Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

 

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

 

Vol. 21 No. 48
Monday, 10 July 2006

SUMMARY OF THE 16TH MEETING OF THE CITES PLANTS COMMITTEE AND THE JOINT SESSION WITH THE ANIMALS COMMITTEE:

3-8 JULY 2006

The 16th meeting of the Plants Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened from 3-8 July 2006, in Lima, Peru. On 7-8 July a joint session was held with the Animals Committee, which opened its 21st meeting on 7 July and will continue until 13 July.

The Plants Committee (PC) discussed 27 agenda items on a wide range of topics, including: the review of significant trade in Appendix II-species; the periodic review of plant species included in CITES appendices; annotations to plants, medicinal plants and orchids; bigleaf mahogany; and proposals to amend the appendices for tree species.

The joint session addressed issues of common interest to both committees, including: proposed amendments to the rules of procedure; the review of the scientific committees; the review of significant trade in Madagascar; transport of live specimens; and the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

During PC-16, participants tackled a heavy agenda and several complex issues such as the scientific basis for the implementation of, and compliance with, the Convention’s provisions, best illustrated by their discussions on timber species and medicinal plants. Following lengthy discussions, PC-16 adopted recommendations from the report of the Bigleaf Mahogany Working Group, agreeing not to subject the species to a review of significant trade at this stage. During the closing plenary on Saturday, participants dispatched with additional initiatives, such as the establishment of an intersessional working group on Prunus africana and a proposal on timber export quotas to be presented at the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in June 2007, at a breakneck pace. In another swift move, the joint session finalized the self-evaluation of scientific committees, providing input to the ongoing review of their performance.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary of the 22nd meeting of the Animals Committee (AC-22) and the analysis of the PC-16 and AC-22 will be available on Sunday, 16 July 2006, online at http://www.iisd.ca/cites/ac22pc16.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CITES

CITES was established as a response to growing concerns that over-exploitation of wildlife through international trade was contributing to the rapid decline of many species of plants and animals around the world. The Convention was signed by representatives from 80 countries in Washington, DC, United States, on 3 March 1973, and entered into force on 1 July 1975. There are currently 169 parties to the Convention.

The aim of CITES is to ensure that international trade of wild animal and plant species does not threaten their survival. CITES parties regulate wildlife trade through controls and regulations on species listed in three appendices. Appendix I lists species endangered due to international trade. Trade in such species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances. Appendix II species are those that may become endangered if their trade is not regulated, thus they require controls aimed at preventing unsustainable use, maintaining ecosystems and preventing species from entering Appendix I. Appendix III species are those subject to domestic regulation by a party requesting the cooperation of other parties to control international trade in that species.

In order to list a species in Appendix I or II, a party needs to submit a proposal for approval by the Conference of the Parties (COP), with scientific and biological data on population and trade trends. The proposal must be adopted by a two-thirds majority of parties present at a COP. As the trade impact on a species increases or decreases, the COP decides whether or not the species should be transferred or removed from the appendices.

There are approximately 5,000 fauna species and 28,000 flora species protected under the three CITES appendices. Parties regulate international trade of CITES species through a system of permits and certificates that are required before specimens listed in its appendices are imported, exported or introduced from the sea. Each party is required to adopt national legislation and to designate two national authorities, namely, a Management Authority responsible for issuing these permits and certificates based on the advice of the second national body, the Scientific Authority. These two national authorities also assist with CITES enforcement through cooperation with customs, police or other appropriate agencies. Parties maintain trade records that are annually forwarded to CITES, thus enabling the compilation of statistical information on the global volume of international trade in appendix-listed species.

The operational bodies of CITES include the Standing Committee (SC) and the scientific committees: the Plants Committee (PC), the Animals Committee (AC) and the Nomenclature Committee. As scientific and technical support bodies, the role of both the PC and AC is to: undertake periodic reviews of species to ensure appropriate categorization in the CITES appendices; undertake other tasks requested by the COP; advise when certain species are subject to unsustainable trade and recommend action; and draft resolutions on animal and plant matters for consideration by the parties. AC and PC representatives are elected at COP meetings by their respective regional groups, and the number of representatives by region is allocated considering the number of parties within each region and the distribution of biodiversity. The Chair and Vice-Chair are elected by the AC and PC members.

The current PC regional representatives are: David L.N. Hafashimana (Uganda-Africa), Beatrice Khayota (Kenya-Africa), Irawati (Indonesia-Asia), Wichar Thitiprasert (Vice-Chair, Thailand-Asia), Fátima Mereles (Paraguay-Central and South America and the Caribbean), Dora Ingrid Rivera (Costa Rica-Central and South America and the Caribbean), Margarita Clemente (Chair, Spain-Europe), Giuseppe Frenguelli (Italy-Europe), Robert Gabel (US-North America), and Greg Leach (Australia-Oceania).

The current AC regional representatives are: Edson Chidziya (Zimbabwe-Africa), Richard Kiome Bagine (Kenya-Africa), Mohammad Pourkazemi (Iran-Asia), Siti Nuramaliati Prijono (Indonesia-Asia), Mario R. Jolon Morales (Guatemala-Central and South America and the Caribbean), Peter Vogel (Jamaica-Central and South America and the Caribbean), Thomas Althaus (Chair, Switzerland-Europe), Katalin Rodics (Hungary-Europe), Rodrigo Medellín (Vice-Chair, Mexico-North America), and Rod Hay (New Zealand-Oceania).

CITES COP-13: COP-13 met in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2-14 October 2004. Delegates addressed a range of topics, including 50 proposals to amend the CITES appendices, enforcement and administrative matters, and cooperation with the CBD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Delegates decided to list ramin, agarwood, as well as the great white shark and the humphead wrasse, on Appendix II. The irrawaddy dolphin was up-listed from Appendix II to Appendix I. Regarding the African elephant, Namibia saw its request for an annual ivory quota rejected, but was allowed to proceed with a strictly controlled sale of traditional ivory carvings. Delegates also agreed to an action plan aiming to crack down on unregulated domestic ivory markets. Namibia and South Africa were allowed an annual quota of five black rhinos each for trophy hunting, and Swaziland was also allowed to open up strictly controlled hunting of white rhinos. Other decisions focused on synergies with the FAO and CBD, while enforcement issues received considerable attention.

CITES STANDING COMMITTEE: The 53rd meeting of the Standing Committee was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 27 June–1 July 2005. The SC discussed a number of issues, including: the Rules of Procedure; the Strategic Vision, including the establishment of a Strategic Plan Working Group; agreement in principle on a Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the SC; the review of significant trade; financial matters; and budget. The Secretariat reported on progress on the country-based review of Madagascar and the SC heard reports from country representatives. Other decisions focused on: synergies between CITES and the CBD; cooperation with the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS); cooperation with the FAO; conservation of and trade in great apes, tigers, African and Asian rhinoceroses; and control of trade in African elephant ivory, with China being congratulated for its efforts in controlling internal trade in ivory.

PC-15: The 15th meeting of the Plants Committee was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17-21 May 2005. The PC discussed a range of topics, including: the implementation of the Strategic Vision until 2007; the review the significant trade in Appendix II-species; appendix annotations to plants, medicinal plants and orchids; bigleaf mahogany; and Harpagophytum spp. Several issues, notably bigleaf mahogany, were referred to intersessional working groups, which were charged with presenting their findings at PC-16 for further consideration at COP-14.

PC-15/AC-21 JOINT SESSION: A joint session of the AC and PC was held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 20-21 May 2005. 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 CBD.

