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Volume 21 Number 83 - Monday, 18 March 2013
SUMMARY OF THE SIXTEENTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA
3-14 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 Bangkok, Thailand from 3-14 March 2013. Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra officially opened the meeting and highlighted Thailand’s commitment to the Convention and to enhancing cooperation in conservation and combating illegal trade. More than 2000 participants from 170 countries, including more than 200 non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations, attended.

CoP16 adopted 55 new listing proposals, including on sharks, manta rays, turtles and timber. Nine proposals were rejected (caspian snowcock, tibetan snowcock, saltwater crocodile, siamese crocodile, South American freshwater stingray, Rosette river stingray, blood pheasant and two species of freshwater turtles). Three proposals were withdrawn: Southern white rhino and two African elephants. Three were not considered: Indochinese box turtle; Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle; and Annam leaf turtle. The CoP also adopted strong enforcement measures to address wildlife crime.

CoP16 was marked by a general effort towards consensus. Many delegates commented at the end that they were “very happy” with the outcomes, with some remarking that CoP16 had been the most successful CoP in 40 years, particularly for marine species.

The next CoP will be held in South Africa in 2016.

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, on 3 March 1973, and entered into force on 1 July 1975. There are currently 178 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, permitting such trade 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 CoP, supported by scientific and biological data on population and trade trends. The proposal must be adopted by a two-thirds majority of parties present and voting. 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 permits and certificates based on the advice of a Scientific Authority. These two national authorities also assist with CITES enforcement through cooperation with customs, police and other appropriate agencies. Parties maintain trade records that are forwarded annually to the CITES Secretariat, 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 two scientific committees: the Plants Committee (PC) and the Animals Committee (AC).

CONFERENCES OF THE PARTIES: The first CoP was held in Bern, Switzerland, in November 1976, and subsequent CoPs have been held every two to three years. The CoP meets to, inter alia: review progress in the conservation of species included in the appendices; discuss and adopt proposals to amend the lists of species in Appendices I and II; consider recommendations and proposals from parties, the Secretariat, the SC and the scientific committees; and recommend measures to improve the effectiveness of the Convention and the functioning of the Secretariat. The CoP also periodically reviews the list of resolutions and decisions, as well as the species listed in its appendices.

CITES CoP13: CoP13 met in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2-14 October 2004. Delegates addressed a range of topics, including 50 proposals to amend the CITES appendices. CoP13 approved the listing of ramin, agarwood-producing taxa, the great white shark and the humphead wrasse in Appendix II, as well as the uplisting of the Irrawaddy dolphin from Appendix II to 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 on an action plan to curtail unregulated domestic ivory markets. Namibia and South Africa were each allowed an annual quota of five black rhinos for trophy hunting, and Swaziland was allowed to open up strictly controlled hunting of white rhinos. Other decisions focused on synergies with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), while enforcement issues also received considerable attention.

CITES CoP14: CoP14 met in The Hague, the Netherlands from 3-15 June 2007. Delegates addressed a range of topics including: the CITES Strategic Vision 2008-2013; a guide to compliance with the Convention; management of annual export quotas; and species trade and conservation issues, including Asian big cats, sharks and sturgeons. Delegates agreed that no cetacean species should be subject to periodic review while the International Whaling Commission moratorium is in place. CoP14 approved the listing of: slender-horned and Cuvier’s gazelles and slow loris on Appendix I; Brazil wood, sawfish and eel on Appendix II; and to amend the annotation on African elephants to allow a one-off sale of ivory from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe with a nine-year resting period for further ivory trade. Media spotlight was on negotiations on the future of the ivory trade and African elephant conservation, with many highlighting the consensus by African range states as a major achievement of this meeting.

CITES CoP15: CoP15 met in Doha, Qatar from 13-25 March 2010. The meeting considered 68 agenda items and 42 proposals to amend the CITES appendices. CoP15 adopted resolutions and decisions directed to parties, the Secretariat and Convention bodies on a wide range of topics including: electronic permitting, Asian big cats, rhinoceroses, bigleaf mahogany, and Madagascar plant species. Regarding species listings, CoP15 decided to list, among others: Kaiser’s spotted newt; five species of tree frogs, the unicorn beetle, rosewood, holywood, and several Madagascar plant species.

COP16 REPORT

CITES CoP16 convened Sunday morning, 3 March 2013, in Bangkok. Addressing participants via video, His Royal Highness Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, underscored threats to wildlife, including illegal killing of African elephants and rhinos and related illegal trade in ivory, and called on parties to work together to address them. Øystein Størkersen, Chair of the CITES Standing Committee (SC), recognized that this CoP marks the 40th anniversary of CITES. Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), recommended addressing cross-border crime syndicates, enforcement and supply chain challenges affecting elephant and rhino populations.

John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES, welcomed Bahrain, the Maldives and Lebanon as the three newest parties to CITES, which now has 178 parties.

The CoP elected: Preecha Rengsomboonsuk, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand, as CoP Chair and Pithaya Pookaman, Vice-Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, Thailand, as alternate; Augustin Ngumbi Amuri (Democratic Republic of the Congo) as Vice-Chair and Øystein Størkersen (Norway) as alternate; Carolina Caceres (Canada) as Chair of Committee I; Robert Gabel (US) as Chair of Committee II; and Zhihua Zhou (China) as Chair of the Credentials Committee.

The CoP then adopted the agenda (CoP16 Doc.2) and working programme (CoP16 Doc.3 (Rev.2)), with a minor change.

SC Chair Størkersen reported that SC63 had nominated a Chair and four members for the Credentials Committee: in addition to Chair Zhou, Frank Antram (Australia), Pat Awori (Kenya), Jorge Hidalgo (Mexico), and Volodymyr Domashlinets (Ukraine). The CoP approved these nominations. The Secretariat then introduced the document on admission of observers (CoP16 Doc.6), which the CoP accepted.

UNEP introduced its report (CoP16 Doc.7 Rev.2) and recommended amending the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CITES and UNEP in light of lessons learned over the last sixteen months.

