcement and implementation of the Convention with respect to tortoises and freshwater turtles, particularly in Madagascar. WCS and IUCN welcomed the document and the suggestions of the US and Madagascar. The Committee agreed to the draft decisions in Annex 5 and the deletion of all but one of the decisions as recommended by the Secretariat.
On Monday, 3 October, the US introduced draft decisions on tortoises and freshwater turtles, including on seeking funding to support the work of the CITES Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles Task Force, which the Committee agreed to.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.II.15), the CoP directs, inter alia, the Secretariat to engage Madagascar and other relevant stakeholders to provide urgent assistance to combat illegal collection and trade in the Ploughshare tortoise; and establish and convene a CITES Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles Task Force.
TOTOABA – OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION WITHIN THE CITES FRAMEWORK: On Monday, 26 September, in Committee I, Mexico presented on totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi) in CoP17 Doc.74 (Rev.1), stressing the importance of addressing its illegal trade. WWF urged delegates to take measures to limit vaquita bycatch and illegal fishing and trafficking of totoaba. The Committee invited Mexico, China, New Zealand, the EU, the US and WWF to form a drafting group to finalize decisions.
On Thursday, 29 September, Mexico, Chair of drafting group, highlighted minor amendments contained in CoP17 Com.I.2 on totoaba. EIA expressed support. The Committee agreed to the amended draft decisions.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.2 (Rev.1)), the CoP directs:
- parties to intercept illegal shipment and share information on illegal catch and trade; the Secretariat to commission a report to submit to the SC on current status of totoaba and vaquita;
- the SC to evaluate data and make recommendations at SC69 and SC70; and
- parties and stakeholders to support recovery of wild populations.
BUSHMEAT: Review of Resolution Conf. 13.11 on Bushmeat: Report of the Central Africa Bushmeat Working Group: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I, Canada presented on Res. Conf.13.11 on bushmeat (CoP17 Doc.75.1) and the Secretariat presented on a report of the Central Africa Bushmeat Working Group (CoP17 Doc.75.2). Noting that this working group was not established by CITES, the Secretariat, opposed by Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Senegal and Benin, proposed to dissolve the working group. The Secretariat proposed to adapt decisions to accommodate the parties’ willingness to keep the working group and report back to the Committee.
On Sunday, 2 October, the Secretariat introduced CoP17 Com.I.5. The Committee adopted the draft decisions.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.5), the CoP directed the Central Africa Bushmeat Working Group to continue its work; and the Secretariat to invite the working group to report at CoP18.
NEOTROPICAL TREE SPECIES: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I, PC Acting Chair Sinclair presented CoP17 Doc.76, highlighting that the Working Group on Neotropical trees species had taken place, mainly through electronic means. The Committee adopted the document.
Final Outcome: In the document (CoP17 Doc.76), the CoP renews the mandate of the Working Group on Neotropical tree species.
INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN AFRICAN TREE SPECIES: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I, Kenya introduced CoP17 Doc.77, drawing attention to difficulties in the implementation of management of nationally established export quotas. Senegal and Democratic Republic of the Congo stressed the importance of collaborating with subregional forest organizations to better control the circulation of these trees. The Committee adopted the document with amendments, acknowledging that funds need to be raised externally.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.20), the CoP directs the PC to form a working group on African tree species and consider the reports of the working group to provide recommendations to the SC and report to CoP18.
SHARING EXISTING WRITTEN SCIENCE-BASED RATIONALES AND SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION FOR NON-DETRIMENT FINDINGS MADE FOR TRADE IN CITES-LISTED SPECIES: On Tuesday 27 September, Australia introduced CoP17 Doc.78, stressing the importance of the exchange of scientific information and management practices to strengthen the capacity of parties to make NDFs.
Colombia, the US, Peru, Costa Rica, the EU and Egypt supported the proposal, with many developing countries stressing the need for financial, scientific and technical assistance in making NDFs.
The Committee accepted the proposed amendments to Res. Conf. 16.7 as presented in the document.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the document (CoP17 Doc.78), including amendments to Res. Conf. 16.7, encouraging parties, inter alia, to request the Secretariat to maintain written records of the science-based rationale included in the Scientific Authorities’ NDFs; as well as provide to the Secretariat for publication on the CITES website written records of the science-based rationales and scientific information used for NDF assessments.
REVISION OF THE CITES STRATEGIC VISION: 2008-2020: On Monday, 26 September, the Secretariat introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.9) and draft decisions (Annex 1).
The Committee accepted the draft decisions.
Final Outcome: In the decision, the CoP directs, inter alia, the SC to establish a Strategic Plan Working Group.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CITES STRATEGIC VISION: 2008-2020: On Tuesday, 27 September, Brazil introduced the document (CoP17 Doc.79), with draft decisions aimed at addressing the conservation status of, and conservation measures adopted for, species listed in Appendix I. The Committee adopted the document with minor amendments.
Final Outcome: In the decisions (CoP17 Com.I.30), the CoP directs, inter alia, parties to seek support from governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and other bodies to provide financial assistance for the recovery of species included in Appendix I that are facing the highest extinction risk, and for which no projects or funding are currently available.
CITES APPENDIX III - AN ADDED-VALUE FOR THE CONSERVATION OF THREATENED WILDLIFE WITH RESTRICTED DISTRIBUTION: On Tuesday, 27 September in Committee I, the EU introduced CoP17 Doc.80, highlighting the benefits of using Appendix III listings and funding from Germany to implement the proposed draft decisions. The US with Canada supported parties’ use of Appendix III, but not the proposed draft decisions. Pakistan suggested the need for a simplified procedure for listing under Appendix III. The EU agreed to withdraw the first two decisions and reorganize the third. The US supported the draft decision as amended. The Committee adopted the document prepared by the drafting group, formed on Tuesday, 27 September, chaired by the EU (CoP17 Com.I.4 (Rev.1)).
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted amended draft decisions, directing the SC, with the AC and the PC, to develop the guidelines on the application of Appendix III listings.
MAINTENANCE OF THE APPENDICES
STANDARD NOMENCLATURE: On Monday, 26 September, in Committee I, the AC nomenclature specialist, Ute Grimm, summarized the report related to fauna and the PC nomenclature specialist, Noel McGough, summarized flora (CoP17 Doc.81.1). The Committee noted changes in references and adopted draft decisions, with the exception of the Cactus (Cactaceae) Checklist, to be discussed in a working group with the US, Mexico, Italy and Peru.
On Sunday, 2 October, McGough presented the Cactus Checklist (3rd Edition)
The Committee adopted the draft decisions.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft decisions (CoP17 Com.I. 18 and Com.I.24) on nomenclature and identification of CITES-listed corals in trade, use of time-specific versions of online-databases as standard nomenclature references, and bird family and order names.