AC-21: The 21st session of the Animals Committee met in Geneva, Switzerland, from 20-25 May 2005. The AC discussed several 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; transport of live animals; and trade in sea cucumbers, sharks and great apes. The main task completed was a review of significant trade (RST) for a large number of species, with a new RST process. Some of the most contentious issues, such as sharks and transport of live animals, however, were not resolved at this stage and referred to intersessional working groups, which were charged with presenting results at AC-22, where recommendations would be adopted for COP-14.

REPORT OF THE PLANTS COMMITTEE MEETING

On Monday, 3 July, David Morgan, on behalf of CITES Secretary-General Willem Wijnstekers noted the record attendance at this 16th meeting of the Plants Committee and urged participants to turn deliberations into concrete recommendations to be adopted at the next Conference of the Parties. He highlighted the review of significant trade as the most important compliance tool in CITES.

Catherine Nettleton, UK Ambassador to Peru, presented two reference books on CITES and orchids prepared by Kew Gardens for use as training material.

PC Chair Margarita Clemente highlighted that CITES is a tool for sustainable use of natural resources and should not be regarded solely as a punitive instrument. She highlighted recent work of the PC on bigleaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) in Peru, including a meeting of the Bigleaf Mahogany Working Group (BMWG), held from 29 June–1 July 2006, in Lima, Peru. Chair Clemente noted the most important issues for PC-16 are the RST, the review of COP decisions directed to the PC, the revision of appendices for plant species, and consideration of new species for inclusion in the CITES appendices.

Manuel Manrique, Minister of Agriculture, Peru, opened the meeting, noting the importance of the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity (Addis Ababa Principles) and CITES’ mandate to prevent the unsustainable use of plant and animal species as a result of international trade, as well as the useful contribution these can make for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Secretariat presented, and delegates adopted, the current Rules of Procedure (PC16 Doc. 2.1). Participants adopted the PC-16 agenda (PC16 Doc. 3.1 (Rev. 1)) and working programme (PC16 Doc. 3.2 (Rev. 1)) with several amendments, including: Mexico’s request to discuss its proposal to host a meeting of an international working group on non-detriment findings; Belgium’s request to report on directives on non-detriment findings for timber; and Madagascar’s request to report on the situation of African cherry (Prunus africana). Participants also adopted the list of observers (PC16 Doc. 4).

REVIEW OF SIGNIFICANT TRADE IN SPECIMENS OF APPENDIX-II SPECIES

PROGRESS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SPECIES-BASED RST: On Monday, the Secretariat presented the current status of the RST in specimens of Appendix-II plant species (PC16 Doc. 10.1), and noted that after COP-11, only Prunus africana is still under review by the Committee. The PC took note of the information provided in the document.

SPECIES SELECTED FOLLOWING COP-11 AND COP-12: On Monday, presenting the document on species selected for review following COP-11 and COP-12 (PC16 Doc. 10.2), the Secretariat noted the reports on Prunus africana, lamb of tartary (Cibotium barometz), blue tree fern (Cyathea contaminans), dendrobium stem (Dendrobium nobile) and snowdrop (Galanthus woronowii) to provide a preliminary categorization of these species. IUCN summarized the preliminary categorizations proposed for the selected species regarding different range States. On Prunus africana, the European Community (EC) asked for clarification regarding importing countries and quotas. A working group on RST, chaired by Noel McGough (UK), was established.

On Tuesday, the working group on RST reviewed the reports and the responses received from range States on P. africana, C. barometz, C. contaminans, D. nobile and G. woronowii and their preliminary categorizations, namely:

Prunus africana: IUCN presented a report on its population, bark export, management plan, monitoring and the reasons behind the suggested categorization for each range State. Chair McGough asked the working group to analyze the recommendations proposed, and suggest mechanisms to foster management and implementation plans regarding harvest of P. africana.

After discussions, participants agreed to categorize P. africana as “urgent concern” (species for which available information indicates the Convention’s Article IV (Regulation of Trade in Specimens of Species included in Appendix II) is not being implemented) in the following range States: Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar and Tanzania.

Participants agreed to exclude Nigeria and Rwanda from the categorization of “possible concern” (species for which it is not clear whether the Convention’s Article IV is being met), and ask the Secretariat to request information from these countries on possible trade in the species. Participants agreed to categorize as “least concern” (species for which available information indicates the Convention’s Article IV is being met), and exclude from review all other range States, namely: South Africa and Swaziland because they met the provisions; and Angola, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Sao Tome e Principe, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe because commercial export is unknown. Participants discussed the contents of recommendations for each country categorized under “urgent concern” and “possible concern” regarding P. africana.

The Africa representative suggested, and the PC agreed, to establish an intersessional working group on P. africana. PC Chair Clemente established a small informal group, chaired by Beatrice Khayota (Kenya), to draft the terms of reference for the intersessional working group. On Saturday, Khayota presented the draft terms of reference for the intersessional working group. The Secretariat expressed a number of concerns regarding the proposed arrangements for liaison with range States, fundraising, and reporting, and PC Chair Clemente explained that the process seeks to support range States and not duplicate existing efforts. The PC adopted the recommendation. The PC also agreed to PC Chair Clemente’s suggestion to revise the recommendations for action on P. africana at the international level.

Cibotium barometz: IUCN summarized the reasons for categorizing the species from Vietnam as a “possible concern,” which was agreed by the working group. Participants also agreed to request Vietnam to implement non-detriment findings to the survival of the species as a basis for allowing exports.

Cyathea contaminans: IUCN proposed categorizing the species from Indonesia as “least concern,” excluding it from an RST. Indonesia explained the difficulty of assessing whether a population of C. contaminans will be depleted in the future since, apart from Java, there are no scientific studies available to set export quotas, and participants decided to categorize Indonesia as “possible concern.”

Dendrobium nobile: IUCN proposed categorizing the species from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic as “possible concern” and from Vietnam as “urgent concern.” Participants noted that the Lao PDR had no registered trade on the species and agreed to exclude the country from an RST. After discussion, participants categorized Vietnam as “urgent concern.” On Thursday, RST Chair McGough suggested, and the PC agreed to insert Dendrobium nobile from the Lao PDR as “possible concern.”

Galanthus woronowii: IUCN proposed categorizing the species from Georgia as “least concern” for trade. After discussion, WG Chair McGough suggested, and PC agreed to, list G.woronowii from Georgia as “possible concern.” On Thursday in plenary, the PC approved the recommendations.

Recommendation: The PC agreed to the following final categorizations for species selected following COP-11 and COP-12, including recommendations to be implemented by each country within a three-month, one-year and three-year time frame (PC16 WG1 Doc.1):

  • urgent concern for Prunus africana from Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar and Tanzania;

  • urgent concern for Cyathea contaminans from Indonesia;

  • urgent concern for Dendrobium nobile from Vietnam;

  • possible concern for Cibotium barometz from Vietnam; and

  • possible concern for Galanthus woronowii from Georgia.

On P. africana, the recommendations were, inter alia, to:

  • promote effectively the start-up of species management plans in range States;

  • report on range States’ proposed actions to implement Article IV;

  • report on how export levels that are not detrimental to the populations concerned are determined; and

  • establish an intersessional working group on P. africana to assist range States.

