Committee: Vice-Chair Marinus Hoogmoed identified the role of the
Committee, including: responding to enquiries on taxa nomenclature,
designating appropriate taxonomic authorities; reviewing the nomenclature
with the Secretariat and reviewing the nomenclature of species proposed
for listing. He said the Fauna Subcommittee had reached consensus
on the spider genus.
Nomenclature Committee Vice-Chair Noel McGough noted that the Flora
Subcommittee established checklists for Parties, such as the second
cactaceae checklist published last year
Manual Committee: Chair Ruth Landolt (Switzerland) presented the
Committee's report (Doc. 11.11.13). She noted that since COP-10
only Switzerland had expressed interest in and appointed members
to the Committee, and that input had been received from only six
countries submitting fauna data.
Robert Hepworth (United Kingdom) presented the Report of the Standing
Committee (Doc. 11.8). He identified challenges including: reforming
the Secretariat; implementing the 1997 "Harare Compromise" on ivory
trade; addressing escalating tiger poaching and smuggling; developing
the Strategic Plan; and addressing non-compliance of seven Parties.
He said technical and high-level tiger missions had pinpointed reasons
for smuggling tigers.
RealAudio of Mr. Hepworth's report:
of the Plenary Hall during Mr. Hepworth's PowerPoint presentation.
ICELAND announced its recent accession to CITES and voiced reservations
on the Convention's consistency of Appendix inclusions. He emphasized
that cetaceans species listings must be based on scientific knowledge,
not on moral or emotional reasons.
II Chair Veit Koester (Denmark) appealed for disciplined input and
said he would use an open and transparent approach. The Secretariat
introduced proposals to change the TORs of CITES' Committees (Doc.
11.13) mandated by the Standing Committee, taking into account all
discussions held since COP-6 in 1987.
briefing: Stopping International Trade in Tigers and Tiger
Hepworth, Standing Committee Chair (far left), introduced the
report of the CITES Tiger Mission Technical Team and Political
Mission to India, Japan and China (Doc. 11.30). Among other things,
the report recommends sanctions against India for its lack of
of the Indian government (pictured here holding up report), deplored
the partiality of the report and the lack of financial resources
for wildlife conservation purposes from developed countries. He
added that 25 to 30 millions dollars a year are spent nationally
in tiger conservation and tiger parts export has been banned since
the early 70's, before CITES came to be. He stated the recommendations
contained in the report were counter-productive and unjustified
in the CITES context.
CITES Secretary-General (second from the left), noted future assistance
to India would be in kind rather than in cash to avoid under-spending,
which had been a problem in the past. He explained trade sanctions
were used to compel Parties to implement CITES and suggested India
and China establish central enforcement units.
CITES Enforcement Officer (back row), called for greater communication
among Parties on seizures of tiger parts and encouraged the creation
of specialized enforcement unit, as done by the UK. He noted that
Japan had failed to control internal sales in the past but has
since improved its legislation, and China's need to increase the
degree of specialization of agents dealing with wildlife crime.
He said every Party should help tackle illegal killing and trading
Press briefing: Elephant Poaching
And Ivory Trade Issues, sponsored by the Species
Save the Elephants (top photo, far left), said ivory markets have
been influenced by "market sentiment" and that the 1997 decision
to allow for one-off trade of 60 tonnes of ivory between Japan
and Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe has encouraged market demand
and supply for ivory, and increased elephant poaching incidents
in Kenya significantly.
Martin (top photo, center left), Save
the Elephants, noted that the trends in supply and demand
have differed for worked and raw ivory. Worked Ivory, such as
bracelets or necklaces, are primarily purchased by tourists, international
officials and diplomats, while raw ivory is primarily purchased
by diplomats. Martin said much African ivory is delivered to South
Korea and China.
international wildlife consultant and co-founder of the Elefriends
Campaign (top photo, far right), commented on the situation
of elephants in Rwanda. As an indicator, he sited the case of
a small park where the elephant population has dwindled from 350
to 5 since 1996. Military presence prohibits accurate data gathering
in other areas.
Travers, Born Free Foundation
(top photo, center right), presented a late-breaking report entitled
"Stop the Clock" that contains data on trends in illegal ivory
trade and poaching in 1998 and 1999 and estimates that, at a minimum,
30,795 elephants were killed in Africa in this period. This figure
is in sharp contrast to CITES Secretariat record that only 235
elephants have been poached in this time period.
Sakamoto, Japan Wildlife Conservation Society (bottom photo, center
right), opposed further downlisting of African Elephants, and
drew attention to an available report on the Japanese ivory market.
Datash (bottom photo, center left), Maasai Environmental Resource
Coalition, spoke on how the ivory trade and poaching impact the
local community. He countered the common argument in support of
ivory trade to benefit local communities, noting that the one-off
trade led to increased poaching in Kenya, which threatens the Maasai
economic basis as they rely on elephants to clear forests to allow
their cattle to graze.
Wildlife Protection Society of India (bottom photo, far left), introduced
a report: "The Decline Of the Asian Elephant." He explained that
only some male Asian Elephants carry tusks, and that there are only
approximately 1,000 remaining in India.
Agency (bottom photo, far right), drew attention to the EIA's
report "Lethal Experiment," an undercover study on ivory sales that
revealed some 17,000 elephants were poached annually prior to the
off-one trade, with approximately 50% of this being laundered. He
characterized the 1989 ban on trade as the single greatest conservation
efforts for elephants, and the 1997 decision to allow the one-off
trade as the biggest blunder. He urged a complete ban on ivory be
the briefings were open only to the media, conference participants
were able to follow the presentations on closed-circuit television.
The polarized discussion on CITES relationship with the IWC may have
set the stage for acrimonious whale debates to come. Some delegates
intimate that efforts to weaken the relationship between the organizations
are designed to cajole CITES into weakening its stance on whales and
at intimidating the IWC into doing likewise. Some suggest the IWC
whale monitoring system under development could possibly bridge pro-
and anti-whaling positions. Others worry that oversights within such
a system and any allowance of commercial whaling could encourage poaching
and result in the demise of currently healthy populations. Iceland's
announcement of its stance against "emotional and moral factors" playing
into CITES left many surprised, given its domestic whaling moratorium
and their bourgeoning whale watching industry. Some speculate that
the downlisting battle could go either way at this point, with "negotiation
fatigue" taking a toll.