STANDARD NOMENCLATURE FOR HIPPOCAMPUS SPP: On Monday 26 September, in Committee I, Australia presented proposed nomenclature for Hippocampus spp . (CoP17 Doc.81.2 (Rev.1)), which the Committee adopted.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted revised nomenclature for Hippocampus spp (CoP17 Doc.81.2 (Rev.1)).
PERIODIC REVIEW OF THE APPENDICES: Revision of Resolution Conf. 14.8 (Rev. Cop16) on Periodic Review of Species included in Appendices I and II: On Tuesday, 27 September, AC Chair Caceres, speaking on behalf of PC Acting Chair Sinclair, introduced CoP17 Doc. 82.1, drawing attention to the recommended revisions of Res. Conf. 14.8 (Rev. CoP16) in Annex 1. The Committee accepted four draft decisions in paragraph E with an amendment suggested by Japan (CoP17 Com.I.25).
Final Outcome: The CoP accepted the revised resolution, which, inter alia, encourages the AC, PC and parties to facilitate periodic reviews; and directs the Secretariat to maintain a record of the species selected for periodic review.
Review of the Appendices: Felidae Spp: On Tuesday, 27 September, AC Chair Caceres introduced CoP17 Doc.82.2 and the draft decision noting that the review of Panthera Leo is still outstanding and called for its completion by CoP18. The Committee agreed.
Final Outcome: The CoP directed the AC to complete the review of P. Leo by CoP18 (CoP17 Doc.82.2).
ANNOTATIONS: Report of the Standing Committee: Annotations for Species Listed in the CITES Appendices: Report of the Working Group: Annotations for Appendix II Orchids: On Monday, 3 October, in Committee II, the US introduced the Report of the SC (CoP Doc.83.1), including proposed amendments to resolutions. He also introduced Annotations for species listed in the CITES Appendices: Report of the Working Group (CoP17 Doc.83.2), highlighting the Secretariat’s proposed amendments in each document. Committee II agreed to the document with amendments by the US, the EU and the Secretariat (CoP17 Com.II.39).
Canada introduced CoP17 Doc.83.3 on Annotations for Appendix II orchids. The Committee adopted it.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted draft decisions (CoP17 Com.II.39), directing the SC, the AC and the PC to re-establish the working group on annotations; the SC to report on the implementation at CoP18; and parties to review report by the SC at CoP18.
EXTINCT OR POSSIBLY EXTINCT SPECIES: On Tuesday, 27 September, in Committee I, the SC introduced CoP17 Doc.85, highlighting new guidelines on what constitutes “extinct” or “possibly extinct.” The Committee adopted the document.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted a revised resolution on criteria for amendment of Appendices I and II, reflecting new guidelines for “extinct” and “possibly extinct” (CoP17 Com.I.19).
FRESHWATER STINGRAYS: On Monday, 26 September, in Committee I, Uruguay presented the document on freshwater stingrays (Potamotrygonidae spp.) in CoP17 Doc.87, highlighting decisions to encourage range states to include all species of concern in Appendix III. Norway proposed to include reference to the sustainable use of stingrays, which was accepted. The Committee adopted the document.
Final Outcome: In the draft decisions (CoP17 Com.I.16), the CoP directs: range states to continue to exchange information and include all species of concern in Appendix III; parties and interested organizations to promote research concerning captive breeding and sustainable use at the global level; and the Secretariat to support range states in mathematical modeling of population trends and report activities to the AC.
AMENDMENT OF THE APPENDICES
PROPOSALS TO AMEND APPENDICES I AND II: All the proposals were discussed in Committee I. IUCN requested guidance from parties on the application of the precautionary principle. FAO underscored it does not advise parties on listings but rather provides them with transparent and objective best-available data.
Wood bison: On Wednesday, 28 September, Canada introduced the proposal (CoP17 Prop.1) to delete the Wood Bison (Bison bison athabascae) from Appendix II. The US, the EU, Qatar, Brazil, Norway, Kenya, Chile and China voiced support. Committee I agreed to the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.1).
Western Tur: On Wednesday, 28 September, Georgia introduced the proposal to list the Western Tur (Capra caucasica) (CoP17 Prop.2) in Appendix II, with a zero quota, noting declines and high demand for hunting trophies. The EU, as co-proponent, added that impacts of unsustainable trade and overharvest could be detrimental to the species. India and Ukraine supported the listing. The Russian Federation expressed opposition, noting hunting is a strong incentive for conservation. Canada and the US noted that a proposal without the zero quota would be more appropriate. South Africa said that only a subspecies of Western Tur meets the listing criteria. Georgia offered an amended proposal, without the zero quota, supported by Canada and Guyana. The Russian Federation proposed an Appendix III listing, which was not accepted by the co-proponents, and finally agreed to not block consensus. The Committee adopted the proposal without the zero quota.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the amended proposal (CoP17 Prop.2).
Vicuña: On Wednesday, 28 September, Peru introduced the proposal for Vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) (CoP17 Prop.3), unifying five annotations in Appendix II to achieve clarity and better control of trade. On Sunday, 2 October, Peru introduced CoP17 Com.I.7 on vicuña, focusing on an annotation to allow for the international trade of wool from vicuñas, only if wool comes from the shearing of live vicuñas. Argentina, supported by Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and others, supported Peru’s amendments. The Committee adopted the revised draft document (CoP17 Com.I.7).
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the revised proposal (CoP17 Prop.3) with the annotation prepared by Peru in the revised draft document (CoP17 Com.1.7).
African Lion: On Wednesday, 28 September, Niger introduced the proposal on the African lion (Panthera leo) (CoP17 Prop.4), and with Chad and Guinea, requested discussions be postponed to allow parties time to review relevant draft decisions (CoP17 Inf.68). The Committee established a working group, co-chaired by Niger and the EU, to consider the proposal.
On Sunday, 2 October, the EU presented revised draft decisions (CoP17 Com.I.29). He summarized amendments to CoP17 Prop.4 to retain the lion in Appendix II with annotations: zero quota of bones, similar parts and derivatives taken from the wild and traded for commercial purposes; and annual export quotas on lion bone specimens derived from captive breeding operations and traded for commercial purposes in South Africa. Gabon and Born Free expressed concerns. The Committee adopted the decisions and annotation in CoP17 Com.I.29 in lieu of the original proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP withdrew CoP17 Prop.4 and adopted CoP17 Com.I.29.
Florida and Eastern puma: On Wednesday, 28 September, Canada introduced the proposal on two puma subspecies (Puma concolor coryi, Puma concolor couguar) (CoP17 Prop.5) as a result of a joint periodic review and an AC recommendation to transfer the listing from Appendix I to II. The US, saying that these species meet biological criteria for listing but do not meet trade criteria, withdrew support for the proposal and expressed that they will abstain from voting. The EU, with Mexico, Switzerland and others, expressed support for the proposal. Committee I adopted the proposal with updated taxonomic references.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the amended proposal (CoP17 Prop.5).
Mountain Zebra: On Wednesday, 28 September, South Africa introduced the proposal (CoP17 Prop.6) to transfer Mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra) from Appendix I to Appendix II, noting the success story of its conservation and sustainable use. The Committee adopted the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.6).