Prunus africana in Equatorial Guinea: On Monday, Rafael Navarro Cerrillo (Spain) introduced a study on the evaluation of the harvest of P. africana bark on the Bioko Island (Equatorial Guinea) and guidelines for a management plan (PC16 Doc. 10.2.1). He said the study focuses on determining the levels of current bark harvest, evaluating stocks and proposing recommendations for designing a management plan to enable the species’ sustainable use. The PC took note of the report.

Madagascar gave a presentation on actions taken for the sustainable management of P. africana, noting that this timber species constitutes an important source of income for farmers and is a source of foreign currency accounting for 60 percent of total medicinal plants exported from Madagascar.

On Tuesday, the RST Working Group considered the recommendations proposed in document PC16 Doc. 10.2.1, and the PC approved the recommendations on Thursday.

Recommendation: In its recommendation (PC16 WG1 Doc.1), the PC urges Equatorial Guinea, inter alia, to:

  • establish a conservative quota for the export of P. africana bark and other parts and derivatives within three months;

  • carry out a preliminary inventory of standing stocks, establish a scientific monitoring system of harvested and unharvested populations, and review the export quota within one year; and

  • report on the final version of the long-term management plan and progress made within two years.

SPECIES SELECTED FOLLOWING COP-13: On Tuesday, the RST Working Group reviewed trade data from a variety of species and range States, and proposed categorizations (PC16 Doc. 10.3). Participants agreed to exclude most species from review, based on an evaluation of trade and information provided by countries, recommending, however, that the Secretariat look into the existence of unregulated trade in Myanmar and Nepal for Rauvolfia serpentina (serpentine roots), and in India for Nardostachys grandiflora (spikenard).

The Working Group agreed to proceed with the RST process for species that are the object of international trade without a clear indication of non-detriment findings having been carried out. On Thursday, the PC approved the recommendations.

Recommendation: The PC agreed to continue reviewing trade in the following species, according to the RST process: Nardostachys grandiflora from Nepal; Myrmecophila tibicinis (Flute Player’s Schomburgkia) from Belize; Pachypodium bispinosum from South Africa; Pachypodium succulentum from South Africa; Rauvolfia serpentina from India, Myanmar and Thailand; and Taxus wallichiana (Barme salle) from India.

ASIAN MEDICINAL SPECIES: On Monday, Uwe Schippmann (Germany) summarized the findings of research undertaken by TRAFFIC with support from the German Government on seven Asian medicinal plant species (PC16 Doc. 10.5). He underscored the usefulness of these findings for RST deliberations, noting that satisfactory implementation of CITES regulations in both range and importing States has not been achieved despite some of these species being in the appendices for many years. Participants agreed to further analyze this issue in the RST Working Group.

On Thursday, Germany reported that medicinal plants included in the RST process were deleted from the list because problems faced by these species mostly stem from illegal trade, and do not fall under the guidelines for RST, which only address legal trade. He emphasized enforcement problems at the regional level, including large quantities of illegal trade in Nardostachys grandiflora between Nepal and India.

Germany, supported by TRAFFIC, proposed, and the PC agreed, to endorse recommendations on the study on seven Appendix-II Asian medicinal plant species including concerns over their illegal trade.

Recommendation: The PC agreed to endorse recommendations on the study on seven Appendix-II Asian medicinal plant species (PC16 WG1 Doc.1). It also agreed to include in the PC Chair’s report to COP-14: concerns over illegal trade in these species; the need for additional measures; and the possibility of holding a regional conference in the Himalayas.

PERIODIC REVIEW OF PLANT SPECIES INCLUDED IN THE CITES APPENDICES

On Monday, participants addressed the periodic review of plant species on CITES appendices (PC16 Doc. 11 (Rev.1) and Inf. 2, 3 and 6). The Secretariat noted the Standing Committee (SC) should approve the list of taxa for review first, and PC Chair Clemente proposed establishing a periodic review working group (PRWG), to be chaired by Hesiquio Benitez (Mexico), to improve the periodic taxa review process.

Participants discussed the terms of reference for the PRWG and the review process, with Mexico stressing the need to streamline the process for presenting recommendations to the PC, the North America representative questioning the need for SC approval, and the Oceania representative noting the reviews should not be stopped pending process adjustments.

On Tuesday, the PRWG discussed whether to include new species on the list, deciding not to incorporate new species until justification for their inclusion is provided. Participants noted the need to restrict this review to those species that have not shown evidence of trade in past years and therefore could be deleted from the appendices, rather than evaluating species with trade problems, which is an issue addressed by the RST. They then considered the list of species, identifying countries or persons willing to undertake the review and present the results to PC-17.

Participants then reviewed the SC-51 recommendations on the procedure for undertaking periodic reviews of the appendices and identified amendments to streamline the review process. On Thursday, Mexico presented, and the PC adopted, the draft recommendation.

Recommendation: In its recommendation (PC16 WG2 Doc.1), the PC assigns each of the taxa identified by PC-15 to voluntary reviewers, and includes a list of unassigned taxa. The PC will also support a proposal to remove Pereskiopsis spp. (leaf-bearing cacti) from the CITES appendices, following Mexico’s review; and recommends a revised periodic review procedure for consideration by the SC.

ANNOTATIONS FOR SPECIES IN APPENDICES II AND III

MEDICINAL PLANTS: On Monday, the intersessional Medicinal Plants Working Group Chair Schippmann reported on the intersessional work on plant annotations for medicinal species in Appendices II and III (PC16 Doc. 17.1), noting that such annotations are key to determine which parts of plant species or their products are included or excluded from CITES controls. He highlighted the Working Group’s progress in streamlining annotations on most species and said two species were left for decision at this meeting.

The US, supported by the American Herbal Association, proposed discussing the reference in annotation #10 to “pharmaceutical products,” noting that some products referred to as “herbal” should also be included in the text. A working group chaired by Schippmann was established.

On Thursday, Schippmann presented, and the PC adopted, a revised text for annotations. He noted the working group had reached an agreement on two remaining species, and that the exemption in annotation #10 now refers to “finished products packaged and ready for retail trade,” without reference to pharmaceutical products. Noting that all proposed annotations use simpler terms, he suggested developing a glossary.

Recommendation: The PC (PC16 WG3 Doc.1) recommends revised annotations for medicinal plants, and agrees to task Germany and the intersessional Medicinal Plants Working Group with finalizing a glossary of terms and preparing a proposal including the revised annotations for COP-14. It further agrees that the proposal will be presented by the depository government (Switzerland) on behalf of the PC.

ANNOTATION FOR ORCHIDS INCLUDED IN APPENDIX II: On Monday, Wichar Thitiprasert (Thailand) presented a document on the monitoring of experiences with an annotation to exclude several artificially propagated orchid hybrids from CITES controls (PC16 Doc. 17.2). He noted that in their responses countries did not report any conservation concerns, and suggested considering four additional species in the exemption. A working group, chaired by Thitiprasert, was established.

On Thursday, Thitiprasert presented a draft recommendation noting the working group has elaborated two proposals. The first proposal suggests new wording for the annotation to orchids (Orchidaceae spp.), exempting certain artificially-propagated hybrids from CITES regulations to improve their implementation in international trade. Mexico, China and the North America representative supported this proposal. The US proposed clarifying language referring to “easy verification” by customs officers, with the Secretariat proposing, and the PC agreeing, to request that information be “clearly visible” and allow easy verification.

The second proposal to include four new genera in the exemption was supported by the Netherlands and the Europe representative, and opposed by Mexico, China and the North America representative. TRAFFIC, supported by the Oceania representative, appreciated efforts to simplify management of orchids in trade, but cautioned against including more genera until range States resolve their concerns on the implementation of existing exemptions.

