Committee I reviewed proposals on African Elephants.
Committee II resolved CITES’ relationship with the IWC and
considered trade in traditional medicines and captive breeding
operations. The Budget Committee approved a revised draft
BROWN HYENA: SWITZERLAND introduced, and delegates
adopted, a proposal to remove the Brown Hyena from Appendix II
(Prop. 11.19) because no trade impacts on the species had been
AFRICAN ELEPHANTS: The Secretariat reported on the
results of decision 10.1 on experimental trade in raw ivory
(Doc. 11.31.1). He stated that on the basis of eight national
reports on illegal killings, the Secretariat had concluded
that illegal poaching had not increased in the three range
States allowed to trade. He said that in cases where it had,
the relationship with authorized trade had not been
established. JAPAN highlighted national efforts to prevent
illegal trade and noted that the Standing Committee had
approved its importing system. INDIA said national figures
indicating increased elephant poaching since 1997 were not
included in the Secretariat’s report. KENYA said the
Secretariat had defied the Precautionary Principle in
interpreting figures and based its conclusions on erroneous
information. MALAWI said game parks provide income to local
communities, which in turn develop anti-poaching coalitions.
TUNISIA, on behalf of the African Group, noted the absence of
consensus among African States.
The DAVID SHEPHERD CONSERVATION FOUNDATION said the
experimental trade was invalid because, inter alia,
decision 10.1 was not discussed before the COP-10 vote and the
three trading range States had participated in the Standing
Committee’s evaluation, resulting in a conflict of interest.
The INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE COALITION questioned the scientific
validity of the Secretariat’s conclusions. TRAFFIC contested
NGO figures on poaching, suggesting double counting.
MIKE: MIKE reported on its work and on the work of the
Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) in monitoring illegal
trade and killing of elephants (Doc. 11.31.2). He estimated
MIKE's operating costs over the next six years at 23 million
Swiss francs. Delegates took note of the document. BELGIUM
announced further financial support for MIKE and the UK noted
it will further contribute to ETIS. The US, the EU and JAPAN
indicated funds may be forthcoming.
APPENDIX II LISTING OF THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT: CAMEROON,
speaking for a friends of the Chair group, announced a
compromise whereby ivory trade will be prohibited until
COP-12, with the African Elephant populations for Botswana,
Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa listed on Appendix II.
SOUTH AFRICA introduced its proposal to transfer its
elephant population to Appendix II (Prop. 11.20). He stressed
that conservation cannot be separated from countries'
socioeconomic realities. He amended his proposal to a
zero-quota for ivory trade. BOTSWANA introduced its proposal
to maintain its African Elephant population on Appendix II and
to allow for an annual trade quota of 12 tonnes of ivory
(Prop. 11.21). He noted Botswana's elephant populations have a
5% annual growth rate and described conflicts between local
communities and elephant populations. He withdrew the
NAMIBIA withdrew its proposal on its elephant population
(Prop. 11.22). He noted that proper management, law
enforcement and involvement of local communities, rather than
trade prohibition, would deter poaching. He regretted that
developing countries were incapacitated in their free use of
national natural resources. ZIMBABWE also withdrew its
proposal for an annual ivory trade quota of 10 tonnes (Prop.
11.23). He supported the use of elephant products rather than
killing for ivory, declared that conservation would come
through legalization and called for an efficient monitoring
KENYA and INDIA, withdrawing their joint proposal (Prop.
11.24) to list all populations in Appendix I, explained that
tourism provides both sustainable conservation and important
economic resources. JAPAN endorsed the sustainable use of
elephants. The US pledged financial support to ETIS and MIKE.
He noted an emerging consensus among range States on elephant
security and stated that ivory trade would be perilous without
an efficient monitoring system. Many delegations, including
the EU, SWAZILAND, TANZANIA and SIERRA LEONE, welcomed the
consensus to withdraw the proposals. UGANDA said the consensus
proves CITES is a conservation tool.
TRADE IN LIVE ANIMALS: SWITZERLAND introduced, and
delegates adopted, a proposal to amend annotation 604
concerning export of live populations of African elephants
(Prop. 11.25). He said the proposal aims to ensure animals are
traded in conditions compatible with animal welfare concerns.
TRADE IN ELEPHANT SPECIMENS: KENYA introduced a
resolution to revise resolution 10.10 on trade in elephant
specimens (Doc. 11.31.3 (Rev.1)). She said the resolution
ensures participating range States are involved in MIKE, and
stressed that MIKE must be acknowledged as an evolving system.
Chair Clemente established a technical working group, chaired
by Cameroon, to further address the issue.
NON-COMMERCIAL DISPOSAL OF IVORY: KENYA introduced a
resolution to modify the terms of non-commercial disposal of
ivory stockpiles established by decision 10.2 (Doc. 11.31.4).
She suggested the obligation to establish a trust fund
discouraged donors from participating in such disposal and
proposed that funds go directly into capacity building
instead. SUDAN and INDIA supported the resolution, with SUDAN
calling to delete a provision requiring that such stocks be
destroyed. The UK noted current negotiations with Mozambique
for such disposal, and, with the EU, opposed the resolution.
KENYA withdrew the proposal.
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE IWC: NORWAY called for a secret
ballot on a draft resolution on the relationship with the IWC,
in respect to resolution 9.24 (Doc. 11.15.1 (rev.1)).
Delegates rejected the resolution.
SYNERGY BETWEEN CITES AND THE IWC: The US withdrew its
resolution on synergy between CITES and the IWC (Doc.
