The fourth day of IWC-67 was characterized by interventions and votes that tracked longstanding and divergent positions.
Delegates started the day by adopting the Florianópolis Declaration on the role of the IWC in the Conservation and Management of Whales in the 21st Century. Forty member states supported, 27 opposed, and four abstained. The Declaration reaffirms the importance of maintaining a moratorium on commercial whaling and agrees the use of lethal research methods is unnecessary.
Delegates next considered Japan’s ‘Way Forward’ proposal, which includes a proposed Schedule amendment and a resolution that would, inter alia: allow establishment of the Sustainable Whaling Committee (SWC), reduce the voting requirement to a simple majority for Schedule amendments; and set catch limits for certain whale species. After extensive discussions, Japan requested deferring decision making until Friday to consider the interventions overnight.
IWC-67 delegates also considered reports on whale killing methods and welfare issues.
On Special Permits, the Scientific Committee Chair presented reports on Japan’s whale research programmes, including: New Scientific Whale Research Programme in the Antarctic Ocean (NEWREP-A); Whale Research Programme in the North Pacific (JARPN II); and New Scientific Whale Research Programme in the North Pacific (NEWREP-NP). Discussion topics included:
- potential prerequisites to issuing new permits;
- provision of and access to data; and
- whether the IWC is an appropriate venue for consideration of special permit programmes.
Japan requested inclusion of the discussions in the Chair’s summary to be considered on Friday. Delegates also considered reports or held discussions on:
- conservation management plans;
- whale watching;
- national reports on cetacean conservation;
- regional research partnerships;
- Revised Management Procedure;
- infraction committee;
- catch by non-member states; and
- cooperation with other organizations.
During an extended early-evening session, delegates considered topics related to finance and administration, including:
- the IWC financial situation, which includes a serious budget deficit;
- intersessional working groups; and
- financial statements and budgets.
Lacking consensus on the core budget 2019-2020 cost reduction measures, Chair Morishita proposed to maintain a zero increase in contributions, while accepting a 30% reduction of the Scientific Committee work.
Two proposed resolutions, on the 2030 Agenda, and on food security, were withdrawn for consideration for this meeting, due to apparent lack of consensus.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Ángeles Estrada
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