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Biodiversity Policy & Practice

Sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP16)

3-14 March 2013 | Bangkok, Thailand
 
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Daily highlights (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
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Summary Highlights of the Meeting
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CITES
CITES CoP16Thursday, 14 March 2013

In plenary, CoP16 completed its review of proposals to amend the Appendices. Japan, seconded by Gambia and India, proposed a motion to re-open discussion on the oceanic whitetip shark proposal. Colombia, supported by Senegal, opposed the re-opening of discussion. Mexico and Colombia, citing the Rules of Procedure, said there must be clear arguments to justify the re-opening of debate, and said these had not been given. The motion to re-open debate was rejected by a secret ballot vote, with 44 voting yes, 93 no and 4 abstaining. The CoP thus adopted the proposal to list the oceanic whitetip shark in Appendix II. Similarly, the proposal on hammerhead sharks was accepted after a motion to re-open debate was not carried, with 40 voting yes, 96 no and 6 abstaining in a vote taken by secret ballot. The CoP also adopted the proposal to list the porbeagle shark in Appendix II.

South Africa offered to host CoP17 in 2016 and presented a video about her country. Delegates accepted South Africa’s offer by acclamation.

In the closing session, CoP16 Chair Preecha Rengsomboonsuk thanked all delegates for their participation. Several parties, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations made closing remarks. Among them, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced plans to suspend issuance of permits for trade in primates in an effort to halt the illegal exploitation of apes. John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General, praised the delegates for tackling 161 working documents over nine days. He commended the spirit of respect in the room and the decision to place many new species under CITES’ control. The meeting was gaveled to a closed at 4:36pm.

1ENB Summary of the meeting in English and French now available (in HTML and in PDF format).

1Visit the full web daily coverage for Thursday, 14 March 2013

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Oceanic blacktip shark, Millenium Island, Kiribati. Photo from the Wild and Precious exhibit by CITES, UNEP
and Goodplanet Foundation. Photo by Bryan Skerry

 
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Plenary
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L-R: Plenary dais with David Morgan, CITES Secretariat; Committee I Chair Carolina Caceres (Canada); John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General; Pithaya Pookaman on behalf of CoP16 Chair Preecha Rengsomboonsuk; Jonathan Barzdo, CITES Secretariat; and Committee II Chair Robert Gabel (US)
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Shingo Oota, Japan
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Elizabeth Taylor, Colombia
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Cesar Belteton, Guatemala
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Delegates from Morocco confer
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Alfred Wong, China
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Mathias Lōrtscher, Switzerland
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Rodrigo Medellin, Mexico
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Delegates from Japan raising their flag to make a point of order
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David Heath, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK
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Jean Claude R. Mantsoa, Madagascar
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Brian Arroyo, the US
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Voting result not adopted by one-third majority on the motion to re-open discussion on the oceanic whitetip shark.
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Delegates from Brazil
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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

In the morning, Committee II reconvened to complete outstanding agenda items, including, among others, great apes, Asian big cats and budget. The Plenary met shortly after and proceeded to adopt reports and decisions from Committee I and II.

The CoP adopted listing proposals on: Abruzzo chamois, New Zealand green geckos, Mangshan pit-viper, Roti Island snake-necked turtle; spotted turtle; Blanding’s turtle, diamondback terrapin, freshwater box turtles, big-headed turtles, Burmese star tortoise and softshell turtles, among others.

Thailand, supported by Ecuador and Cambodia, requested reopening the proposal on the Siamese crocodile. The motion to re-open the discussion was carried, with 48 in favor, 74 against and 16 abstentions, reaching the 1/3 majority needed. After discussion, the CoP voted on the proposal, which was rejected, with 57 in favor, 70 against and 11 abstentions.

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L-R: John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General and CoP16 Chair Pithaya Pookaman
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L-R: Jun Adobo, Alton Urban and Mundita Lim, the Philippines
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Delegates from Sweden consulting
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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

In the morning, CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon exchanged the Maldives non-party plaque for a party plaque, welcoming them as a party to CITES. The Maldives informed delegates that his country had conserved many species of flora and fauna before becoming a party, including banning trade and imports of endangered species. He said the Maldives looked forward to working with the CITES community to achieve full compliance of the Convention.

Committee I continued and completed its work on proposals to amend the Appendices. Committee II addressed, inter alia: humphead wrasse, elephants and rhinoceroses.

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White rhino at Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya. Photo by Franz Dejon

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L-R: Sabri Zain and Steven Broad, TRAFFIC
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L-R: Delegates from Rwanda and South Africa discussing text
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Francisco Rivas Mendez, El Salvador
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Anshuman Chakraborty, New Zealand
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Leonard Muamba Kanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo
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Monday, 11 March 2013

On Monday, Committee I discussed shark and manta ray proposals, which were agreed to by vote, and a sawfish proposal, accepted by consensus.

Committee II addressed: amendment of the Appendices; compliance and enforcement issues; leopard quotas; Tibetan antelope; hawksbill turtle; freshwater turtles and tortoises; and sturgeon and paddlefish. On Tibetan antelope, the Secretariat stated that since the document had been prepared, several large seizures of products made from the wool of the Tibetan antelope (shahtoosh) had been reported, indicating “significant” illegal trade.