The Netherlands proposed to monitor and assess conservation problems on the implementation of the annotation, and to develop recommendations on possible further exemptions, in particular for Cambria, Miltonia, Odontoglossum, and Oncidium (dancing lady orchid) on the basis of information provided by exporting and importing countries. Peru opposed reference to new exemptions, and a participant questioned whether Cambria is a genus. After informal consultations, the Netherlands, supported by the Africa and Asia representatives, proposed two recommendations. Following a suggestion by Peru, the Europe, North America and Oceania representatives supported the amended proposal, which was adopted by the PC.

Recommendation: The PC adopted new wording for the annotation on Orchidaceae spp., which will be presented by the depository government to COP-14 (PC16 WG4 Doc.1). It also decided that the PC will continue to monitor and assess any conservation problems in the implementation of the annotations to orchids, including information on the capacity of countries to control trade, and on the basis of information provided by exporting and importing countries, may develop further proposals on exemptions on orchid hybrids, especially on Miltonia, Odontoglossum, and Oncidium.

TREE SPECIES

BIGLEAF MAHOGANY WORKING GROUP: The PC addressed bigleaf mahogany (PC16 Doc. 19.1), in plenary on Monday and Thursday, and in a working group chaired by Cecilia Lougheed (Canada) on Tuesday, adopting the recommendation on Thursday. The PC: analyzed information on activities undertaken by range States; reviewed recommendations proposed by the BMWG; developed recommendations to be presented to COP-14; and advised on the possible inclusion of bigleaf mahogany in the RST.

BMWG Report: PC Chair Clemente noted the outcome of the BMWG meeting (PC16 Doc. 19.1.1), noting the PC should determine whether sufficient progress has been made, or whether bigleaf mahogany should be included in the RST.

Marco Romero Pastor (Peru), BMWG Chair, presented the BMWG report, noting active participation by range States, importing countries and industry representatives. He summarized measures undertaken by range States to implement COP Decision 13.58 (Bigleaf mahogany), and presented the BMWG recommendations, covering the areas of capacity building, funding, training, research and enforcement.

Activities undertaken by range States: The South and Central America and the Caribbean representative reported an export ban imposed by Nicaragua, and noted that the report needs to better reflect the ongoing work in the region as some countries have broader forest management plans as opposed to a mahogany management plan. WG Chair Lougheed stressed the need to balance general management plans with the CITES requirement to produce non-detriment findings at the species level.

The EC said the report should reflect the mixed views among countries on whether COP Decision 13.58 is being effectively implemented in the region, with TRAFFIC identifying lack of political will and capacity as key obstacles. Mexico suggested that the BMWG report does not adequately reflect the situation in several countries, in particular with regard to non-detriment findings, and urged development of guidelines for countries to implement these. The Secretariat noted lack of existing guidelines on non-detriment findings for timber species.

PC Chair Clemente underscored the report by the Dominican Republic to the BMWG on mahogany imports in 2004 from several countries, including Nicaragua, Brazil and Peru, while Brazil had a mahogany export ban, and suggested that the PC ask the Secretariat to look into this issue.

The Natural Resources Defense Council presented its report on implementation of CITES mahogany listing and impacts on indigenous people. Noting widespread illegal logging, he urged participants to prohibit mahogany trade in protected and indigenous areas.

Recommendations for COP-14: Brazil requested that importing countries refuse shipments accompanied by a court order for mahogany products obtained prior to its listing in Appendix II. Canada, supported by many, called for a clarification of the BMWG mandate with regard to management plans and forest inventories.

The working group discussed how to structure the recommendation and how to address urgent measures. Some were of the view that the group was not the right mechanism to address urgent issues, while others said countries were taking specific measures, such as enforcing an export ban, conducting inventories, and implementing non-detriment findings and implementation problems should not be attributed to the BMWG, but to specific countries. Participants also discussed how to improve or develop guidance on non-detriment findings and whether a regional mahogany strategic plan would assist in promoting concrete actions by countries. They also identified a number of short-term actions, such as preventing exports of mahogany without non-detriment findings and verification of legality.

WG Chair Lougheed presented the recommendations of the working group to plenary, noting that they are directed to the PC, the SC, the Secretariat and parties. She also noted general support for the BMWG to continue its work after COP-14.

The EC suggested, and the PC agreed, to include: submission of range States’ reports in a format agreed by the PC Chair; development of mechanisms to ensure adequate implementation of the strategic action plan with support from range States, importing countries and international organizations; review of progress in implementing the strategic action plan by the PC; and call for industry’s financial support to range States.

Inclusion of bigleaf mahogany in the RST: In plenary, TRAFFIC and WWF requested the inclusion of mahogany in the RST process, stressing the issue requires urgent intervention at the highest level. During working group discussions, however, participants did not reach consensus on the inclusion of mahogany in the RST.

In plenary, Mexico stressed that the process of ensuring sustainable trade should not be coercive, with Peru and Brazil underscoring their efforts to implement COP Decision 13.58 and opposing an RST. The US urged inclusion of bigleaf mahogany in the RST, noting the proposed recommendation is “toothless.” The EC favored an RST alongside capacity building. The Oceania representative noted that the working group’s recommendations are a de facto RST, and noted potential benefits of such a review for range States. Chile and Spain expressed willingness to cooperate with range States, especially Peru, in meeting their commitments.

The PC regional representatives decided not to subject bigleaf mahogany to an RST, with the abstention of the North America representative.

Recommendation: The PC acknowledges some progress in implementing COP Decision 13.58 (Bigleaf mahogany), but stresses that no party has fully complied with it (PC16 WG5 Doc. 1). It notes that the report does not fully reflect the work undertaken by range States, and that parties currently lack mechanisms and a standardized approach for making non-detriment findings for bigleaf mahogany. It also endorses the recommendations contained in the BMWG report (PC16 Doc. 19.1.1), forwarding enforcement-related issues to the SC.

The recommendation further contains a list of short and mid-term actions, directed to the PC, parties, the Secretariat and the SC.

Short-term actions, to be undertaken in the next six months, include:

  • for the PC to support development of further guidance on non-detriment findings for timber species and organization of a workshop on this matter;

  • for parties to: report on implementation of COP Decision 13.58 by 30 November 2006; ensure that no mahogany exports take place without non-detriment findings and verification of legal origin of the timber; and to refuse imports of mahogany accompanied by a CITES permit issued under a court order, unless non-detriment findings have been confirmed by the Scientific Authority of the country of origin;

  • for the Secretariat to report mahogany enforcement and compliance problems at SC-54, and investigate the high volume of mahogany imports taking place in the Dominican Republic.

Mid-term recommendations for adoption at COP-14 include:

  • developing a strategic action plan for the region with timelines, addressing non-detriment findings, legal origin, compliance and enforcement issues, as well as mechanisms to ensure its adequate implementation;

  • facilitating production of guidelines for implementation of non-detriment findings for timber species;

  • addressing mahogany enforcement and compliance at each SC meeting before COP-15; and

  • amending COP Decisions 13.55 to 13.59 (Bigleaf mahogany) for clarification and better reflection of intersessional work.