Southern white rhinoceros: On Monday, 3 October, Swaziland introduced CoP17 Prop.7 to alter annotations to the listings of Southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) in Appendix II, permitting limited and regulated trade in white rhino horn collected from natural death; recovered from poached Swazi rhino; and harvested in a non-lethal way. He explained that legal trade revenue would be dedicated to support conservation and community needs. The EU, Israel, the US, India and Species Survival Network (SSN) opposed the proposal. Kenya also opposed, challenging many points made and expressing concern that legal trade will stimulate a demand that cannot be met by the small rhino population in Swaziland. Indonesia, with Nepal, Bhutan and India, opposed. Democratic Republic of the Congo, Japan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and the Private Rhino Owners Association expressed support. Swaziland, noting 90% of range states have supported the proposal, requested the proposal go to a secret ballot vote. By secret ballot, the proposal was rejected.
Final Outcome: The CoP rejected the proposal (CoP17 Prop.7).
Indian pangolin: On Wednesday, 28 September, India joined the proposals (CoP17 Prop.8 and 9) to transfer the Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) from Appendix II to Appendix I. The US said illegal hunting to supply scales to Asian markets continues to be a main threat. Nepal, the US, Sri Lanka and Mali expressed support. The Committee agreed to the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.9).
Philippine pangolin: On Wednesday, 28 September, the Philippines introduced the proposal (CoP17 Prop.10) to transfer the Philippine pangolin (M. culionensis) from Appendix II to Appendix I, urging all parties to support both Asian and African pangolin species uplisting. The Committee agreed to the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.10).
Sunda pangolin and Chinese pangolin: On Wednesday, 28 September, in Committee I, Viet Nam introduced the proposal (CoP17 Prop.11) to transfer the Sunda pangolin (M. javancia) and the Chinese pangolin (M. pentadactyla) from Appendix II to Appendix I. He noted that zoo associations concur on the unfeasibility of its captive and commercial breeding. Indonesia expressed concern that its uplisting will increase its popularity and demand in the black market. Peru, Egypt, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Israel, EU, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Brazil, Pakistan, Bolivia and Nepal supported the proposal. The Committee voted on the proposal, with 114 in favor, 1 opposed and 5 abstentions.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.11).
African pangolins: On Wednesday, 28 September, Senegal and Nigeria introduced the proposal (CoP17 Prop.12) to transfer the Giant pangolin (M. gigantea); South African pangolin (M. temminckii); the Whitebellied pangolin (M. tricuspis) and Long-tailed pangolin (M. tetradactyla) from Appendix II to Appendix I. Noting that pangolins are the world’s most trafficked mammals, Senegal underscored the importance of uplisting all African and Asian pangolins to avoid look-alike issues at customs. Côte d’Ivoire noted that the collapse of Asian pangolin populations has triggered an increase in demand in African species. Guinea, Angola, Togo, Kenya, Gabon, Liberia, South Africa, Cameroon, the US, Colombia, Tanzania, Republic of Korea, and Mali supported the proposal. Committee I agreed to the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.12).
Barbary Macaque: On Wednesday, 28 September, Morocco introduced the proposal (CoP17 Prop.13) to uplist the Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus) from Appendix II to I. The EU, with Tunisia, Senegal, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Chile, Qatar, Mauritania, Somalia, Oman and Comoros, with several observers, reported that the species is the most frequently CITES-listed live mammal seized in the EU. Committee I agreed to the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.13).
African elephant: On Monday, 3 October, Namibia and Zimbabwe presented CoP17 Prop.14 and CoP17 Prop.15 to delete the annotation to the listing of their elephant populations (Loxodonta africana) in Appendix II. Namibia favored controlling trade of all specimen derivatives including ivory via a Trust Fund to support rural and conservation programmes. Integrated Rural Development and Campfire Association underscored that countries that have successfully managed their elephants should not become victims of other countries’ natural resource management failure. Zimbabwe, supported by Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, China and South Africa, said that ivory trade could benefit rural communities. Japan, supported by Namibia and Zimbabwe, proposed to keep annotations to specify that trade in raw ivory is limited to registered government stocks and that proceeds are used exclusively for conservation and development programmes for local communities. Calling for a clear signal on closing trade and suppressing the demand for ivory, the US, supported by Israel, Rwanda, India, the EU and others, opposed both proposals. Nigeria explained that local communities can benefit from natural resources other than ivory. In a secret vote, neither proposal 14 nor 15 obtained a two-thirds majority.
Benin introduced CoP17 Prop.16 to uplist all elephant species to Appendix I. Gabon, dressed in uniform to honor the lives lost in elephant protection efforts, clarified that trade in ivory benefits states rather than local communities. Noting that elephant populations are not restricted to political borders, Chad, supported by Côte d’Ivoire, opposed having species listings in different appendices. Kenya and others supported the proposal, arguing that an uplisting would signal to the world that elephants deserve the highest protection available under international law. Botswana, as a range state, “unreservedly and voluntarily” relinquished the Appendix II listing of its elephant populations and supported uplisting to Appendix I. China, Brazil, South Africa, Namibia, the EU and others opposed the proposal, noting that the populations of elephants in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa or Zimbabwe do not meet the biological criteria in Res. Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP16), Annex 1 for inclusion in Appendix I.
In a vote, the proposal was opposed by a two-thirds majority.
Final Outcome: The CoP rejected all proposals relating to elephants (CoP17 Prop.14-16).
Peregrine falcon: On Thursday, 29 September, in Committee I, Canada introduced the proposal (CoP17 Prop.17) to transfer the Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) from Appendix I to Appendix II. The EU, supported by Israel, Norway, Iran and Pro Wildlife, expressed concern that downlisting may exasperate illegal falcon capture in range states that have different enforcement capacities. UAE, supported by Kuwait and Qatar, assured that its downlisting will not affect protective legislation in countries that practice falconry. The US, supported by Japan, Mexico and IUCN, supported its downlisting. In a vote, the proposal did not obtain a two-thirds majority, with 52 in favor, 57 opposed and 12 abstentions. The Committee rejected the proposal.
On Tuesday, 4 October, in plenary, Kuwait, supported by Qatar, but opposed by Iran and Costa Rica, requested to reopen discussion on the proposal on the Peregrine falcon. In a second vote, the reopening of the proposal did not achieve a one-third majority, with 27 in favor, 84 opposed and 11 abstentions. Kuwait requested to disclose the composition of the parties that voted, to which the CoP Chair agreed. The CoP Chair noted Qatar’s objection to the CoP’s rejection of the proposal to downlist the Peregrin falcon from Appendix I to Appendix II.
Final Outcome: The CoP rejected the proposal (CoP17 Prop.17).
Helmeted honeyeater: Austria presented the proposal (CoP17 Prop.18) to transfer Helmeted honeyeater (Lichenostomus melanops cassidix) from Appendix I to Appendix II. Noting that there is no evidence to suggest that international trade is a threat to the species, the EU and New Zealand supported Austria. The Committee adopted the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP accepted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.18).