Delegates met in two committees throughout the meeting and, unless noted, the CoP adopted the committees’ decisions on Wednesday or Thursday, 13-14 March.

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

RULES OF PROCEDURE: On Sunday, 3 March, Chair Pookaman addressed the timeline for discussing the three documents on Rules of Procedure, namely the Report of the Secretariat (CoP16 Doc.4.1 (Rev.1)), the proposal to improve transparency of voting during meetings of the CoP (CoP16 Doc.4.2 (Rev.1)) and the proposed amendment to Rule 25 on methods of voting – use of secret ballots (CoP16 Doc.4.3 (Rev.1)). He proposed that a simple majority be used for amending the Rules of Procedure.

Guinea and Japan said that decisions should be made based on a two-thirds majority. Egypt, supported by China, South Africa, Ghana, Iran, the Philippines and Kuwait, objected to the proposal to use a simple majority. Ireland, on behalf of the European Union (EU) and its Member States and Croatia, and supported by Mexico, stressed that, according to the Rules of Procedure, decisions must be made on the basis of a simple majority. Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo agreed.

Report of the Secretariat: The Secretariat introduced its report (CoP16 Doc.4.1 (Rev.1)) along with proposed amendments to references to draft decisions, the deadline for submission of working documents and voting. It withdrew its proposed amendment to procedures for deciding on proposals for amendment of Appendices I and II.

The CoP agreed to the recommendations after the Secretariat withdrew the proposed deadline change for submitting working documents and made a minor wording change, suggested by Israel, to the proposed amendment on voting.

Proposal to improve transparency of voting during meetings of the CoP and proposed amendment to Rule 25 on methods of voting – use of secret ballots: On Sunday, 3 March, Chair Pookaman invited the proponents of the two proposals on voting procedures to introduce the documents.

Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, introduced a proposal from Denmark, on behalf of the EU, to improve transparency of voting during meetings of the CoP (CoP16 Doc.4.2 (Rev.1)). He stated the increased use of secret ballots in non-administrative matters had become the rule for many issues, rather than the exception, and said this practice threatened transparency in the convention.

Mexico introduced its proposal with Chile on a proposed amendment to Rule 25 on methods of voting (CoP16 Doc.4.3 (Rev.1)). He noted that the use of secret ballots had increased since CoP9 in 1994, when Rule 25 had been changed from requiring a simple majority to requiring the support of only 10 countries. He said the 10-party threshold does not reflect the increase in the number of parties to CITES since CoP9.

India, the US and Colombia supported the EU proposal. Japan and China challenged the view that secret ballots were used too frequently, commenting that parties had maintained a balance between transparency and democracy.

On Tuesday, 5 March, delegates convened in an extraordinary plenary, chaired by SC Chair Størkersen, to resume discussions. Chair Størkersen suggested the CoP vote on the decision in CoP16 Doc.4.2 (Rev.1), submitted by the EU. Several interventions followed, questioning whether the outcome of such a vote would be decided by a simple or two-thirds majority, with opposing views expressed on whether this vote concerned a procedural or substantive issue.

Mexico supported the Chair’s proposal. Iceland requested a secret ballot. Parties agreed to defer further discussion to another extraordinary plenary on Wednesday. In the interim, the use of secret ballots was discussed in a “Friends of the Chair” group chaired by South Africa on Tuesday and Wednesday, 5-6 March.

South Africa requested re-opening debate on Tuesday, 5 March, before taking a vote, supported by Zambia, China, Grenada, Iceland and the Russian Federation. Japan requested the CoP vote on the motion immediately.

On Wednesday, 6 March, South Africa, Chair of the Friends of the Chair group, reported that the group had failed to reach consensus on both the decision submitted by the EU and the majority required to amend the Rules of Procedure. China suggested voting without delay on the motion raised by Japan. Colombia proposed amending the EU proposal by increasing the threshold of countries requesting a secret ballot from 10 to 40, while Indonesia proposed an increase from 10 to 14. Japan, Qatar, Kuwait, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, and Guinea supported China’s suggestion to vote immediately. The CoP proceeded to a secret ballot. Japan’s motion for a two-thirds majority was carried, with 71 voting in favor, 56 against and 3 abstaining.

SC Chair Størkersen called for a vote on Colombia’s proposed amendment, to increase the threshold for countries to request a secret ballot from 10 to 40. China proposed and 10 parties supported a vote by secret ballot. Colombia’s proposed amendment was not accepted, with 67 voting against, 60 in favor and 4 abstaining.

SC Chair Størkersen then asked for a vote on the EU proposal. The proposal recommends amending Rule 25, specifically by deleting the sentence “the Presiding Officer shall ask whether the request is seconded. If it is seconded by 10 Representatives the vote shall be by secret ballot,” and adding that the request for a secret ballot shall immediately be voted upon. It also states that the motion for a secret ballot may not be conducted by secret ballot. China requested a secret ballot on this vote, which more than 10 parties supported. The proposal was not accepted, as a two-thirds majority was not achieved, with 62 voting against, 62 in favor and 5 abstaining.

Mexico then introduced his proposal to amend Rule 25. The US proposed an amendment to the proposal to require 25 votes, instead of 10, as set forth in Rule 25. The SC Chair called for a vote on the proposal as amended by the US. China requested voting by secret ballot, which was supported by more than ten parties. The proposal was not accepted, as a two-thirds majority was not achieved. 41 voted in favor and 91 against.

Delegates then moved to vote on Mexico’s proposal, which would increase the quorum to one-third for requesting a secret ballot and require that a motion for a secret ballot not be decided by secret ballot. China asked for a vote by secret ballot, which was supported by more than 10 parties.

Israel, supported by Mexico, proposed voting on changing the quorum needed for the use of secret ballot first, and then voting on the motion that a secret ballot shall not proceed through secret ballot. China questioned the need for separate votes. The CoP agreed to the separate votes. The proposal to change the quorum for the secret ballot from 10 to one-third was not accepted, as a two-thirds majority was not achieved, with 66 in favor, 64 against and 2 abstaining. The proposal on the use of secret ballots to decide secret ballots was also not accepted, as 67 voted in favor, 50 against and 11 abstained.

