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Earth Negotiations Bulletin
Summary and Analysis
Monday, 27 April 2009
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Twenty-fourth meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Animals Committee

20-24 April 2009 | Geneva, Switzerland

The WG on Ranching meets informally during the morning coffee break.
Highlights for Friday, 24 April 2009

The AC met in plenary throughout the day on Friday to hear working group (WG) reports.

On ranching, the AC adopted the WG’s recommendations with amendments, including to define ranching as: “the rearing in a controlled environment of specimens which have been taken as eggs or juveniles from the wild where they would have a very low probability of surviving to adulthood.”

On the periodic review, the AC adopted the WG’s report with minor amendments, including not to support the PC18 proposal to introduce a new budget line for the Periodic Review.

On sea cucumbers, the AC adopted the WG’s recommendations without amendment, including that the Secretariat prepare a report for CoP15 containing the executive summary of the FAO Technical Paper on Sea Cucumbers and the “Evaluation of the pros and cons of a CITES listing” contained in the Galapagos case study.

On sharks, the AC agreed to the WG’s recommendations with minor amendments, including on improving data collection, management and conservation and possible future actions for the AC such as, where appropriate and if necessary, refinement of the list of species of concern, particularly if additional data become available.

On the RST, the AC agreed to many of the WG’s recommendations such as to: include Madagascar as a country case study in the evaluation of the RST; support the Secretariat’s modus operandi for the evaluation; retain Hippopotamus amphibius (common hippopotamus) from Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, and others in the RST; and include Balearica regulorum and B. pavonia (African cranes) and Huso huso (beluga) in the RST. The AC did not agree to the WG’s recommendation to request more information from the Solomon Islands on Tridacnidae species (giant clams), agreeing instead to include the species in the RST. Regarding the Solomon Islands’ population of T. aduncus (bottlenose dolphins), the AC agreed to include the species in the RST.

On NDFs, the AC adopted the WG’s recommendations without amendment including to: request the Secretariat send a notification to the parties soliciting feedback on the NDF Workshop; and submit draft decisions on NDFs to CoP15, which would, inter alia, instruct the AC to prepare a discussion paper for CoP16 with opinions on how to use the Workshop  outputs including, if considered appropriate, a draft resolution on how to conduct NDFs.

AC Chair Althaus gaveled the meeting to a close at 5:25 pm.
During the AC’s discussion on Solomon Islands’ population of T. aduncus (bottlenose dolphins), David Morgan (CITES Secretariat) said that the Secretariat does not believe that the decision to include the species in the RST should be made on the basis of quotas, but rather on the basis of actual trade data.
Dana Cator (IUCN) underscored that Solomon Islands’ T. aduncus population is in the “low hundreds”, far smaller than the 10,000 needed to sustain a take of 100 animals per year, adding that any level of trade at this point would be unsustainable for the population.
Pamela Hall (US)
During the afternoon plenary discussions on Solomon Islands’ Tridacnidae species (giant clams), Carlos Ibero Solana (Spain) explains that the RST should not be considered a form of punishment.
Related Links
CITES Resources
CITES Homepage
24th Meeting of the Animals Committee
AC24 Provisional Agenda and Documents
Summary Record of AC23
Executive Summary of PC18
Summary Record of the 57th Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee (SC57)

IISD RS resources
IISD RS coverage of PC18, 17-21 March 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina
IISD RS coverage of SC57, 14-18 July 2008, Geneva, Switzerland
IISD RS coverage of CITES CoP14, 3-15 June 2007, The Hague, the Netherlands
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