A report on enforcement, welcomed by many parties, highlighted illegal trade in pangolins. Working Groups on rhino, annotations, conflicts of interest and musical instruments met during lunch.

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1Visit the full web daily coverage for Monday, 11 March 2013

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CITES CoP 16 participants enjoying the Saturday field trip at the ruins of the ancient Kingdom of
Ayutthaya hosted by the government of Thailand.
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L-R: Kamar Yousuf and Diane Klaimi, UNEP
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L-R: Nkouna Abia Constanol and Philip Tabi Tako-Eta, Cameroon
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Ian Redmond, Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) (center), in discussion with delegates from Uganda
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Orphan Tibetan antelope at rehabilitation center on Tibetan Plateau. Photo by Kate Harris
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Friday, 8 March 2013

On Friday, Committee I heard reports on the progress of working groups on queen conch and IPBES. It then resumed its consideration of amendments to the appendices, including, among others, proposals on turtles, crocodiles and amphibians.

Committee II considered rhinoceros, great apes and illegal trade in cheetahs. It suspended discussions on Asian big cats to address new amendments to the draft decisions.

Working groups continued their efforts throughout the day, meeting to deliberate on the budget, among other things.

On Saturday, participants will have the opportunity to explore Thailand through CITES-organized field trips.

1ENB Summary of the meeting in English and French now available (in HTML and in PDF format).

1Visit the full web daily coverage for Friday, 8 March 2013

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L-R: John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General; Alice Abalos, CITES Secretariat; and Committee II Chair Robert Gabel (US)
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Tiana Ramahaleo, Madagascar
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Natalya Minchenko, Belarus
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Ing Try, Cambodia
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Thursday, 7 March 2013

In the morning, Committee I reviewed proposals for the transfer from Appendix I to Appendix II of the Abruzzo chamois and the vicuña, which were both accepted. The transfer of polar bears from Appendix II to Appendix I and an alternate proposal to annotate the current Appendix II listing were not accepted. Committee II discussed reports from the Secretariat and TRAFFIC on monitoring the illegal killing of elephants (MIKE) and the elephant trade information system (ETIS). Committee II suspended discussion on these two agenda items and formed working groups that are expected to report back on Friday, 8 March. Committee II then addressed the proposed new resolution concerning the African Elephant Action Plan and African Elephant Fund.

In the afternoon, Committee I considered more proposals to amend the appendices, including the proposal to uplist the West African manatee, which was accepted. Committee II continued discussions on elephants, including a decision-making mechanism and, among other things, revised and voted to accept resolutions and decisions on introduction from the sea.

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L-R: Delegates from Paraguay and Peru consulting
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Kanjana Nitaya, Thailand
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Ibrahim Lankoande, Burkina Faso
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Asta Einarsdottir, Iceland
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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

In the morning, Committee I reviewed proposals for the transfer from Appendix I to Appendix II of the Abruzzo chamois and the vicuña, which were both accepted. The transfer of polar bears from Appendix II to Appendix I and an alternate proposal to annotate the current Appendix II listing were not accepted. Committee II discussed reports from the Secretariat and TRAFFIC on monitoring the illegal killing of elephants (MIKE) and the elephant trade information system (ETIS). Committee II suspended discussion on these two agenda items and formed working groups that are expected to report back on Friday, 8 March. Committee II then addressed the proposed new resolution concerning the African Elephant Action Plan and African Elephant Fund.

In the afternoon, Committee I considered more proposals to amend the appendices, including the proposal to uplist the West African manatee, which was accepted. Committee II continued discussions on elephants, including a decision-making mechanism and, among other things, revised and voted to accept resolutions and decisions on introduction from the sea.

1ENB Summary of the meeting in English and French now available (in HTML and in PDF format).

1Visit the full web daily coverage for Wednesday, 6 March 2013

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Delegates from the EU consulting
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Delegates from Ecuador
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Delegates from Egypt
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Delegates from Kenya
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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

In the morning, participants convened in an extraordinary plenary to discuss the Rules of Procedure. The work of the Committees resumed before lunch. Committee I discussed saiga antelope and snakes. Committee II reviewed CITES resolutions. During lunch the Working Group on Rules of Procedure met.

In the afternoon, Committee I resumed discussions on snake trade and conservation. It then reviewed: sharks and stingrays; queen conch; and Madagascar. The Committee also began consideration of agarwood-producing taxa.

Committee II addressed: the review of resolutions; conflicts of interest; the CITES Strategic Vision; cooperation with other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and with other biodiversity-related conventions; and the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC). Discussions on arrangements for meetings were deferred to Wednesday, and an informal group on sturgeon was formed in anticipation of discussions next week. Working groups were also formed on the queen conch and conflicts of interest.

1ENB Summary of the meeting in English and French now available (in HTML and in PDF format).