Final Outcome: Rule 25 of the Rules of Procedure on the use of secret ballots was not changed.

FINANCING AND BUDGETING OF THE SECRETARIAT AND OF MEETINGS OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES: This agenda item was discussed in Committee II on Monday, 4 March, and on Wednesday, 13 March. Items on budgetary proposals for 2014-2016 and access to Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding were discussed in the Working Group on Budget throughout the meeting. The US, Mexico, South Africa, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, the UK, Botswana, Belgium, Norway, Australia, Republic of Korea, Colombia, China, the Philippines, Kenya and Indonesia volunteered to participate in the working group. Switzerland offered to chair.

Budgetary proposals for 2014-2016 and access to GEF funding: On Monday, 4 March, the Secretariat introduced the relevant document (CoP16 Doc.8.3) on budgetary proposals for 2014-2016. The Secretariat encouraged parties to consider the zero real growth budget scenario. Norway, India, Austria, Brazil and others agreed. Japan differed, stating that it supports a zero nominal growth scenario.

The Secretariat then introduced the document on GEF funding (CoP16 Doc.8.4), with the recommendation that the CoP accept the GEF as a financial mechanism for CITES.

Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, stressed that CITES-related activities should be embedded in the CBD National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans. Japan proposed some changes to the decision, including that the GEF is “invited,” rather than “requested,” to consider serving as the financial mechanism. The US stressed that, while the US does not want to block the proposal, it would have to be evaluated carefully before the next GEF Council. Peru, Saint Lucia, Botswana, Iran, São Tomé and Príncipe, Norway and Bahrain generally supported the proposal.

On Wednesday, 13 March, in Committee II, Switzerland introduced documents CoP16 Com.II.31 (Rev.1) and Com.II.32. The first contains a revised draft resolution (Resolution Conf.16.1) on the financing and costed programme of work (CPW) for the Secretariat for the triennium 2014-2016, presenting, inter alia, a compromise between a zero nominal and zero real growth budget. The second contains a draft decision directing the Secretariat to, inter alia, continue exploring a financial mechanism for CITES, such as the GEF, and report on progress at SC65 and CoP17. Committee II accepted the documents.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted a revised draft resolution (CoP16 Com.II.31 (Rev.1)), where it:

•  decides that the implementation of the CPW for the triennium 2014-2016 shall be covered by the Trust Fund budget in the amounts of US$5,836,735 for 2014, US$6,018,089 for 2015 and US$6,655,307 for 2016; and

•  requests the Secretary-General to prepare budget proposals in the same format for consideration at CoP17, including, as a minimum, a zero nominal growth budget scenario and a zero real growth budget scenario and, in consultation with the SC, if necessary, a third scenario.

The CoP also adopted draft decisions (CoP16 Com.II.32):

•  deferring consideration of a financial mechanism for CITES, such as the GEF, to CoP17; and

•  directing the Secretariat to: explore the necessity and feasibility as well as the legal and other implications of the GEF becoming a financial mechanism for CITES; report on progress to SC65; and continue, in collaboration with the CBD Secretariat, to explore a closer working relationship with the GEF to enhance its biodiversity strategy in its sixth programming strategy by strengthening the species-based component.

Implementation of the costed programme of work for 2010-2011: On Monday, 4 March, in plenary, the Secretariat introduced the implementation of the CPW for 2010 and 2011 (CoP16 Doc.8.1 and Annexes 1-8). Committee II accepted the expenditures incurred and approved the CPW for 2010 and 2011, as reported by the Secretariat.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the expenditures as reflected in revised draft resolution (CoP16 Com.II.31 (Rev.1)).

Implementation of the costed programme of work for 2012: On Monday, 4 March, in plenary, the Secretariat introduced the implementation of the CPW for 2012 (CoP16 Doc.8.2 and Annexes 1-5). The US, supported by Japan, protested the use of the word “arrears” to refer to unpaid voluntary contributions. Committee II accepted the expenditures incurred and approved the CPW for 2012, including the US’s intervention, as reported by the Secretariat.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the expenditures as reflected in the revised draft resolution (CoP16 Com.II.31 (Rev.1)).

Access to other sources of funding: On Monday, 4 March, the Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.8.5), which reports on its investigation of ways to secure funding to support the provision of technical assistance to CITES parties, as directed in Decision 15.20. In the document, the Secretariat recommends that the CoP: adopt the draft decisions; delete Decision 15.20; and delete all decisions calling on the Secretariat to seek external funding for specific activities and avoid the adoption of new decisions of that nature.

The US and Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, supported the draft decisions. The Secretariat withdrew the proposal to delete all decisions on external funding.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the report.

STRATEGIC MATTERS

STANDING COMMITTEE REPORT: On Sunday, 3 March, SC Chair Størkersen introduced the SC report (CoP16 Doc.10.1.1), highlighting that, in the period since CoP15, the Committee focused on key tasks given to it by the CoP. The US asked that the item on the SC’s agreement on specific actions on mahogany be noted in the SC Report. Uganda pointed out that reference to the review of Resolution 10.10 was left out. The CoP noted the report.

ANIMALS COMMITTEE REPORT: On Sunday, 3 March, AC Chair Carlos Ibero Solana (Spain) presented the AC report (CoP16 Doc.10.2.1 (Rev.1)). He highlighted topics considered at the joint meeting of the AC and PC. The US encouraged further discussion on a supplementary budget to support the work of the technical committees and suggested the SC finance and budget subcommittee consider this intersessionally. The report was noted.

PLANTS COMMITTEE REPORT: On Sunday, 3 March, PC Chair Margarita Clemente-Muñoz (Spain) presented the PC report (CoP16 Doc.10.3.1 (Rev.1)), outlining the work achieved at meetings of the PC from 2009-2012, the joint AC/PC meeting and various related regional and working group meetings. The report was noted.

POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST IN THE ANIMALS AND PLANTS COMMITTEES: On Tuesday, 5 March, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States, Croatia and Iceland, introduced document CoP16 Doc.11 (Rev.1) citing that, unlike other conventions, there are no provisions on conflict of interest for the CITES AC and PC. He introduced the proposal, which says, inter alia, that: candidates should disclose any current or past professional, financial or other interest that could call into question their impartiality, objectivity or independence in carrying out their duties; the declaration of interests of members shall be made publicly available by the Secretariat; and when a member, or the Secretariat, considers that this representative has a professional, financial or other interest that could call into question his or her impartiality, the committee should be informed in advance, as the concerned member may participate in the discussion but not in the making of any decision on that subject.

New Zealand, Australia, Norway and Colombia supported the proposal. The US noted that the current proposal needs further clarification, including narrowing the scope to financial matters. Canada, while supportive of addressing the issue, noted that disclosure to the public of the declaration of interest is not warranted. China, supported by Indonesia, expressed concerns, noting that “conflict of interest” should be clearly defined and not apply to past conflicts of interests or those that could arise in the future. PC Chair Clemente-Muñoz called for ensuring transparency. Committee II established a working group to address the issue, which Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, agreed to chair. The US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, the UK, Mexico, Kenya, Norway and Japan joined. The Working Group on Conflict of Interest met multiple times between its formation and the delivery of its report.

On Wednesday, 13 March, the Working Group Chair introduced document CoP16 Com.II.28, prepared on the basis of document CoP16 Doc.11 (Rev.1). He noted general agreement on the need for addressing the issue but highlighted the lack of consensus on the definition of conflict of interest, which remained in brackets.

Mexico noted this matter is crucial for fostering transparency and objectivity. The US and New Zealand emphasized concerns about financial interests. Indonesia objected to declaring any interests. After some discussion, the Committee agreed to limit the conflict of interest to “financial interests.”

The Committee accepted the document.

Final Outcome: In its decision (CoP16 Com.II.28), the CoP adopted the amended resolution Conf.11.1 (Rev.CoP15), which, inter alia:

•  defines a conflict of interest as any current financial interest that could significantly impair the individual’s impartiality, objectivity or independence in carrying out his or her duties as a member of the AC or PC;

•  requests candidates proposed as members or alternate members to, together with their name and curriculum vitae (CV), provide a declaration of interest that discloses any current financial interest, which should be circulated to the parties of the region concerned at least 120 days before the meeting of the CoP at which the representatives will be elected;

•  requests each member to declare any interests that he or she thinks would call into question his or her impartiality, objectivity or independence regarding any subject on the agenda for that meeting. If a member declares such an interest, he or she may take part in discussions but not in decision-making regarding the agenda item in question and may not chair the meeting for the agenda item; and

•  requests the Secretariat to make available the declaration of interest and the CV of each member and alternate member to the Chair and members of the Committee concerned.

In its decision (CoP16 Com.II.28), the CoP also adopted the decision calling on:

•  the SC to assess the functioning of the conflict of interest policy and make recommendations for refining the definition of conflict of interest and for a mechanism to deal with such conflicts for consideration at CoP17; and

•  the Secretariat to compile examples of conflict of interest procedures under other relevant agreements and organizations and to prepare a report for SC65.

CITES STRATEGIC VISION: On Tuesday, 5 March, the Secretariat presented the revised CITES Strategic Vision (CoP16 Doc.12), as agreed by the SC. Among the changes, he highlighted its extension to 2020 and references to the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and relevant Aichi Biodiversity Targets. He noted that if CITES could demonstrate its contribution to the Strategic Plan and Aichi Targets, there might be opportunities for CITES to access GEF financing.

Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, Japan and Brazil supported the revised text. The US, supported by India, preferred excluding reference to the Aichi Targets and outcomes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in the Strategic Vision. Colombia agreed on the exclusion of Aichi Targets but wished to retain mention of the Rio+20 outcomes.

Following consultations, the Committee agreed to delete text on the green economy in the general introduction, and to retain reference to the Aichi Targets and the Rio+20 outcomes, taking note that the US opposed these elements.

Final Outcome: The decision (CoP16 Com II.4) contains a general introduction, a statement of purpose, a vision statement, three goals and corresponding objectives. The goals of the Strategic Vision are, among others, to ensure compliance with and implementation and enforcement of the convention and secure the necessary financial resources and means for the operation and implementation of the convention.

INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM ON COMBATING WILDLIFE CRIME (ICCWC): On Tuesday, 5 March, the Secretariat introduced the document on the ICCWC (CoP16 Doc.15 (Rev.1)), outlining the Consortium and its development, and noting, among other things, the recruitment of a junior professional staff member for a short-term post in the Secretariat, funded by the UK. Many welcomed the creation and work of the ICCWC including the US, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo. WWF, also on behalf of TRAFFIC, urged states to, among other things, implement the ICCWC wildlife and forest crime analytic toolkit. Committee II noted the report with appreciation.

RESOLUTION ON COOPERATION WITH THE GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR PLANT CONSERVATION OF THE CBD: On Monday, 4 March, PC Chair Clemente-Muñoz explained the intention of the resolution on cooperation with the CBD Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) (CoP16 Doc.16 (Rev.1)), based on Resolution 15.19. PC Vice-Chair Hesiquio Benitez Díaz (Mexico) introduced the draft resolution.

China, India, South Africa and Grenada supported the resolution. Argentina and Japan supported the resolution, specifying they preferred the Secretariat’s amendments. Japan also urged retaining text specifying meeting participation be subject to external funding.

Following further discussions, Committee I agreed to the resolution with an amendment specifying the role would be to represent the CITES PC at meetings of the CBD subsidiary bodies and other GSPC meetings. The Committee noted the reservations of Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, as to whether the resolution was needed, and also agreed this decision repealed Decision 15.19.

Final Outcome: In its decision (CoP16 Com.I.13), the CoP adopted the revised resolution and its annex, calling on parties to, inter alia, take note of the potential contribution of CITES to the objectives and targets of the updated GSPC 2011-2020; and promote and enhance collaboration between their GSPC focal point and CITES authorities.