PROPOSALS TO AMEND THE APPENDICES FOR TREE SPECIES: On Wednesday, the Netherlands introduced proposals to amend the appendices for tree species (PC16 Doc. 19.2). Highlighting the need to raise awareness of benefits of listing species in CITES appendices, especially Appendix II, he underscored the importance of identifying tree species that would benefit from CITES regulation. He summarized the population status of, and trade in, Cedrela odorata (cedrela), Dalbergia retusa (cocobolo) and Dalbergia stevensonii (Honduras rosewood), noting they satisfy the criteria for inclusion in Appendix II. PC Chair Clemente requested range States to comment on the findings.

Cedrela odorata: Mexico highlighted the difficulty of identifying cedrela wood from other species in the same habitat and, with Brazil, said more information is needed to decide on a listing in Appendix II. Noting ongoing cedrela monitoring and training on species identification, Peru supported Mexico. TRAFFIC noted that a decision to include a species in Appendix II must consider timing and process, and recalled the listing of bigleaf mahogany in Appendix II. PC Chair Clemente said efforts to implement CITES regulations regarding bigleaf mahogany could be applicable to cedrela since they are found in the same habitats. Austria said that international collaboration could be used to overcome lack of data regarding cedrela. Noting that where there is a ban on mahogany, cedrela is a trade substitute, Costa Rica supported including the species in Appendix II. Germany noted problems of look-alikes between cedrela and species of other genera.

PC Chair Clemente requested opinions from PC members. The Oceania representative said further information will be useful to determine the situation of the species and subspecies. The North America and Central and Latin America and the Caribbean representatives said they will evaluate a proposal to amend the appendices when it is presented. The Europe and Asia representatives encouraged gathering more information and the Africa representative highlighted the role of range States. The PC Chair encouraged the Netherlands to continue compiling information on cedrela and coordinating with range States.

Dalbergia retusa: The Netherlands presented results of its joint study with the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre on Dalbergia retusa, noting lack of information on the volume of trade despite evidence of online trade. The Central and South America and the Caribbean representative highlighted the difficulty of tracing the origin of timber since the species is mainly exported as handicrafts. Mexico noted lack of information on the impacts of trade on species populations.

Dalbergia stevensonii: Presenting the report on Dalbergia stevensonii, the Netherlands noted that the species is sought-after as wood used for musical instruments. Highlighting a large number of both scientific synonyms and common names for Dalbergia stevensonii, Canada said CITES regulation can enhance taxonomic clarity.

The PC agreed to gather more information on Cedrela odorata, Dalbergia retusa and Dalbergia stevensonii and encouraged parties, especially range States, to continue compiling information on such species.

STANDARD PROCEDURE FOR MEASUREMENT OF TIMBER SPECIES IN APPENDICES II AND III: On Wednesday, Giuseppe Frenguelli (Italy) presented a proposal on standardizing measurements for Appendices II and III-listed timber species (PC16 Doc. 19.3), noting existing discrepancies in measuring shipment volumes and weight, particularly due to varying water content.

Malaysia welcomed the proposal and enquired about the availability of case studies. Peru, Canada and Chile pointed out that measuring individual logs would be impossible for large timber exporters. The Africa and Central and South America and the Caribbean representatives said the standard procedure proposed should be used on a need-only basis. The North America and Oceania representatives favored developing voluntary guidelines on this issue.

The PC took note of the proposal and PC Chair Clemente urged Italy to ensure that the eventual proposal for COP-14 is enforceable considering the characteristics of timber trade.

NON-DETRIMENT FINDINGS FOR APPENDIX-II TIMBER SPECIES: On Thursday, Belgium presented a report on the need for relevant information and a standardized procedure for non-detriment findings for Appendix-II listed timber species (PC16 Inf. 11), noting that countries currently use a pragmatic, but not necessarily scientific, approach in implementing these findings. He introduced the concept of “sustained yield,” which includes 10 criteria, inter alia, general management regime of the forests, logging damage to tree populations, statistics on trade and local consumption in roundwood equivalents, and control measures.

During the ensuing discussion, Peru and Mexico welcomed the methodology. Canada questioned the possibility of taking a standardized approach to all tree species, while Chile enquired about the costs and feasibility of gathering relevant information. Germany cited several methodologies being developed for sustainable harvesting of both timber and non-timber products, and underscored that, at the moment, parties lack practical tools for implementing non-detriment findings, which are a core provision of the Convention. The Oceania representative said the PC should focus on developing guidance for non-detriment findings, and PC Chair Clemente suggested prioritizing bigleaf mahogany and Prunus africana in this regard.

On Saturday, the PC agreed to include in the PC Chair’s report to COP-14, a background document prepared by Germany on the need to elaborate guidelines on non-detriment findings, stating that, inter alia: the PC shall develop principles and criteria to perform non-detriment findings for high priority taxas such as tree species, P. africana bark and other medicinal plants.

REGIONAL REPORTS

EUROPE: On Monday, Giuseppe Frenguelli presented the European report (PC16 Doc. 5.4), noting some problems in communicating with CITES authorities in his region. He highlighted the ratification by San Marino and positive experiences by countries including a timber identification tool by Germany, public information on illegal trade at international airports in Italy, the project on P. africana in Spain and training and education programmes and seminars in several countries in the region, as well as post graduate and Ph.D. programmes on conservation and management of biodiversity in Spain.

NORTH AMERICA: On Monday, Robert Gabel presented the North America regional report (PC16 Doc. 5.5), noting activities on CITES-listed species, such as ginseng in the US and Canada, and Guaiacum sanctum in Mexico; and the work of the Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management.

OCEANIA: On Monday, Greg Leach presented the Oceania regional report (PC16 Doc. 5.6), highlighting recent ratification of the Convention by Palau and Samoa, and the regional CITES capacity-building workshop attended by both parties and non-parties.

CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: On Wednesday, Fátima Mereles presented the Central and South America and the Caribbean regional report (PC16 Doc. 5.3 Rev.1) noting the region had been very active in capacity-building initiatives, through training courses for scientific authorities, workshops with border agents for the identification of bigleaf mahogany, and the work of the BMWG.

ASIA: On Wednesday, Wichar Thitiprasert presented the Asia regional report (PC16 Doc. 5.2), noting enforcement measures and seminars in the region, and a workshop with participation of 15 countries from the region, to promote public awareness and information sharing among regional border patrol agencies.

AFRICA: On Wednesday, Beatrice Khayota presented the Africa regional report (PC16 Doc. 5.1), noting activities on P. africana, and inventory and management of Hoodia spp. She noted problems in communicating with parties in her region.

SYNERGY BETWEEN CITES AND CBD

GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR PLANT CONSERVATION AND LINKS WITH CBD: On Wednesday, Mexico presented a document describing actions taken by CITES parties in support of CBD objectives, especially regarding the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) (PC16 Doc. 13.2). Participants discussed how to present this document to the CBD, and whether to add examples from the RST.

The PC encouraged Mexico to finalize the text in the annex in consultation with the representatives from Oceania, Canada and the Secretariat, and recommended that the final text and examples from the PC’s work be forwarded to the GSPC officer at the CBD and the CBD Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) Bureau.

On Saturday, Mexico presented the list of examples, including cycads, agarwood, Harpagophytum, and hoodia.

HARPAGOPHYTUM SPP.

On Wednesday, the Secretariat presented a document noting that in compliance with COP Decision 13.60 (Harpagophytum) the importing countries were requested to report on their volumes of trade in Harpagophytum spp. (devil’s claw) and verification of origin, as well as progress in involving the industry in sustainable use of the species (PC16 Doc. 16.16). She invited the PC to decide whether parties have been complying with COP Decision 13.60.