African Grey Parrot: On Sunday, 2 October, Gabon introduced CoP17 Prop.19 to transfer the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) from Appendix II to Appendix I. Claiming the inaccuracies and unpredictability of data presented, Democratic Republic of the Congo questioned whether all African grey parrot populations are threatened, particularly those in his country. The EU, with the US, Uganda, the Republic of Congo and others, supported its uplisting. In a secret ballot, the proposal obtained a two-thirds majority, with 95 in favor, 35 opposed and 5 abstentions. The Committee accepted the proposal.
On Tuesday, 4 October, in Plenary, Qatar, supported by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and opposed by Uganda and Gabon, requested to reopen discussion on the Committee’s decision to accept the proposal. In a secret vote, reopening the proposal did not achieve a one-third majority, with 28 in favor, 104 opposed and 3 abstentions. The Philippines appealed to have a delay of six months to be able to implement this proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.19).
Norfolk Island boobook owl: On Sunday, 2 October, Australia presented CoP17 Prop.20 to transfer Norfolk Island boobook owl (Ninox novaeseelandiae undulata) from Appendix I to Appendix II, explaining there has been no evidence of trade since 1977. The Committee adopted the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.20).
American crocodile: On Sunday, 2 October, Colombia presented CoP17 Prop.21 to transfer American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) from Appendix I to Appendix II, with annotations. Brazil, supported by Jamaica, Peru, Panama, the US, South Africa, the EU, Cuba, China and others, expressed support, calling the programme a model to support alternative livelihoods. The Committee adopted the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.21).
Morelet’s crocodile: On Sunday, 2 October, Mexico presented CoP17 Prop.22 to delete an annotation relating to zero quota for wild specimen traded for commercial purposes to the Annex-II listing of Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii). The EU, Colombia, Peru, Switzerland and others expressed support. The Committee adopted the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.22).
Nile crocodile: On Sunday, 2 October, Madagascar withdrew CoP17 Prop.23 on the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), agreeing with the EU and the US to work intersessionally to bring the proposal to CoP18.
Final Outcome: The CoP withdrew the proposal (CoP17 Prop.23).
Salt-water crocodile: On Sunday, 2 October, Malaysia introduced CoP17 Prop.24 regarding the transfer of the salt-water crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) from Appendix I to Appendix II with a zero quota for Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia. Cambodia, Qatar, the Philippines, Pakistan, the EU and IUCN expressed support. The Republic of Korea opposed the proposal based on the lack of data supporting a stable population. The Committee adopted the proposal without amendments.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.24).
Lizards: On Sunday, 2 October, Guatemala introduced CoP17 Prop.25 to introduce five Abronia species to Appendix II and five species to Appendix I. Mexico introduced CoP17 Prop.26 to include the entire genus Abronia in Appendix II, while accepting to exclude the 10 Abronia species proposed in Prop.25. The Committee adopted both proposals.
The Committee also adopted proposals to include: Pygmy chameleons in Appendix II (CoP17 Prop.27), thereby making CoP17 Prop.28 unnecessary; Psychedelic rock gecko in Appendix I (CoP17 Prop.29); Turquoise dwarf gecko in Appendix I (CoP17 Prop.30); and Masobe gecko in Appendix II (CoP17 Prop.31). The Committee also agreed to amend CoP17 Prop.32 on Earless monitor lizards to include in Appendix II and to transfer the Chinese crocodile lizard from Appendix I to Appendix II (CoP17 Prop.33).
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposals (CoP17 Props.25-27, 29-33).
Snakes and turtles: On Monday, 3 October, the Committee adopted: CoP17 Props.34-36 to include in Appendix II on Ashe’s bush (Atheris desaixi), Kenyan horned vipers (Bitis worthingtoni), flapshell and soft-shelled turtles (Cyclanorbis elegans, C. senegalensis, C. frenatum, C. aubryi, Trionyx triungus, Rafetus euphraticus).
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposals (CoP17 Props.34-36).
Amphibians: On Monday, 3 October, the Committee adopted CoP17 Props.37-41 to: downlist Tomato frog (Dyscophus antongilii) to Appendix II; include False tomato frog (D. guineti), Antsouhy tomato frogs (D. insularis), Green burrowing frogs (Scaphiophryne marmorata, S. boribory, S. spinosa) and Hong Kong warty newt (Paramesotriton hongkongensis) in Appendix II; and include Titicaca frog (Telmatobius coleus) in Appendix I.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposals (CoP17 37-41).
Silky sharks On Monday, 3 October, Bahamas introduced CoP17 Prop.42 to include Silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) in Appendix II. The Maldives, co-proponent, explained that this proposal will compliment CMS listings and RFMO measures, and contribute to sustainable fisheries. Mexico, supported by the Dominican Republic, Chile and others, supported the listing. Opposing the proposal, Japan, supported by Iceland, Indonesia, Qatar and Nicaragua, argued that fishing measures should be addressed within RFMOs rather than CITES. FAO noted its expert panel report suggested Silky shark populations did not meet biological criteria for Appendix II listing. In a secret ballot, the proposal obtained a majority by two-thirds.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.42).
Thresher sharks: On Monday, 3 October, the EU with Sri Lanka introduced CoP17 Prop.43 to include three species, including Thresher sharks (Alopias spp.), in Appendix II, noting a call for a twelve-month delay to allow for implementation and distribution of identification tools to inform and train customs officials. Co-proponents Panama and Senegal stressed that the listing would ensure improved traceability and monitoring. The Philippines, joined by India, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, SSN and other observers, expressed support. Iceland, Japan and FAO opposed the listing based on results from the FAO expert panel study indicating a lack of reliable scientific evidence demonstrating a decline in populations. In a secret ballot vote, the proposal obtained a two-thirds majority.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.43).
Devil rays: On Monday, 3 October, Fiji introduced CoP17 Prop.44 to include devil rays (Mobula spp.) in Appendix II, allowing for a six-month delay in implementation. He drew attention to studies suggesting lower devil ray populations than previously estimated (CoP17 Inf.75 and CoP17 Inf.76). New Zealand, Ecuador and others supported the proposal. Canada stressed the importance of accompanying the listing proposal with domestic fishing enforcement measures. Japan, supported by Iceland and Myanmar, noted it was premature to list all Mobula populations in Appendix II. Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Kuwait and Indonesia opposed the proposal. In a secret vote, the proposal obtained a two-thirds majority.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.44).
Ocellate river stingray: On Monday, 3 October, Bolivia withdrew CoP17 Prop.45 to include Ocellate river stingray (Potamotrygon motoro) under Appendix II.
Final Outcome: The CoP withdrew the proposal (CoP17 Prop.45).