The CoP directs:

•  the Secretariat to, inter alia, encourage the exchange of information related to the GSPC and other plant conservation and sustainable use initiatives; and

•  the PC and the Secretariat to, inter alia, promote collaboration with the CBD on implementation of the GSPC.

IPBES: On Monday, 4 March, Mexico presented document CoP16 Doc.17 (Rev.1) on behalf of the Working Group on the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). He described the four draft decisions in CoP16 Doc.17 (Rev.1), noting they were drafted before the first plenary meeting of IPBES. He proposed, supported by the US, Colombia, Chile, Japan and Brazil, that a drafting group update the draft decisions.

The US raised several concerns, including on a possible MoU between the IPBES Secretariat and the Liaison Group on Biodiversity-related Conventions, stating it was too early to take some decisions. Chile agreed the draft decisions were premature, given IPBES’s recent creation. Committee I Chair Caceres invited the US, Colombia, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, Chile, Japan, India, Brazil and Malaysia to join a drafting group on the issue. The drafting group met several times. On Tuesday, 12 March, Mexico introduced the draft decisions on IPBES (CoP16 Com.I.4).

Committee I agreed to adopt CoP16 Com.I.4 and to repeal Decisions 15.12, 15.13 and 15.14.

Final Outcome: In its decision (CoP16 Com.I.4), the CoP requests the parties to, inter alia, consider promoting actions to reinforce linkages between IPBES and CITES and to strengthen the science-policy interface at the national and international levels, including through the governing body of IPBES.

The CoP directs:

•  the SC to, inter alia, establish a Working Group on IPBES, including the AC and PC Chairs and the Secretariat, to assist its efforts to: ensure a two-way relationship between CITES and IPBES in which CITES is a user or beneficiary of as well as a contributor to IPBES; ensure effective communication between CITES and IPBES; and develop an IPBES work programme; and

•  the Secretariat to, inter alia, explore with other biodiversity-related conventions possible means for facilitating cooperation.

CITES AND LIVELIHOODS: On Wednesday, 6 March, Peru introduced document CoP16 Doc.19 (Rev.1). She provided an overview of the activities of the Working Group on CITES and Livelihoods, the draft resolution and the draft decisions aimed at, inter alia, encouraging parties to carry out voluntary rapid assessments of the impact of implementation of CITES listing decisions on the livelihoods of poor rural communities and on mitigation of negative impacts.

Brazil asked for clarification on access to genetic resources, traditional knowledge and access and benefit-sharing, and also proposed deleting the reference to cultural and intellectual property rights. South Africa agreed to Brazil’s amendment on traditional knowledge. Argentina, supported by Colombia, welcomed the attention to this issue and proposed minor changes to the draft decisions. The US urged completion of the working group and opposed the proposed draft resolution, stating it describes issues addressed by the CBD. The US also opposed most of the draft decisions. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, supported the draft resolution and decisions but noted that CITES species listings are not the only factors that impact livelihoods.

IUCN, supported by El Salvador, requested that a deleted reference to human-wildlife conflict be retained.

Committee II Chair Gabel called for a small drafting group on CITES and Livelihoods. Peru, South Africa, the US, Brazil, Argentina, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Canada, Australia, Mexico and Colombia volunteered to participate in the working group, with Peru chairing.

On Tuesday, 12 March, Peru introduced the document prepared by a drafting group, on the basis of document CoP16 Doc.19 (Rev.1) and Annex 1 with all proposed amendments accepted (CoP16 Com.II.11 (Rev.1)).

The Philippines, Argentina, South Africa, Zimbabwe, TRAFFIC and others supported the document. The US noted concern with some elements of the document and expressed interest in addressing those concerns through participation in the Intersessional Working Group.

The Committee agreed to the amended document.

Final Outcome: In its decision (CoP16 Com.II.11 (Rev.1), the CoP requests:

•  parties to: carry out voluntary rapid assessments of the impact of implementation of CITES listing decisions on the livelihoods of rural communities and to mitigate negative impacts; and develop case studies and facilitate exchange visits between relevant stakeholders from the different ongoing conservation and sustainable use programmes that address issues related to CITES and livelihoods;

•  the SC to continue the operation of its Working Group on CITES and Livelihoods so that it can review comments on the toolkit and guidelines submitted by parties, stakeholders and other interested organizations and make recommendations to the SC; and

•  the Secretariat, inter alia, subject to the availability of external funds, to facilitate the organization of workshops and side-events to showcase successful livelihood experiences and create a section on the CITES website to publish experiences and case studies related to CITES and livelihoods.

WILDLIFE TRADE POLICY REVIEWS: On Wednesday, 6 March, the Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.20, highlighting the “Framework for reviewing wildlife trade policies” contained in Annex 2, and its two draft decisions. She said the Secretariat believes Decision 15.8, on national wildlife trade policy reviews, had been implemented, and recommended its deletion. Uganda described its experience as one of four pilot countries to review its national wildlife trade policies using the proposed framework.

Committee II agreed to the draft decisions in CoP16 Doc.20 Annex 1 and to delete Decision 15.8.

Final Outcome: In its decision (CoP16 Doc.20 Annex 1), the CoP requests the parties to, inter alia, undertake wildlife trade policy reviews on a voluntary basis and to provide the Secretariat with relevant details of their reviews and lessons learned to share with other parties.

CAPACITY BUILDING: On Wednesday, 6 March, the Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.21, highlighting the draft decisions, which, inter alia, encourage parties, donors and partners to support party-driven activities, including through financial and in-kind support.

Many countries welcomed the report and draft decisions, recognizing the importance of capacity building. Bahrain proposed that one of the draft decisions refer specifically to support for new parties and their scientific and management authorities.

Committee II accepted the draft decisions with some amendments. On Wednesday, 13 March, the CoP considered the document. The Bahamas said that the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Index should not be used as the only criteria for determining who receives support.

Final Outcome: In its decision (CoP16 Com. II. 7), the CoP requests:

•  parties to, inter alia, support and provide financial and in-kind resources for capacity-building activities, and use the CITES Virtual College to support capacity-building activities and participate in reviewing the contents of the CITES Virtual College; and

•  the Secretariat to, subject to the availability of external funds, undertake a review of capacity-building activities found in resolutions and decisions to assess whether and how they could be rationalized and consolidated.