Germany presented a report on Harpagophytum spp., noting that authorities in importing countries have limited possibilities of monitoring trade in a species not listed on CITES appendices, and therefore cannot provide the information requested by PC-15. The North America representative, supported by the Oceania representative, said the PC should not undertake further action on the species unless it is listed on Appendix II. South Africa noted ongoing collaboration among the three main exporting countries (Botswana, Namibia and South Africa) to ensure the species’ sustainable use.

The PC decided it had fulfilled the tasks assigned to it under Decision 13.60 on Harpagophytum.

EFFECTS OF IMPLEMENTING THE REVISED DEFINITION OF ‘ARTIFICIALLY PROPAGATED’

On Wednesday, the Secretariat presented a document (PC16 Doc. 16.18), noting that further to the COP-13 request for the PC to analyze any adverse effects of the revised definition of ‘artificially propagated’ on the conservation of Appendix-I species, parties’ responses did not evidence any major concerns. Chile noted that while its Scientific Authority considers the requirement of returning 10 percent of artificially propagated plants into the wild too high, it is satisfied with the overall degree of compliance.

The PC noted the report and did not identify any adverse effects of the definition of ‘artificially propagated.’

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ANNOTATION FOR HOODIA

On Wednesday, participants considered a report on the implementation of an annotation to hoodia (PC16 Doc. 20), with South Africa and Namibia informing that the annotation is not currently being used by any of the range States, and therefore there are no exemptions to the requirement of a CITES permit for hoodia.

PC Chair Clemente proposed, and the PC agreed, to request the Secretariat to issue a notification clarifying to parties that all hoodia exports must be accompanied by a CITES permit, as annotation #9 is currently not being applied by any of the range States.

ADVICE AND GUIDANCE ON PROPOSALS TO AMEND THE APPENDICES

PROPOSALS TO AMEND THE APPENDICES FOR POSSIBLE CONSIDERATION AT COP-14: On Wednesday, the Central and South America and the Caribbean representative introduced proposals to amend the appendices for possible consideration at COP-14 (PC16 Doc. 21.2) regarding Bulnesia spp. in Paraguay and Argentina. Mexico supported gathering more information on the species, especially on volumes of trade to assess whether the species is under threat. The Netherlands offered to seek funding for such a study. IWMC – World Conservation Trust noted habitat destruction, especially through soy plantations, poses more dangers than trade.

The PC endorsed Paraguay’s efforts to compile information for developing a proposal for COP-14, and welcomed the Netherlands’ offer.

PROGRESS REPORT FROM THE CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE NOMENCLATURE COMMITTEE

On Tuesday, the Nomenclature Committee met and discussed ongoing work and groups of plants that need standard references approved. On Wednesday, Co-Chair of the Nomenclature Committee Noel McGough (UK), informed the PC on ongoing activities (PC16 Doc. 22), including consultations on standard references for tree ferns, and noted standard references on hoodia and Guaiacum (lignum vitae) will be ready for adoption by COP-14. On CITES checklists, he noted those on slipper orchids and Cactaceae need updating. Austria informed on advances in the checklist for Bulbophyllum.

The PC took note of the report and approved the work plan for the Nomenclature Committee.

IDENTIFICATION MATERIAL

PROGRESS REPORT ON THE IDENTIFICATION MANUAL: On Wednesday, the Secretariat reported on progress in developing an identification manual for plant species (PC16 Doc. 23.1), noting that available identification sheets have been finalized but, due to budget constraints, no new identification sheets have been produced since PC-15. Several participants informed the PC on national activities to develop identification sheets, and the Secretariat urged parties to avoid duplication of efforts with the development of a CITES identification manual.

The PC took note of the report.

INTERACTIVE CD-ROM FOR MACROSCOPIC CITES TIMBER IDENTIFICATION: On Wednesday, Germany presented a CD-Rom for identification of CITES timber products by customs officers, noting it allowed the identification of most CITES species except Guaiacum wood. Participants recognized the usefulness of this instrument. Brazil, the Central and South America and the Caribbean representative, and Peru highlighted their identification manuals for bigleaf mahogany and look-alikes.

The PC encouraged parties to continue collaboration and coordinate identification efforts.

OTHER MATTERS

QUOTAS FOR APPENDIX II TIMBER SPECIES: On Wednesday, when considering proposals to amend the appendices for timber species, PC Chair Clemente proposed establishing a process for newly listed Appendix II species in which range States establish a precautionary export quota allowing sufficient time to elaborate non-detriment findings and determine subsequent quotas on a scientific basis. She noted such quotas would assist countries in managing their resources listed in Appendix II.

On Saturday, PC Chair Clemente proposed, and the PC agreed to include a proposal to amend Conf. Res. 10.13 (Timber species) in her report to COP-14, to recommend range States of newly-listed Appendix II timber species to establish conservative national export quotas for such species, especially during the first and second year after the listing.

WORKSHOP ON NON-DETRIMENT FINDINGS: On Saturday, Mexico, supported by the North America representative, proposed holding a workshop of Scientific Authorities on non-detriment findings, including experiences, tools and methodologies. He urged participants to make efforts to find financial support for the workshop, and present results to COP-14.

JOINT SESSION OF THE PLANTS AND ANIMALS COMMITTEES

On Friday, 7 July, the Animals Committee (AC) meeting was formally opened by AC Chair Thomas Althaus (Switzerland) to allow for the joint session of the Plants and Animals Committees to take place. PC Chair Margarita Clemente and AC Chair Althaus welcomed participants to the joint session, designed to address issues of common interest.

AMENDMENTS TO RULES OF PROCEDURE

On Friday, AC Chair Althaus invited comments on the proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure for the scientific committees (AC22 Doc. 2.2 and PC16 Doc. 2.2). The Secretariat noted the COP-13 mandate to streamline the rules of procedure of the scientific committees with those of the SC.

Many AC and PC members expressed concern with the revised Rules of Procedure, highlighting the differences in the nature of work between the scientific committees and the SC. They noted, in particular, potential problems regarding new rules on the composition of committees, quorum, credentials, NGO participation, deadlines for document submission, and limits on document length.

Participants debated how to address the issue, and the PC/AC agreed to establish an intersessional process to revise the Rules of Procedure for the scientific committees, and report on its outcomes at COP-14.

STRATEGIC VISION AND ACTION PLAN UNTIL 2013

On Friday, the Secretariat summarized progress in producing a new Strategic Vision and Action Plan until 2013 (AC22 Doc. 6), and noted that the SC has established a Strategic Plan Working Group to develop a proposal.

AC Chair Althaus reported on the SC Strategic Plan Working Group meeting held in Ottawa, Canada, from 24-28 April 2006, noting the SC Working Group is proposing a simpler plan that is closer to CITES reality. He underscored parties will soon be able to comment on its outcomes online. He noted the SC will submit the new plan for consideration at COP-14.

The PC/AC took note of the report.

REVIEW OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEES

On Friday, the Secretariat presented background information and the agreed terms of reference for the review of the scientific committees, aiming at improving and facilitating the performance of their functions (AC21/PC16 Doc.7 Rev.1). He said the scientific committees were requested to carry out a self-evaluation of their functions and submit a report of the results for consideration at SC-54 in October 2006. PC Chair Clemente noted the PC is compiling information on its activities and comparing them to the Strategic Action Plan.

The Oceania representative highlighted the different workloads of the PC and AC and said the committees’ activities must be analyzed on the basis of their capacity and expertise. AC Chair Althaus established a working group to finalize the self-evaluation, co-chaired by Greg Leach (Oceania) and Rodrigo Medellín (Mexico).