Banggai cardinalfish: On Monday, 3 October, the EU introduced CoP17 Prop.46 to include Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) in Appendix II, drawing attention to declining populations since a proposal at CoP14 was withdrawn. The EU expressed willingness to provide an annotation to delay the listing for 18 months. The EU introduced five draft decisions on management measures. Indonesia supported the draft decisions. The EU withdrew CoP17 Prop.46 and Committee I instead adopted draft decisions CoP17 Com.I.32, which required, inter alia, Indonesia to submit a progress report to AC30 on implementation measures to ensure sustainable trade.
Final Outcome: The CoP withdrew CoP17 Prop.46 and adopted the draft decisions in CoP17 Com.I.32.
Clarion angelfish: On Monday, 3 October, on CoP17 Prop.47, Japan, supported by Viet Nam, expressed concern that Clarion angelfish (Holacanthus clarionensis) did not meet criteria to be on Appendix II. In a vote, the proposal obtained a two-thirds majority.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.47).
Nautilus: On Monday, 3 October, in a vote, CoP17 Prop.48 obtained a two-thirds majority to list Nautilus (Family Nautilidea) under Appendix II.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.48).
Painted Snails: On Monday, 3 October, the Committee adopted CoP17 Prop.49 to include all species of painted snails under the genus Polymita under Appendix I.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.49).
Ponytail palm, Elephant-foot tree: On Wednesday, 28 September, Mexico introduced CoP17 Prop.50 to include Ponytail palm and Elephant-foot tree (Beaucarnea spp.) in Appendix II. The US, Senegal and Canada expressed support. The EU supported the proposal, but preferred an annotation to restrict focus on species from range states. Switzerland, Republic of Korea and China expressed support on the condition of the inclusion of the EU-proposed annotation. In a vote, Committee I adopted the proposal: 69 in favor; 27 abstaining; and 8 opposing.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.50).
Maury’s Tillandsia: On Wednesday, 28 September, Mexico introduced CoP17 Prop.51 to remove Maury’s Tillandsia (Tillandsia mauryana) from Appendix II based on no evidence of international trade, no look-alike issues with other CITES-listed species, and existing national protection measures. Committee I adopted the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.51).
Fishhook and Hookless cacti: On Wednesday, 28 September, the US introduced the proposal (CoP17 Prop.52) to transfer New Mexico fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus cloverae), Siler’s fishhook cactus (S. sileri) and Blaine’s fishhook cactus (S. spinosior blainei) from Appendix II to Appendix I. Brazil, Mexico, Senegal, Canada, Guatemala, Kenya, South Africa and others supported the proposal. Committee I agreed to the proposal, with minor amendments, on nomenclature.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.52).
Rosewood: On Thursday, 29 September, Thailand introduced the proposal (CoP17 Prop.53) to amend annotations to the listings of Siamese rosewood (Dalbergia cochinchinensis) to include all parts and derivatives from these precious wood products and not just sawn wood and veneer sheets. Mexico introduced the proposal (CoP17 Prop.54) to include 13 timber species of genus Dalbergia in Appendix II with an annotation to allow certain export exemptions for small wood products. She explained the difficulty border authorities face in trying to distinguish among Dalbergia species. Guatemala introduced the proposal (CoP17 Prop.55) to include the genus Dalbergia in Appendix II with the exception of species already included in Appendix I. He proposed annotations that exclude, inter alia, leaves, fruits, pollen and seeds of the Dalbergia. He explained that the proposal would not affect medicinal and subsistence products or the transport of musical instruments by musicians. The EU, the US, Brazil, Kenya, Argentina, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Colombia and others supported all three proposals on Dalbergia. EIA explained that illegal traffickers circumvent Appendix II compliance by setting up furniture processing centers at borders and by using counterfeit CITES permits. Noting that illegal trade of rosewood represents the largest share of any wildlife product traded illegally at the global level, UNODC drew attention to the limits of CITES’s species-specific approach. The Committee agreed to all Dalbergia proposals.
On Tuesday, 4 October, in plenary, Brazil, Guatemala and Mexico confirmed the US’s request for clarification on whether non-commercial exports of Dalbergia spp. includes re-exports.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposals (CoP17 Prop.53-55).
Bubingas: On Thursday, 29 September, Gabon introduced the proposal to include Guibourtia tessmannii, G. pellegriniana and G. demeusei in Appendix II (CoP17 Prop.56), which includes the same exemption product annotations agreed to for Dalbergia. The EU, the US, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and other parties supported the proposal. Noting that G. demeusei is not threatened in his country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo opposed its listing. The Committee adopted the proposal of all three species.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.56).
African rosewood, Kosso: On Thursday, 29 September, in Committee I, Senegal introduced CoP17 Prop.57 to include African rosewood, Kosso (Pterocarpus erinaceus), in Appendix II without annotation, describing the regional consultations that led to the PC recommendation for the proposal. Liberia, Cambodia, the US and Niger supported the proposal. China added support, suggesting an annotation to encourage effective implementation. The Committee adopted the proposal, but noted China’s concerns.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.57).
Grandidier’s baobab: On Thursday, 29 September, Madagascar introduced CoP17 Prop.58 to include the baobab (Adansonia grandidieri) in Appendix II, with an annotation limiting the listing to seeds, fruits, oil and live plants, considering increased recent trade of fruits for cosmetic and nutritional purposes. The US, Senegal, Kenya, Chad and Zimbabwe supported the proposal. The Committee adopted the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.58).
Algerian fir: On Sunday, 2 October, Algeria presented CoP17 Prop.59 to include Algerian fir (Abies numidica) in Appendix I, and proposed deferring the proposal to CoP18. Chair Gaynor noted the removal of the proposal from the CoP17 agenda.
Final Outcome: The CoP withdrew the proposal (CoP17 Prop.59).
Agarwoods: On Thursday, 29 September, the US, as Chair of Working Group on Annotations, introduced CoP17 Prop.60 to amend the annotation in the Appendix II listing of Agarwoods (Aquillaria spp. and Gyrinops spp.) by adding “wood chips.” Chile and Senegal supported the proposal, with Republic of Korea and the EU noting how this addresses a loophole in enforcement measures. The Committee adopted the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.60).
Natal ginger: On Thursday, 29 September, South Africa introduced CoP17 Prop.61 to list Natal ginger (Siphonochilus aethiopicusin) in Appendix II, highlighting the impact of increasing demand accompanied by rising prices in poor neighboring regions. Zimbabwe, Chad, Mozambique, the US, Kenya, the EU and others supported the proposal. The Committee adopted the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.61).
Holy wood: On Thursday, 29 September, in Committee I, the US as Chair of the Working Group on Annotations, introduced CoP17 Prop.62 on Holy wood (Bulnesia sarmientoi) to amend an annotation and add that finished products containing such extracts as ingredients, including fragrances, are not covered. Uruguay and the EU noted that this annotation simplified enforcement. The Committee adopted the proposal.
Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP17 Prop.62).
On Tuesday afternoon, 4 October, the closing plenary convened and adopted all resolutions, decisions and listing proposals forwarded from the two committees.