PROPOSAL CONCERNING A NEEDS ASSESSMENT FOR STRENGTHENING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CITES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: On Wednesday, 6 March, Ghana introduced the document concerning a needs assessment to strengthen CITES implementation in developing countries (CoP16 Doc.22 (Rev.1)). Sierra Leone and Ghana said the Secretariat’s recommendation limited the scope of the proposed needs assessment. The US, supported by Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, asked the document’s proponents and the Secretariat to refine their text together. The Chair requested this be done and discussed in a future session.

CAPACITY-BUILDING PROGRAMME FOR SCIENCE-BASED ESTABLISHMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF VOLUNTARY NATIONAL EXPORT QUOTAS FOR APPENDIX-II SPECIES – REPORT OF THE ANIMALS AND PLANTS COMMITTEES: AC Chair Solana introduced document CoP16 Doc.23 and highlighted the activities of the Intersessional Working Group on Capacity Building, mandated by PC19 and AC25 to provide suggestions for improving the Secretariat’s capacity-building materials related to non-detriment findings (NDFs). He introduced a draft decision directing the Secretariat to, among other things, invite parties to submit experiences related to NDFs for inclusion on the CITES website. He introduced a proposed amendment to Resolution Conf.11.1 (Rev.CoP15) making the provision of scientific advice on training materials used in capacity building a regular part of the Committees’ work. He also introduced amendments to Decisions 12.91 and 15.24.

Committee II accepted the draft decision and the proposed amendments.

On Tuesday, 12 March, Ghana introduced document CoP16 Com.II.10 following discussion of CoP16 Doc.22. Ghana proposed expanding the document’s scope to include developed countries. The US proposed expanding the document’s scope to all parties. Committee II accepted the document with the proposed changes.

Final Outcome: In its decision (CoP16 Com.II.10), the CoP directs:

•  the Secretariat to; circulate a questionnaire on the needs identified in the annex to CoP16 Doc.22; seek input from all parties in the African region; revise the questionnaire; and report its findings at SC65;

•  the SC to develop a mechanism by which the technological, logistical and equipment needs of developing countries to implement the Convention can be assessed regularly and prepare a draft decision on such a mechanism for consideration at CoP17; and

•  parties to consider these needs when implementing capacity building, fundraising and budget allocation programmes to strengthen the implementation of the Convention.

WORLD WILDLIFE DAY: On Sunday, 3 March, the Secretariat introduced the proposal by Thailand for World Wildlife Day (CoP16 Doc.24 (Rev.1)). The recommendation declares 3 March, the date of the adoption of CITES, of each year as World Wildlife Day and invites the UN General Assembly to consider declaring 3 March of each year as World Wildlife Day. Japan, Egypt, Guinea, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, China, India, Venezuela, Peru and the US supported it.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted document CoP16 Doc.24 (Rev.1).

COOPERATION BETWEEN PARTIES AND PROMOTION OF MULTILATERAL MEASURES: On Tuesday, 5 March, South Africa introduced document CoP16 Doc.18 (Rev.1), highlighting the activities of the Working Group on Multilateral Measures. She said that the SC agreed it would be useful for the Secretariat to initiate a portal or web-based system for parties to provide information on their stricter domestic measures on a voluntary basis. She also noted the draft decisions, including the request that the Secretariat commission a consultant report to assess whether all parties to the CoP implement resolutions consistently and whether there is a need to clarify, revise or repeal them.

India pointed out that strict domestic measures may not always be implemented solely to fulfill CITES obligations. While supporting the establishment of a database, he objected to having a foreign consultant review and assess domestic legislation based on the current terms of reference (ToR). The US proposed changes to the ToR. The Committee agreed to the draft decision taking into consideration, among other things, the comments of the US.

Final Outcome: The decision (CoP16 Doc.18 (Rev.1) Annex 1) directs:

•  parties with stricter domestic measures and reservations to, inter alia, review these domestic measures, and, as and when appropriate, to determine whether they are effective and necessary to achieve the objectives of the Convention; and

•  the SC to, inter alia, continue its Working Group on Multilateral Measures until CoP17.

COOPERATION WITH ORGANIZATIONS AND MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS: On Sunday, 3 March, the Secretariat proposed a minor change to the agenda, wherein item 13 on cooperation with organizations and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) be discussed together with item 14 on the draft resolution and decisions on the cooperation of CITES with other biodiversity-related conventions, to which parties agreed.

On Tuesday, 5 March, the Secretariat introduced the relevant document on MEAs (CoP16 Doc.13) and suggested that cooperation efforts undertaken to implement Goal 3 of the CITES Strategic Vision on cooperation fell into several clusters. He cited, in particular, cooperation with: FAO on the conservation and sustainable use of sharks; the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) on trade in tropical timber; the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) on saker falcon, elephants, saiga antelope and sharks; and the CBD on integrating CITES priorities into National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans.

Switzerland then introduced document CoP16 Doc.14 (Rev.1) and its relevant draft resolution and decisions on the cooperation of CITES with other biodiversity-related Conventions.

CMS welcomed the report of the Secretariat. She noted that at CMS CoP10 in 2011, saker falcon and argali sheep, two species relevant to CITES, were listed on the CMS appendices. She highlighted the meeting held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in December 2012 on developing an argali action plan, noting that the argali sheep is relevant to CITES because of trophy hunting of the species.

Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, expressed support for the proposal by Switzerland and provided minor comments to ensure coherence in national-level implementation. The US expressed concern with the amount of time invested in collaborative efforts and proposed reviewing and rationalizing existing resolutions on cooperation. She opposed the draft decision in CoP16 Doc.13.

Following this discussion and the resulting amendments, the Committee agreed to discuss both CoP16 Doc.13 and CoP16 Doc.14 (Rev.1) as one document.

Final Outcome: In its decision (CoP16 Com.II.5), the CoP adopted the draft resolution and decision. The decision directs the SC to, inter alia, explore further options to strengthen cooperation, collaboration and synergies between CITES and other biodiversity-related conventions.