On Saturday, the working group reviewed the tasks and duties of the scientific committees as contained in Conf. Res. 11.1 (Establishment of committees), assigning high, medium or low priority to each, and assessing the level of performance. They noted the overall high performance on the majority of tasks assigned to the AC and PC, and analyzed reasons for lower performance on several high or medium priority tasks, such as providing advice on management techniques and procedures for range States requesting such assistance.

They highlighted, inter alia: time, funding and institutional constraints faced by regional members and PC and AC Chairs; high degree of volunteerism in fulfilling tasks assigned to the AC and PC; assignment of tasks to the AC and PC that are not scientific or technical in nature; and the challenges of the double role of Chair and regional representative. They agreed on a number of recommendations, addressing the scientific committees’ mandate, resources, commitment of regional representatives, communication and performance evaluation.

Co-Chairs Leach and Medellín presented the working group’s recommendations to plenary, noting that the working group has reviewed results of specific instructions given to the scientific committees since COP-10, and presents the revised version of the report as part of its recommendations. The Secretariat noted the need to fact-check this new report, while the AC and PC Chairs stressed that the revised version better reflects the scientific committees’ activities. The PC/AC participants noted the Secretariat’s comment and adopted the recommendation.

Recommendation: In the final recommendation (PC16/AC22 WG1 Doc. 1), the scientific committees note that although they achieve a considerable level of performance considering limited resources available, they require dedicated budgetary funds and other resources to ensure adequate performance and facilitate the fulfillment of the Chairs’ duties.

They also note that the review process has consumed considerable resources, and do not recommend putting in place a detailed periodic review process, instead proposing internal monitoring through regional reports and the Chairs’ reports to the COP.

The Committees further recommend:

  • that the COP and the SC give consideration whether the tasks assigned to the scientific committees are within their mandates and the Strategic Action Plan;

  • making the Nomenclature Committee a permanent working group of the AC and PC;

  • increasing involvement of AC and PC Chairs and members in the assignment of consultants and the definition of terms of reference for specific projects; and

  • determining delivery mechanisms once the external evaluation has been completed.

The report and recommendations will be submitted to the SC External Evaluation Working Group, for consideration by SC-54.

REGIONAL COMMUNICATION  

REVIEW OF THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH MEMBERS AND ALTERNATE MEMBERS PERFORM THEIR DUTIES: On Friday, the Secretariat presented a document on the review of the conditions under which members and alternate members perform their duties (AC21/PC16 Doc. 8.1). AC Chair Althaus noted that during the last joint PC/AC session this issue was analyzed and five points were highlighted for further study: communication, commitment, funds, the double role of Chair and regional representative and capacity to perform the duties. The Central and South America and the Caribbean representative emphasized the need to ensure that representatives respond to requests for opinion or calls for participation in meetings, noting he was participating for the second time as an alternate due to the absence of the regional representative. This issue was forwarded to the working group on the review of scientific committees.

On Saturday, working group Co-Chair Leach reported that the working group will submit to the External Review Working Group, as part of the report of the working group on the review of scientific committees, regional representatives’ comments on problems encountered in performing their duties and suggestions for improvement. The PC/AC adopted the recommendation.

Recommendation: The PC/AC recommends (PC16/AC22 WG1 Doc. 1) to:

  • ensure the commitment of committee member candidates to fulfill the requirements of their mandate, and strengthen support of nominating parties and regions to committee members; and

  • note that committee Chairs in other environmental conventions are not assigned regional representation.

MANUAL FOR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES: On Friday, Carlos Ibero (Spain) presented a draft manual for regional representatives (AC21/PC16 Doc. 8.2). A working group chaired by Ibero was established to finalize the manual.

On Saturday, WG Chair Ibero presented the revised version of the draft manual for regional representatives, including a draft decision to be forwarded to the COP. AC Chair Althaus clarified the Committees were not requested to send this document to COP-14, and cautioned against ample references to web pages, which may pose problems to representatives with limited internet access. Ibero and PC Chair Clemente replied that candidates to the scientific committees should have necessary support, including internet access, to perform their functions.

Recommendation: The PC/AC adopted the manual for regional representatives (PC16/AC22 WG2 Doc. 1), which contains sections on “CITES basics,” functions and responsibilities of scientific committee members; support and needs; and sources of information.

EXPORT QUOTA WORKING GROUP

The Secretariat reported on the work of the Export Quota Working Group established in 2002 (AC21/PC16 Doc. 9). Co-Chairs Althaus and Clemente, both members of this Working Group commented on its progress, and noted it is currently holding consultations on a draft recommendation to be presented to SC-54. The PC/AC took note of the report.

REVIEW OF SIGNIFICANT TRADE IN SPECIMENS OF APPENDIX-II SPECIES

PROGRESS ON THE COUNTRY-BASED RST IN MADAGASCAR: The Secretariat introduced the RST in Madagascar (AC22/PC16 Doc. 10.4), noting it is the first country-based review undertaken under CITES.

Madagascar presented its progress report highlighting: development of the terms of reference for cost-effective studies of Appendix II-listed species; new legislation to enforce CITES regulations; scientific support for CITES implementation; and training courses involving the scientific and management authorities. Noting financial constraints, she appealed to the international community to support the ongoing RST process.

The AC and PC Chairs welcomed the report and encouraged further work. The Oceania representative noted the challenge of implementing non-detriment findings.

The AC and PC took note of the report.

PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR SPECIMENS OF CITES-LISTED SPECIES

REVIEW OF PRODUCTION SYSTEMS: Robert Gabel (US), Chair of the intersessional Working Group on Production Systems reported on progress in the consideration of previous work and documents focusing on defining elements of the different production systems for CITES-listed species, and in the development of a list of specific production systems currently utilized by parties (AC22/PC16 Doc. 12.1). He noted the need for further discussion on codes involving artificially propagated plants, and animals bred in captivity and ranching. AC Chair Althaus established a working group chaired by Gabel.

On Saturday, Gabel requested participants to consider whether the source code “R” (specimens originating from ranching operations) applies solely to specimens originating in ranching operations transferred from Appendix I to Appendix II. Participants disagreed on whether source code “R” should be clarified, or if it applies solely to species transferred from Appendix I to II. Some mentioned the “R” code was being misused to export species from Appendix II that should be assigned a “W” (taken from the wild) code, to circumvent bans of imports of specimens taken from the wild. Participants emphasized that the “R” code does not preclude the implementation of non-detriment findings and that source codes should not be used as evidence of conservation or to judge production systems. Some participants favored deleting source code “R,” while others preferred to refine its definition. The working group decided to propose an intersessional working group to continue discussing this issue.

Regarding the expansion of Resolution Conf. 11.16 (Ranching) to include plant species, participants decided to address this issue once the definition of the source code “R” is agreed upon.

The working group also considered, and did not reach a conclusion: streamlining codes “A” (artificially propagated plants), “C” (animals bred in captivity for non-commercial purposes) and “D” (Appendix I animals bred in captivity for commercial purposes); and expanding source code “F” (animals born in captivity that do not fulfill the definition of bred in captivity) to artificially propagated plants.

The PC/AC considered the outcomes of the WG (PC16/AC22 WG3 Doc.1) noting more discussion is needed. AC Chair Althaus and PC Chair Clemente questioned whether the issue may exceed the scope of the scientific committees, and may need to be forwarded to the SC to be addressed by management authorities. The PC/AC agreed to request the intersessional Working Group on Production Systems to continue working on these issues, noting the need to include exporter countries using the “R” code in the discussions, and forward the issue to the SC if the intersessional working group does not reach an agreement.