Sri Lanka offered to host CoP18 in 2019. Delegates accepted Sri Lanka’s offer by acclamation. Several observers and parties expressed gratitude to South Africa as a host, acknowledged the work and organization of the Secretariat and reiterated national priorities and commitments.
Although we were all drumming in a slightly different way,” CITES Secretary-General Scanlon noted in the closing ceremony, “we were all drumming to the same beat. That was the spirit of this meeting.”
CoP Chair alternative, Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, South Africa, applauded the “vital and important” decisions made to support many endangered species, highlighting the involvement of rural livelihoods and youth.
CoP Chair Emily Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa, congratulated delegates on finishing the most comprehensive agenda to date, noting that “we may be at the end of our programme, but not the end of the journey.”
The meeting was gaveled to a close at 6:11 pm.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF COP17
Heralded as a “game changer” by the Secretariat, “one of the most successful CoPs ever for wildlife” by an NGO, and “the CoP where Africa and rural communities have had their biggest voice” by a hunting association, the 17th meeting of the CITES CoP earned praise from stakeholders who do not always see eye to eye. The fact that the meeting finished a day early further testified to the spirit of collegiality and cooperation that defined this CoP—CITES’ largest-ever gathering with the largest-ever agenda to match. During the eleven-day meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, 158 nations gathered to consider more than 200 documents, including resolutions and decisions on corruption, trophy hunting, cybercrime, rural communities and domestic trade, as well as 62 species listing proposals. Parties voted decisively to transfer the African grey parrot and all eight species of pangolin from Appendix II to Appendix I, prohibiting all international commercial trade in wild taken specimens. They also listed several previously controversial shark and ray species, as well as the entire genus of Dalbergia (rosewood), on Appendix II. If overexploited flora and fauna could talk—and, as one observer noted, the African grey parrot can—many would surely say thank you.
Despite these visible advances in cooperation and conservation, CoP17 revealed some deep and abiding tensions within CITES, particularly over issues of sustainable use. While a zero annual export quota was established for certain lion specimens removed from the wild, the acceptability of commercial trade in captive-bred lion bones and teeth was affirmed in keeping with the text of the Convention. Supporters cited the economic importance of sustainable use to communities and conservation, noting that “when trade is outlawed, only outlaws trade,” while opponents despaired giving illegal traffickers the opportunity to feign wild lion bones as legitimate. Some delegates believed the last marathon meeting of Committee I rushed to a close too quickly, without allowing for the full debate of all proposals. Instead, as one participant noted, “the usual taxonomic bias” meant the Committee engaged in lengthy discussions of charismatic, mostly African species at the expense of lesser-known reptiles, amphibians and plants. Other delegates, though, thought the intense pace of the Committee I session was helpful, in that “sheer momentum made proposals more likely to be accepted.” Given illegal wildlife trade is growing faster than the global economy, according to many reports, perhaps CITES has little time to waste.
This brief analysis considers the outcomes of CITES CoP17 in the context of the escalating illegal trade in wildlife, the challenges of striving to reduce demand for wildlife products while simultaneously promoting sustainable use and rural livelihoods, and the importance of addressing conservation for sustainable development.
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: ILLEGAL IVORY TRADE
Although CITES focuses on regulating legal trade, the Convention recognizes the role of illicit activities in undermining its mandate, particularly in the case of elephants. Hundreds of thousands of elephants have been illegally slaughtered for ivory since and despite their listing on Appendix I in 1990 (except populations of Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, which didn’t meet the biological criteria for listing on Appendix I and so remain on Appendix II). The Monitoring the Illegal Killings of Elephants (MIKE) Programme was established after CoP10 in 1997 as a guide for CITES decision-making, yet based on the report presented at CoP17, not much is known about the exact factors contributing to the growing trend in the illegal killing of elephants. As one delegate pointed out, “MIKE is principally telling us what is not happening: [poaching] is not due to one-off sales, it’s not due to the nine-year moratorium, it’s not this, it’s not that.”
Although the MIKE Programme found no direct evidence that elephant poaching had increased or decreased as a direct result of CITES decisions concerning the trade in elephant ivory—a finding some Parties contested—the report identified strong correlations between poaching levels and the quality of human livelihoods at the local level, the quality of governance and enforcement at the country level and demand for ivory at the global level. The challenge is addressing these complicated root causes, particularly given an UN Office of Drugs and Crime World Wildlife Crime Report also suggested investor speculation was a driver, something the Secretariat has pointed to for some time.
Parties at CoP17 took diametrically opposite approaches: two proposals submitted to CoP17 sought to reopen the legal ivory trade in countries with robust elephant populations, citing the importance of generating income through sustainable use to support communities, conservation and enforcement strategies. In contrast, another proposal sought to list all elephant populations on Appendix I, granting them the highest level of international protection, citing the need to send a strong message to poachers. In a marked shift from previous CoP positions, prompted by political changes at the national level, Botswana, who boasts more elephants than any other nation and had previously supported the idea of limited, legal ivory sales in countries that sustainably manage their herds, advocated for inclusion on Appendix I and a “total and permanent ban on the ivory trade, everywhere.”
Botswana’s endorsement was not supported by the other three African range states whose populations are listed under Appendix II, and, as some Parties pointed out, did not meet the biological criteria for Appendix I listing. As a result, the proposal was rejected, but so too were the proposals seeking to reopen the legal ivory trade. Parties decided to stay with the status quo under the appendices, but the process revealed deep divides in how they perceive the causes and solutions to the elephant crisis. Parties at CoP17 also voted against continuing a formal process for establishing a decision-making mechanism (DMM) for a process of trade in ivory and also rejected the proposed DMM submitted by Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. This closing of discussions frustrated some southern African countries, who had agreed to the nine-year moratorium on ivory trade proposals on the condition that a DMM would be developed. But with the moratorium expiring in the fall of 2017, parties can still put forward legal ivory trade proposals in the absence of an agreed-upon DMM, which suggests the polarized debates on the elephant crisis will continue at future CoPs.
EBONY AND IVORY: CONSERVATION AND LIVELIHOODS
“We learn to live when we learn to give each other what we need to survive…” sing Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder in their song “Ebony and Ivory.” In recognition of the critical links between the international and domestic spheres, the CoP accepted a decision directing the Standing Committee to explore how rural communities can engage more meaningfully in the Convention. Given the impact that CITES outcomes can have on rural livelihoods, some parties argued those living with and managing wildlife on the ground deserve louder voices in CITES decision-making processes. “As important as the use and trade of wildlife and flora is to the livelihoods of rural communities around the world, rural communities are important to the conservation of wildlife and flora,” as one delegate put it. “To ignore this significant and intrinsic relationship is to ignore a basic principle of wildlife conservation and management.”