REVIEW OF RESOLUTIONS

PROPOSALS OF THE SECRETARIAT: On Tuesday, 5 March, the Secretariat introduced proposed amendments to resolutions in document CoP16 Doc.25 Annexes 1-11. On Resolution Conf.9.6 (Rev.) on trade in readily recognizable parts and derivatives in Annex 3, Committee II agreed to the exemption of ambergris from sperm whale urine and faeces with amended language proposed by the EU. On Resolution Conf.12.3 (Rev.CoP15) on permits and certificates contained in Annex 8, the Secretariat deleted its definition of “state of usual residence” for issuing hunting trophy permits after many parties entered their reservations and noted that either the proposed definition was in conflict with national laws or that the resolution was not the place to define it.

On Wednesday, 6 March, the Committee accepted draft amendments to Resolution Conf.9.5 (Rev.CoP15) on trade with states not party to the Convention in Annex 2 (CoP16 Com.II.1) and to Resolution Conf.13.6 concerning “pre-convention” specimens (CoP16 Com.II.3), while discussions on permits and certificates (CoP16 Com.II.2) were suspended.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the document, with revisions in CoP16 Com.II.1 and CoP16 Com.II.3, calling on, inter alia, parties to take stricter measures, where appropriate, regarding trade in Appendix-II or -III species.

CLIMATE CHANGE: On Monday, 4 March, the US, on behalf of the SC, introduced the document on review of resolutions related to climate change (CoP16 Doc.27 (Rev.1)) in Committee I.

Final Outcome: The CoP took note of the document and recognized this repealed the three CoP15 decisions on climate change.

COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT

NATIONAL LAWS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.28. Numerous parties updated the Committee on the status of implementing CITES-relevant national legislation, and requested financial or technical assistance. The US proposed textual amendments to exclude parties who have been party to the Convention for more than twenty years from claiming that exceptional circumstances prevented them from adopting appropriate implementation measures. The Chair proposed forming a drafting group to work on these amendments.

On Wednesday, 13 March, the US introduced the revised document (CoP16 Doc.28), which the Committee accepted with minor amendments from the US and Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the document (CoP16 Doc.28), including decisions in Annex 1 directing, inter alia:

•  parties who have been party to the Convention for less than 20 years to advise the Secretariat should exceptional circumstances prevent them from adopting appropriate measures for effective implementation of the Convention;

•  the SC not to recommend trade suspension where a party has submitted its final draft or legislative timetable by the SC66 deadline; and

•  the Secretariat to report on progress made on Resolution Conf.8.4 (Rev.CoP15), on compliance and enforcement.

ENFORCEMENT MATTERS: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.29 (Rev.1) and its draft decisions. He proposed amending Resolution Conf.11.3 (Rev.CoP15), as contained in CoP16 Doc.29 (Rev.1) Annexes 1 and 2, to reflect current practice on compliance and enforcement. The US proposed that the timeline for responding to a Secretariat’s request be reduced to six months in the application of Article XIII on CITES compliance procedures. The IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group welcomed the attention to illegal trade in pangolins, with Lewis and Clark College proposing language to address the scale of the trade.

The Committee noted the report and accepted the proposed amendments to the resolution and draft decisions.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the document (CoP16 Doc.29 (Rev.1)), with the amendments to the draft resolution and decisions.

NATIONAL REPORTS: On Monday, 11 March, the Secretariat and the UK, as Chair of the SC Working Group on Special Reporting Requirements, introduced the document on national reports (CoP16 Doc.30 (Rev.1)), which contained, inter alia, details on harmonization of reporting and reduction of the reporting burden (Decision 14.38). The Committee accepted the document with an amendment and a few minor deletions.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the document (CoP16 Doc.30 (Rev.1)) and the decisions in the annexesincluding one recommending that parties use the Annual Report Upload Facility developed by UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) to reduce their reporting burden.

DISPOSAL OF ILLEGALLY-TRADED AND CONFISCATED SPECIMENS OF APPENDIX-I, -II AND -III SPECIES: On Monday, 11 March, Indonesia introduced document CoP16 Doc.31 (Rev.2) and the draft decision contained in its annex. Parties expressed divergent views, with Indonesia stating that the main purpose of its proposal was to improve communication between importing and exporting countries when a specimen is confiscated, while others pointed to the potential negative impacts on law enforcement and conservation. On Tuesday, 12 March, Indonesia presented the draft decision (CoP16 Com.II.21) prepared by a drafting group. The Committee accepted the document.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the document with decisions directing the SC to review Resolutions Conf.9.9, Conf.9.10 and Conf.10.7 (Rev.CoP15) to determine whether to consolidate or simplify any of their provisions, and report its conclusions and recommendations to CoP17.

TRADE CONTROL AND MARKING

INTRODUCTION FROM THE SEA: On Thursday, 7 March, the Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.32 (Rev.1). Australia highlighted that the proposed revisions provide clarity on the role of flag and port states in the introduction from the sea process. Many states welcomed the proposed revisions and draft decisions, including the amendments on the draft decisions set forth in a revised proposal (CoP16 Inf.48), circulated by Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia. China noted that their views are not reflected in the document. China and India opposed adopting the results of the working group. Argentina and others also objected to the text.

To address the lack of consensus, Chair Gabel called for a vote to adopt the revised resolutions, including the text in brackets, and the draft decisions as amended by the EU proposal. The vote carried, with 56 in favor, 15 opposed and 14 abstaining.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft resolution and decisions on chartering, asking the Secretariat to prepare a report to SC65 and SC66 in which to, inter alia, pay special attention to the implementation of the provisions of the resolution on introduction from the sea pertaining to the legality of the acquisition and landing of the specimens concerned.

NON-DETRIMENT FINDINGS: On Wednesday, 6 March, Committee I Chair Caceres introduced draft decisions on NDFs from agarwood-producing taxa and other timber species, as contained in CoP16 Doc.33 (Rev.1). Kuwait proposed withdrawing the two draft decisions, noting the same language is included in the draft decision in the annex on NDF. The Committee agreed to not adopt the draft decisions, and established a working group.