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L-R: John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General; Øystein Størkersen, Chair of the Standing Committee; and Jonathan Barzdo, CITES Secretariat
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Simon Nemtzov, Israel
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Yolande Dwarika, South Africa
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Zhou Zhihua, Chair of the Credentials Committee (China)
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Øystein Størkersen, Chair of the Standing Committee, explaining voting options to the extraordinary plenary.
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Monday, 4 March 2013

In the morning, ministers and high-level representatives convened for the roundtable on combating transnational organized wildlife and forest crime.

In the afternoon, participants met in Committees. Committee I addressed resolutions and decisions on: cooperation with the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); climate change; non-detriment findings (NDFs); and standard nomenclature. Committee II addressed financing and budgeting of the Secretariat and the CoP.

As well as scheduled meetings, various side events were held during the lunch break. A joint Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)-CITES side event on “The Saiga Antelope: Challenges and Opportunities for Conservation and Sustainable Use," co-hosted by China, the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan, discussed the threats faced by the species. The GRASP report, "Stolen Apes: The Illicit Trade in Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Bonobos and Orangutans," was introduced in a side event moderated by Ofir Drori, Doug Cress, and Ian Redmond. A side event was also held on “Ending Tiger Trade: A Call for Implementation,” hosted by the Born Free Foundation, Environmental Investigation Agency and Wildlife Protection Society of India, to address trade in tigers and other Asian big cats.

1ENB Summary of the meeting in English and French now available (in HTML and in PDF format).

1Visit the full web daily coverage for Monday, 4 March 2013

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L-R: Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director with John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General
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Committee Chair Carolina Caceres (Canada) and David Morgan, CITES Secretariat during the afternoon session.
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Center: John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General provided an overview on the budgetary situation of the CITES Secretariat
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Sunday, 3 March 2013

The sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) convened in the morning in Bangkok, Thailand. Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister, Thailand, officially opened the meeting. She highlighted Thailand’s commitment to the Convention and to enhancing cooperation in conservation and in combatting illegal trade. John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General, welcomed over 2000 registered participants from over 150 countries, including more than 200 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and intergovernmental organizations. Highlighting that “we know the way, but we need the collective will,” he called upon parties to take action on addressing wildlife crime, among other issues. In a video statement, His Royal Highness Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, called for parties to work together to reverse the “current alarming trends” in the illegal killing of African elephants and rhinos and the surge in illegal trade of ivory.

A variety of artists then presented a multimedia art performance called “Balance: Sustainable,” consisting of music, dance, video and sand art, on the theme of wildlife trade and conservation.

In the afternoon, the CoP addressed possible changes to the Rules of Procedure, among different administrative and strategic matters. Noting the lack of consensus on the issue, the Chair deferred further discussions to a later date.

1ENB Summary of the meeting in English and French now available (in HTML and in PDF format).

1Visit the full web daily coverage for Sunday, 3 March 2013

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H.E. Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand, sounded the gong three times to officially
open CITES CoP16.
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H.R.H. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, delivering a video message to CoP16 participants.
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H.E. Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand with CoP16 VIPs
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H.E. Minister Preecha Rengsomboonsuk, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand is welcomed as President of CoP16.
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L-R: Ali Mansoor, Bahrain (center) with ENB CoP16 team Catherine Benson, Kate Neville, Tanya Rosen, Resson Kantai, Kate Harris, and Kimo Goree. Franz Dejon and Pui Khemaros not in picture.
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Related Links
CoP16 resources
*CoP16 website
*CoP16 agenda and working documents
*Proposals for amendment of Appendices I and II
*Information documents
*List of proposals with Secretariat’s recommendations
*Standard nomenclature – Standard references to be considered at CoP16 (Notification to the Parties No. 2012/060)

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS Summary and Analysis of the Sixty-second meeting of the CITES Standing Committee, 23-27 July 2012, Geneva, Switzerland (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS Summary and Analysis of the Twenty-sixth meeting of the CITES Animals Committee (AC26), Joint Meeting of the CITES Animals and Plants Committees and CITES Twentieth meeting of the Plants Committee (PC20), 15-20 March 2012, 22-24 March 2012 and 26-30 March 2012, Geneva, Switzerland and Dublin, Ireland (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS Summary and Analysis of the Sixty-first meeting of the CITES Standing Committee, 15-19 August 2011, Geneva, Switzerland (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS Summary and Analysis of AC25, 18-22 July 2011, Geneva, Switzerland (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF) (Spanish: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS Summary and Analysis of PC19, 18-21 April 2011, Geneva, Switzerland (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS Summary and Analysis of the CITES CoP15, 13-25 March 2010, Doha, Qatar (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS Summary and Analysis of the Fifty-eighth meeting of the CITES Standing Committee, 6-10 July 2009, Geneva, Switzerland (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS Summary and Analysis of AC24, 20-24 April 2009, Geneva, Switzerland (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS Summary and Analysis of PC18, 17-21 March 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina (HTML - PDF)
*IISD RS archive of CITES meetings
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Chemicals and Wastes Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Adressing Chemicals and Wastes Policy
*Land Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of Activities Adressing International Sustainable Land
*Forests Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Adressing Forests Policy
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Water Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of Activities Addressing Sustainable Water and Sanitation
*Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of Sustainable Energy Activities
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of Activities Contributing to International Sustainable Development
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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