For this reason, parties welcomed a resolution on hunting trophies, which recognizes that well-managed and sustainable trophy hunting is consistent with and contributes to species conservation, since it provides both livelihood opportunities for rural communities as well as incentives and funding for conservation. Still, some delegates voiced concern about the enthusiasm for using sustainable use as a conservation tool, and celebrated instead draft decisions on demand reduction. Others expressed concern that this is akin to the mixed message of listing the same species in different appendices: is it possible to do both—reduce demand for illegally traded specimens and promote consumption of products from wild flora and fauna that were legally acquired—at once? “Consistency is vitally important,” one observer noted, “as is courage.”
The adoption of decisions on both demand reduction for illegally traded specimens and legal and sustainable use support reveal these ongoing tensions in efforts to protect traded species of wild flora and fauna, from white rhino to the psychedelic rock gecko to rosewoods. In the latter example, CoP17’s decision to include the entire Dalbergia genus in Appendix II is a great stride for this long-standing agenda item. Some parties expressed concern that when a species is uplisted, it increases its demand in the illegal market, driving up its black market price. This argument can delay or cast into doubt the uplisting of species. However, other parties said the Dalbergia uplisting offers an opportunity to leverage its increased value in the legal market, leading to more sustainable use of the plants and more revenue. The success of CITES depends, in part, on striking a delicate balance between reducing demand in consumer countries for illegally traded wildlife and, at the same time and where relevant, carefully monitoring legalized and sustainable trade in producer countries. Regardless of approach, though, parties agreed that all decisions would benefit from improved enforcement and implementation of the Convention—a crucial place to focus energy, attention and funding in future years.
TAKING STOCK: THE FUTURE OF CITES
“CITES is today more relevant than it ever was,” Secretary-General John Scanlon noted in his inaugural Standing Committee speech in 2011, “but this is not yet reflected in the level of political support or financing for the Convention.” Half a decade later, at what is rumored to be Scanlon’s final CoP as CITES Secretary-General, his statement remains just as true. Despite working with a budget and staff that have not grown in step with the Secretariat’s increasing work burden, the Convention has made remarkable strides in assisting parties to achieve greater sustainability not just in land mammals, but also in oceans and forests through the listing of several marine and timber species.
While making these conservation gains, CITES has managed to raise the profile of unsustainable wildlife trade from an environmental concern to a sustainable development imperative. The illegal trade of flora and fauna deprives countries of resources, revenues and development options; further, the funding of transnational wildlife crime syndicates is linked with money-laundering and civil wars. In terms of addressing illicit wildlife trade, the resolution adopted at CoP17 urging for the closing of legal domestic ivory markets (specifically those contributing to poaching or illegal trade) shows that parties recognize that cross-border commerce does not occur in a domestic vacuum, and the successful implementation of the Convention might well depend on making these kinds of connections.
As evidenced by the ongoing attention within CITES to combating wildlife crime, advanced mainly through intersessional work by the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime and further supported by parties through decisions at CoP17, what’s at stake with CITES are not just natural resources, but also national economies and security—and, by extension, global stability. What was billed by the Secretariat as the most critical meeting in the 43-year history of the Convention may be looked back upon in years to come as, to quote the CITES Secretary-General, “when the tide turned in favor of the world’s most vulnerable wildlife.” Only time will tell: next stop Sri Lanka for CoP18 in 2019.
First Range State Workshop on the European Eel: This workshop is being co-organized by the CMS Secretariat and the Sargasso Sea Commission. The purpose is to update countries on the status of eel conservation and management. Measures to be discussed include the extension of the management regimes, which have been developed in the EU, to other Range States, mechanisms to support such activities, and, to the extent possible under current international law, the protection of the crucial spawning areas in the high seas areas of the Sargasso Sea. dates: 13-14 October 2016 location: Galway, Ireland contact: CMS Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-2401 fax: +49-228-815-2449 email: [email protected] www: http://www.cms.int/en/meeting/first-range-state-workshop-european-eel
World Mountain Forum 2016: The 2016 World Mountain Forum (WMF) will convene under the theme, “Mountains for our Future,” and will explore opportunities for sustainable mountain development in the context of the recently adopted Paris Climate Agreement and the SDGs. The forum will focus on four sub-themes: mountains and climate change; mountain communities and livelihoods; mountain ecosystem services; and sustainable mountain agriculture. The meeting is jointly organized by the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) and the Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda, with financial and technical support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) as well as the SDC-funded Sustainable Mountain Development for Global Change (SMD4GC) programme. dates: 17-20 October 2016 location: Mbale, Uganda contact: Sam Kanyamibwa, Executive Director, ARCOS phone: +256-414-530-700 email: [email protected] www: http://wmf.mtnforum.org/WMF16/en
43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security: The 43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is expected to address a series of items arising from its Multi-year Programme of Work, including: nutrition; engagement with the SDGs; connecting smallholder farmers to markets; urbanization, rural transformation and implications for food security and nutrition; and monitoring. A thematic event is expected to share experiences and take stock of the use and application of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. dates: 17-21 October 2016 location: FAO headquarters, Rome, Italy contact: CFS Secretariat email: [email protected] www: http://www.fao.org/cfs/en/
UNCCD CRIC 15: A special session of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC15) will be preceded by meetings of the regional implementation annexes from 16-17 October 2016. dates: 18-20 October 2016 location: Nairobi, Kenya contact: UNCCD Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-2800 fax: +49-228-815-2898/99 email: [email protected] www: http://www.unccd.int/
IWC66: The International Whaling Commission (IWC) will hold its 66th biennial meeting in Portoroz, Slovenia. The Commission meets on a biennial basis to ensure implementation of its decisions and workplans on the conservation and management of whale species. dates: 24-28 October 2016 location: Portoroz, Slovenia contact: IWC Secretariat phone: +44 (0) 1223-233-971 fax: +44 (0) 1223-232-876 www: https://iwc.int/index.php?cID=28&cType=event
51st Meeting of the GEF Council: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council meets twice a year to approve new projects with global environmental benefits in the GEF’s focal areas of biodiversity, climate change mitigation, chemicals and waste, international waters, land degradation, and sustainable forest management; and in the GEF’s integrated approach programmes on sustainable cities, taking deforestation out of commodity chains, and sustainability and resilience for food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Council also provides guidance to the GEF Secretariat and Agencies. The 25-27 October GEF Council meeting will be preceded on 24 October by a consultation with civil society organizations (CSOs) at the same location. On 27 October the Council will convene as the 21st meeting of the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) also at the same location. dates: 24-27 October 2016 location: Washington D.C., US contact: GEF Secretariat phone: +1-202-473-0508 fax: +1-202-522-3240 email: [email protected] www: http://www.thegef.org/gef/council_meetings
UNFF AHEG2: The second meeting of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Ad Hoc Expert Group (AHEG) of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) is expected to develop proposals on the International Arrangement on Forests (IAF) Strategic Plan for 2017-2030 and the Quadrennial Programme of Work (4POW) for the period 2017-2020 dates: 24-28 October 2016 location: Bangkok, Thailand contact: UNFF Secretariat phone: +1-212-963-3401 fax: +1-917-367-3186 email: [email protected]un.org www: http://www.un.org/esa/forests/forum/aheg/index.html
