The 21st meeting of the Animals Committee (AC-21) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened from 20-25 May 2005, in Geneva, Switzerland. On 20 and 21 May, a joint session with the 15th session of CITES Plants Committee (PC-15) was held.
The Animals Committee (AC) discussed 23 agenda items on issues including: the implementation of the Strategic Vision until 2007 and the establishment of priorities; the review of trade in animal species included in the Appendices and significant trade in Appendix II species; transport of live animals; and trade in sea cucumbers, sharks and great apes.
The joint session addressed issues of common interest to both Committees, including: the Strategic Vision and Plan until 2013; the review of Scientific Committees and regional communication; the study of production systems for specimens of CITES-listed species; and the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). For the Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s summary report of the joint session, please see: http://www.iisd.ca/vol21/enb2146e.html.
Participants to AC-21 had the task of performing a review of significant trade (RST) for a large number of species. They completed this task with great effort, showing both the thorough approach of the new RST process and the fact that there is still room for improvement. Decisions were made on numerous issues, including: prioritizing decisions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) resolutions and decisions directed to the AC; implementing the Action Plan until 2007; and identifying species for RST and periodic reviews. However, most of the contentious issues, such as sharks and transport of live animals were not resolved at this stage and referred to intersessional working groups, which will present results at AC-22 in 2006, where recommendations will be adopted for COP-14. (Read more).