REVIEW OF GLOBAL CROCODILE RANCHING PROGRAMMES: On Friday, AC Chair Althaus, on behalf of Switzerland, presented a document including the outcome of the review by the IUCN/Species Survival Commission (SSC) Crocodile Specialist Group of global crocodile ranching programmes (AC22/PC16 Doc. 12.2). The review recommends that this issue be considered by the intersessional working group dealing with review of production systems.

The PC/AC agreed to continue addressing this issue in the intersessional working group on Production Systems.

SYNERGY BETWEEN CITES AND CBD

ADDIS ABABA PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES: The Secretariat introduced the summary of replies and case studies submitted by parties to identify those Addis Ababa principles and guidelines of most relevance to CITES (AC22/PC16 Doc. 13.1). PC Chair Clemente established a working group chaired by Choo-Hoo Giam (Singapore) to review the document.

On Saturday, several participants noted that some of the Addis Ababa Principles are already incorporated in the CITES checklists on non-detriment findings, while others highlighted their applicability for non-detriment findings.

On Saturday afternoon, Choo-Hoo Giam presented a draft recommendation to plenary. The US, with the Netherlands, noted that adding economic and social factors from the Addis Ababa Principles to the elaboration of non-detriment findings would complicate the work of scientific authorities from export parties. Spain stressed the importance of considering sustainability of resources when setting export quotas. The EC underscored the importance of Addis Ababa Principles in developing guidelines for some taxa-specific items such as timber, and Peru for ensuring sustainability of species. The PC/AC approved the working group’s recommendation without amendment.

Recommendation: In its recommendation (PC16/AC22 WG4 Doc.1), the PC/AC agreed that the Addis Ababa Principles are, inter alia: either generally relevant to CITES or are already promoted by CITES especially in the “Checklist to assist in making non-detriment findings of Appendix II exports;” and, on a case-by-case basis, may be considered for possible development of further taxa-specific non-detriment finding guidelines. The recommendation also proposes the amendment of Resolution Conf. 10.4 to acknowledge the use of Addis Ababa Principles as a voluntary additional tool for making non-detriment findings.

TRADE IN ALIEN INVASIVE SPECIES

On trade in alien invasive species (AIS) (AC22/PC16 Doc. 14), the Secretariat reported ongoing efforts to establish cooperation with the CBD and the IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group, as mandated by COP Decision 13.10 (Trade in AIS), and requested guidance from AC and PC on specific activities suggested, such as cross-referencing AIS with CITES-listed species.

The Oceania representative highlighted CITES input in the CBD process and, noting resource constraints, cautioned against duplicating AIS-related activities. The AC and PC Chairs, supported by the US, favored eliminating the issue of AIS trade from the scientific committees’ work programme noting compliance with Decision 13.10. Austria suggested CITES could provide information on trade routes that facilitate AIS proliferation. Highlighting that AIS is the second biggest threat to biodiversity worldwide, Mexico said the issue, although it is not a top priority, should not disappear from the AC and PC work programme altogether.

PC Chair Clemente proposed, and participants agreed, to proceed on the basis of consultations within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding between the CBD and CITES on synergies between the conventions, rather than through a formalized work programme item.

TRANSPORT OF LIVE SPECIMENS

REVIEW OF RESOLUTION CONF. 10.21 ON TRANSPORT OF LIVE ANIMALS: On Friday, the Secretariat introduced a document on the review of Resolution Conf. 10.21 (transport of live animals) (PC16/AC22 Doc. 15.1) to include plants. He noted the existing decision is twenty years old, and the committees had agreed to try applying International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations on the matter, and reflect it in a revised resolution.

Austria informed on efforts by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to establish a webpage to collect CITES, OIE and IATA standards. A working group chaired by Peter Linhart (Austria) was established.

The working group produced a draft revised Resolution Conf. 10.21, including references to transport of live plants and the IATA Perishable Cargo Manual (for plants), and agreed to ask the Secretariat to organize a three-day workshop to update, expand and improve the IATA Perishable Cargo Manual for the transport of lives specimens.

In plenary, Linhart noted the working group has incorporated plants into a new draft resolution and proposes changing the name of the intersessional working group on transport of live animals to “transport of live specimens.” The US questioned whether the new decision includes the compilation of mortality data, with Linhart responding that only major cases of mortality would be brought to the intersessional committees’ attention.

AC Chair Althaus proposed, and the PC/AC agreed to take note of the work (PC16/AC22 WG5 Doc.1) and request the AC, PC and Secretariat to continue consultations on the draft with a view to preparing a draft resolution for COP-14.

ADVICE AND GUIDANCE ON PROPOSALS TO AMEND THE APPENDICES

USE OF ANNOTATIONS: The North America representative presented a document on the use of annotations for plants in Appendix II and animals and plants in Appendix III (AC22/PC16 Doc. 21.1), noting it arose from discrepancies in CITES practice regarding the interpretation of whether lack of annotation to a species in Appendix II entails that parts and derivatives are included in the appendices. Further to minor amendments proposed by the Secretariat, the proposal was adopted by the PC/AC.

Recommendation: The PC/AC recommends amending Resolutions Conf. 11.21 (Rev. CoP13) on Use of annotations in Appendices I and II, and Conf. 9.25 (Rev.) on Inclusion of species in Appendix III for COP-14. A proposal will be presented by the US to COP-14. The amendments to the resolutions, inter alia, state that:

  • a proposal to include a plant species in Appendix II, or to transfer a plant species from Appendix I to Appendix II, shall be interpreted to include all readily recognizable parts and derivatives if the proposal does not contain an annotation with a specific exclusion;

  • for plant species included in Appendix II, the absence of an annotation relating to that species shall indicate that all readily recognizable parts and derivatives are included.

OTHER MATTERS

Spain suggested, and the PC/AC agreed, to continue providing financial support, and enhance participation of PC/AC members, in the Master’s course on Conservation and Biodiversity at the International University of Andalucía and the University of Córdoba.

CLOSING OF PC-16 AND THE JOINT SESSION

AC Chair Althaus announced that the next Joint PC/AC will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in February or March 2008. AC Chair Althaus and PC Chair Clemente thanked participants and the Government of Peru for their efforts. PC Chair Clemente closed the meeting at 6:30 pm.
 

GLOSSARY
 

AC
AIS
BMWG
CBD
GSPC
IATA
OIE
PC
PRWG
RST
SC
SSC
CITES Animals Committee
Alien invasive species
Bigleaf Mahogany Working Group
Convention on Biological Diversity
Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
International Air Transport Association
World Organization for Animal Health
CITES Plants Committee
Periodic Review Working Group
Review of significant trade
CITES Standing Committee
IUCN Species Survival Commission

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Soledad Aguilar, Karen Alvarenga, Ph.D. and Xenya Cherny. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom (through the Department for International Development - DFID), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Germany (through the German Federal Ministry of Environment - BMU, and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation - BMZ), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission (DG-ENV) and the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory General Directorate for Nature Protection. General Support for the Bulletin during 2006 is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Australia, the Austrian Federal Ministry for the Environment, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES) and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute - GISPRI). Funding for translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin into French has been provided by the International Organization of the Francophonie (IOF) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Funding for the translation of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin into Spanish has been provided by the Ministry of Environment of Spain. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.