70th Session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee: The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee considers any matter within the IMO’s scope that is concerned with prevention and control of pollution from ships. dates: 24-28 October 2016 location: IMO headquarters, London, UK contact: IMO Secretariat phone:+44 (0) 20-7735-7611 fax: +44 (0) 20-7587-3210 email: [email protected] www: http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/MeetingSummaries/Pages/Default.aspx
International Coral Reef Initiative General Assembly: This meeting of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) will address the degradation of coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world, including discussion of the status of coral reefs; the impacts of climate change on coral reefs; coral bleaching; and initiatives in the Indian Ocean region. dates: 2-4 November 2016 location: Paris, France contact: Francis Staub, ICRI Coordinator email: [email protected] www: http://www.icriforum.org/ICRIGM31
UNFCCC COP 22: During COP 22 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), parties will meet to, inter alia, address entry into force the Paris Agreement among other issues. dates: 7-18 November 2016 location: Marrakesh,Morocco contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228 815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: [email protected] www: http://unfccc.int/
52nd Session of the International Tropical Timber Council and Associated Sessions of the Committees: The 52nd session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC) and Associated Sessions of the Committees (Finance and Administration; Economic Information and Market Intelligence; Forest Industry; and Reforestation and Forest Management) will address project and governance issues. The ITTC is the governing body of the ITTO, which provides a framework for tropical timber producer and consumer countries to discuss and develop policies on issues relating to international trade in, and utilization of, tropical timber and the sustainable management of its resource base. dates: 7-12 November 2016 location: Yokohama, Japan contact: Steven Johnson, ITTO Officer-in-Charge phone: +81-45-223-1110 fax: +81-45-223-1111 email: [email protected] www: http://www.itto.int/council_documents/
CMS Standing Committee: The 45th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) will be preceded by a meeting of the CMS Budget and Finance Sub-Committee on the afternoon of 8 November. dates: 9-10 November 2016 location: Bonn, Germany contact: CMS Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-2401 fax: +49-228-815-2449 email: [email protected] www: http://www.cms.int/en/news/2015028-dates-45th-meeting-cms-standing-committee
Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade: The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam will host the conference to bring together global leaders to help eradicate illegal wildlife trade and better protect wild species from the threat of extinction. dates: 17-18 November 2016 location: Hanoi, Viet Nam contact: Secretariat of the Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade phone: +84 (0) 4.38438813 email: [email protected] www: http://iwthanoi.vn/
Ecosystem Services Partnership Africa Conference: The first Conference of the Regional Africa chapter of the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) will convene under the theme, “Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.” Discussions will focus on Africa’s contribution towards evidence on best practices for the management and restoration of ecosystem services for decision making, particularly towards the realization of sustainable development goals. dates: 21-25 November 2016 location: Nairobi, Kenya contact: National Organizing Committee of 2016 Africa ESP Conference email: [email protected] www: http://www.espconference.org/africa2016#.V_PytOArJaR
16th Meeting of Congo Basin Forest Partnership: The Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) coordinates efforts to sustain forest resources, enhance natural resource management and improve the standard of living in the Congo Basin. Partnership members convene biannually to coordinate priority activities, propose action on emerging issues and share information with others that are active in the Congo Basin. The CBFP, which brings together 70 partners, including African countries, donor agencies, governments, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, scientific institutions and the private sector, was launched at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa. It works closely with the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC). dates: 21-26 November 2016 location: Kigali, Rwanda contact: Dany Dogmo Pokem email: [email protected] www: http://ccr-rac.pfbc-cbfp.org/accueil.html
CBD COP 13, COP/MOP 8 to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and COP/MOP 2 to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing: The thirteenth meeting of the CBD COP, the eighth meeting of the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 8), and the second meeting of the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (COP/MOP 2) will be held concurrently. The CBD COP will address, inter alia, EBSAs, marine spatial planning, biodiversity and acidification in cold-water areas, marine debris and underwater noise, and biodiversity mainstreaming, including in the fisheries sector. dates: 4-17 December 2016 location: Cancún, Mexico contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: [email protected] www: https://www.cbd.int/
CGRFA 16: The sixteenth regular session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) of the FAO is expected to address a series of sectoral and cross-sectoral issues of relevance to genetic resources for food and agriculture, including aquatic genetic resources for food and agriculture with regard to ABS. dates: 30 January - 3 February 2017 location: Rome, Italy contact: CGRFA Secretariat phone: +39-06-5705-4981 fax: +39-06-5705-5246 email: [email protected] www: http://www.fao.org/nr/cgrfa/en/
World Ocean Summit 2017: This Economist event will be the fourth World Ocean Summit, and will discuss how to finance a sustainable ocean economy, including consideration of the types of investment frameworks and capital necessary to bring the blue economy to scale, in order to address the risks and opportunities involved in pursuing a blue economy approach and showcase examples of successfully aligned economic activity with the sustainable management of the oceans. dates: 22-24 February 2017 location: Bali, Indonesia contact: Economist Events phone: + 852-2585-3312 email: [email protected] www: http://www.economist.com/events-conferences/asia/ocean-summit-2017?cid1=eve/Soc/FB/home/none/na/none/FB/WOS/WOS-FB-announcement/none/none/asia/none%22
The Marine Environment and UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: The 41st Annual Conference of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy will convene under the theme “The Marine Environment and UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.” dates: 17-19 May 2017 location: Yogyakarta, Indonesia contact: University of Virginia Center for Oceans Law and Policy phone: +1-434-924-7441 email: [email protected] www: http://www.virginia.edu/colp/annual-conference.html
High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14: This high-level UN Conference co-hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden, will coincide with the World Oceans Day, and seeks to support the implementation of SDG 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development). dates: 5-9 June 2017 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: Permanent Missions of Fiji and Sweden phone: +1-212-687-4130 (Fiji); +1-212-583-2500 (Sweden) www: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/topics/oceans/SDG14Conference
Fourth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC4): IMPAC4 is an international conference with participants from multidisciplinary backgrounds discussing recent activities and trends in marine protected area (MPA) management and science including, among other issues, management tools, conservation biology, ecology, fisheries, climate change, monitoring, enforcement, community development, communications, education and business administration. dates: 4-8 September 2017 location: La Serena, Chile contact: Congress Secretariat phone: +56-2-25735600 email: [email protected] www: http://www.impac4.cl
CMS COP 12: The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP12) together with the associated meetings of the Standing Committee will be held in 2017. dates: 22-28 October 2017 location: Manila, Philippines contact: CMS Secretariat email: [email protected] www: http://www.cms.int/cop12
CITES CoP18: CITES CoP18 will be held in Sri Lanka. dates: 2019 location: Sri Lanka contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-81-39/40 fax: +41-22-797-34-17 email: [email protected] www: www.cites.org
For additional upcoming events, see http://nr.iisd.org/