LABELING SYSTEM FOR STURGEON: Chair Koester introduced
the draft resolution on a universal labeling system for
sturgeon specimens identification (Doc. 11.53) and noted that
any amount of exported or re-exported caviar in excess of 250g
should be marked. The EU, supported by the US and GERMANY,
suggested forming another working group to address amendments
to the document. SWITZERLAND supported a marking system for
exported caviar, whereas the RUSSIAN FEDERATION and IRAN
preferred a uniform labeling system for both exporting and
TRADE IN TIGERS: Working group Chair Gnam reported
consensus on outstanding issues dealing with recommendations
for further action by the Standing Committee and submissions
for COP-12. The role of a law enforcement taskforce in
monitoring tiger trade will be revisited (Doc. 11.30).
CAPTIVE BREEDING OPERATIONS: Working group Chair
Jenkins elaborated on substantive amendments that enabled
consensus on the draft decisions (Doc. 11.48), including:
requirements for breeders to assure that the exercise is
carried out at all stages in a "humane (non-cruel)
manner"; description of the facilities housing the
current and expected captive stock; new instructions to the
Secretariat dealing with species in Appendix I requiring tight
controls and oversight determining their entry into
international trade; and some additional and clarified
guidelines for registering and monitoring breeding operations.
The document was adopted in principle pending circulation.
DIAGNOSTIC SAMPLES: Working group Chair Soberón
reported consensus on mandating an intersessional group to
deal with the matter (Doc. 11.45.2), whose TOR is under
development. An intersessional group was accepted in
principle, but its TOR is pending approval.
RISKS AND BENEFITS OF TRADE IN WILDLIFE: KENYA withdrew
its resolution (Doc. 11.27 (Rev. 1)).
DEFINITION OF THE TERM "PREPARED": KENYA
introduced its draft resolution (Doc. 11.55) defining
"prepared" to apply from capture to shipment of a
species. He noted the Secretariat’s comments indicating that
the definition of "prepared" in the draft resolution
falls outside the purview of CITES, but said
"prepared" should apply from the point of capture.
ISRAEL and ZIMBABWE supported the proposal requesting further
clarification of "prepared." SWITZERLAND, SOUTH
AFRICA, JAPAN and CANADA opposed. The US opposed, but
suggested the Animals Committee transport working group
prepare guidelines taking into account Kenya’s resolution
for consideration at COP-12. Chair Koester and delegates urged
Kenya to withdraw its resolution in favor of the US proposal.
TRADE IN TRADITIONAL MEDICINES: The Secretariat
introduced their draft decision (Doc. 11.56) aiming to
simplify the implementation of resolution 10.19. In support,
CANADA suggested that a list of species traded for medicinal
properties should include "their parts." With this
and other minor amendments, the decision was adopted.
RISK OF WILDLIFE TRADE TO THE TOURISM INDUSTRY: Introducing
the document, KENYA noted the high economic returns arising
from commercial activities such as tourism, compared to those
deriving from trade of products from dead animals (Doc.
11.58). ZIMBABWE and BOTSWANA agreed with the recommendation,
but objected to a CITES invitation to consider threats to the
tourism industry when making decisions on wildlife trade. A
majority of delegates, including the EU, JAPAN, CUBA and
Seychelles, did not support the resolution. Others concurred
with the Secretariat that no relationship has been established
between experimental trade and increased poaching, and that
with appropriate domestic legislation on trade, tourism should
not be threatened. KENYA asked for more time to consult.
TAGGING SYSTEM OF CROCODILE SKINS: The Secretariat
noted broad consultations were conducted to clarify
resolutions 9.22 and 6.17 (Doc. 11.51) and recommended
transferring references to permits and certificates to
resolution 10.22. COLOMBIA suggested the Secretariat inform
relevant Parties of system deficiencies. The proposals were
MOVEMENT OF SAMPLE CROCODILIAN SKINS: The US presented
its draft decision (Doc. 11.52) streamlining the export or
re-export permits issuance procedure and stressed that
exemptions were not being sought. She said a draft resolution
would be prepared for COP-12. The EU suggested broadening the
decisionï¿½s scope. IUCN noted the purpose was to ease the
regulatory system. The Secretariat noted that budgetary
implications were not included. Chair Koester requested
interested participants work on language for a final decision.
Chair Stansell introduced a revised budget draft resolution
(Com. 11.21) and projected status of CITES Trust Fund to be
presented to Plenary for adoption. He said that any new
activities incurred through Strategic Plan implementation
would be added to an annex on insufficiently funded
priorities. He added, however, that new activities would be
given priority based on available resources. At the suggestion
of the Committee, Chair Stansell inserted text noting that the
Secretariat and Standing Committee should better balance their
expenditures in light of a depleted Trust Fund reserve balance
at the end of 2002. NEW ZEALAND suggested providing footnotes
to budget items that require increased contributions. The UK
emphasized that any additional savings from the approved
biennium should include funding for enforcement. The draft
resolution was approved.
IN THE BREEZEWAYS
While no one side claimed victory in the highly anticipated
debate on the African Elephant and ivory trade, the compromise
reached left delegates with a sense of relief. Both sides of
the divide entered the negotiating room prepared for a long
day of debate, and possible defeat, when the many days of
subtle bilateral negotiations paid off and a sudden spirit of
African solidarity pervaded, resulting in a compromise that
has lifted the contentious elephant topic from the limelight.
While some delegates are pleased with the outcome and expect
that it will bode well for the future possibility of ivory
trade, others see the compromise as merely buying a bit of
time until COP-12, when the ivory battle will continue.