On Friday, 8 March, South Africa introduced the revised document (CoP16 Com.I.3) on behalf of the working group and emphasized extensive consultation on the original document, including by the AC and PC. China requested deleting reference to considering illegal trade and replacing “national and international” with “range states” in text on considering population structure, status and trends. The US, supported by South Africa, the UK, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, and the PC Chair, opposed these changes. The Committee agreed to adopt CoP16 Com.I.3 with a minor amendment proposed by Mexico.

Final Outcome: In its decision (CoP15 Com.I.3), the CoP recommends, inter alia, that scientific authorities consider the volume of legal and illegal trade relative to the vulnerability of the species when conducting NDFs.

ELECTRONIC PERMITTING: On Wednesday, 6 March, the Secretariat introduced the document on electronic permitting (CoP16 Doc.34) and encouraged parties to adopt the draft decision, which inter alia: encouraged collaboration with the UNEP-WCMC, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and others to standardize e-permitting. The Committee accepted both the draft decision and the deletion of Decisions 15.54 and 15.55.

Final Outcome: The decision (CoP16 Com.II.9) calls on the SC to extend the mandate of its Working Group on Information Technologies and Electronic Systems.

IMPROVING THE EFFICIENCY OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ON PERMIT AND CERTIFICATE VERIFICATION: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee II, China introduced the document on improving the efficiency of international cooperation on permit and certificate verification (CoP16 Doc.35 (Rev.1)). Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, Australia, the US, China and South Africa volunteered to participate in a working group to amend Resolution Conf.12.3 on permits and certificates, instead of considering the proposed new draft resolution.

On Tuesday, 12 March, China presented the working group’s draft amendment (CoP16 Com.II.20) to Resolution Conf.12.3 (Rev.CoP15). The Committee accepted the proposal with a minor modification.

Final Outcome: The amendment to the resolution (CoP16 Com.II.20) calls on an exporting or re-exporting party, upon receiving a request from an importing party to verify the authenticity and validity of a CITES permit or certificate, to make every effort to respond to that request within 15 days of receiving the request.

PURPOSE CODES ON CITES PERMITS AND CERTIFICATES: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee II, Canada introduced document CoP16 Doc.38 (Rev.1), which contains proposed revisions to Resolution Conf.12.3 (Rev.CoP15) on permits and certificates. The majority of parties supported retaining Decision 14.54, which requests the SC to re-establish an intersessional working group to review the use of purpose-of-transaction codes. Committee II accepted the retention of Decision 14.54 with its dates amended.

On Tuesday, 12 March, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, introduced the draft amendment (CoP16 Com.II.2) to CoP Resolution Conf.12.3 (Rev.CoP15) on permits and certificates based on CoP16 Doc.38 (Rev.1). He noted there was no consensus on the document but stated that no changes would be put forward at this stage. The Committee accepted it.

Final Outcome: The amendment to the resolution (CoP16 Com.II.2) concerns the standardization of CITES permits and certificates, recommending that when a management authority issues any export permit or re-export certificate for manufactured products that contains parts or derivatives of more than one CITES-listed species, it should, inter alia, ensure that each type of manufactured product being traded is covered by only one permit or certificate and list on the permit or certificate all the CITES-listed species from which parts or derivatives are included in the manufactured products.

TRANSPORT OF LIVE SPECIMENS: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee II, Austria introduced document CoP16 Doc.39 (Rev.1), highlighting proposed amendments to Resolution Conf.10.21 (Rev.CoP14) on transport of live specimens. The Committee adopted the document with some textual changes proposed by Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia.     

Final Outcome: The resolution (CoP16 Com.II.12) calls on parties to promote the use of International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animals Regulations, among others.

CROSS-BORDER MOVEMENT OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee II, the US introduced document CoP16 Doc.40 (Rev.1), addressing challenges faced by musicians and institutions traveling with musical instruments containing CITES-listed species. The Committee established a working group joined by Canada, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, China, South Africa and Indonesia.

On Wednesday, 13 March, the US introduced the amendment to Resolution Conf.12.3 (Rev.CoP15) on the basis of document CoP16 Doc.40 (Rev.1). Australia objected to requiring border officials to sign the instruments’ certificates, citing implementation challenges. Committee II accepted the document, noting Australia’s comments.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft resolution on frequent cross-border non-commercial movements of musical instruments and draft amendment to Resolution Conf.12.3 (Rev.CoP15) on permits and certificates (CoP16 Com.II.25), establishing musical instrument “passports.”

USE OF TAXONOMIC SERIAL NUMBERS: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee II, Canada introduced document CoP16 Doc.41 (Rev.1), highlighting CoP15 decisions for the CoP to adapt. The US objected to the draft decision directing the Secretariat to compile information on the usefulness of incorporating taxonomic serial numbers in their domestic data. The Committee agreed to the document with the US amendment.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft decisions (CoP16 Com.II.14), asking parties to consider the usefulness of incorporating taxonomic serial numbers in their domestic data management.

PHYSICAL INSPECTION OF TIMBER SHIPMENTS: On Wednesday, 6 March, the US introduced document CoP16 Doc.42 (Rev.1) in Committee II and the proposed decision directed the Secretariat to obtain information from parties that have developed procedures for identification and measurement of CITES-listed tree species. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, supported the draft decision. The Committee accepted the draft decision with the deletion of Decision 14.61 (Rev.CoP15).

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft decision (CoP16 Doc.42 (Rev.1).

STANDARD NOMENCLATURE AND STANDARD NOMENCLATURE FOR HIPPOCAMPUS SPECIES: On Monday, 4 March, in Committee I, Ute Grimm, AC Nomenclature Specialist (Germany), and Noel McGough, PC Nomenclature Specialist (UK), introduced document CoP16 Doc.43.1 (Rev.1) and its annexes. Committee I agreed to the list of standard references.

Switzerland introduced a document on standard nomenclature for Hippocampus species (CoP16 Doc.43.2 (Rev.1)). Committee I agreed to the resolution and took note of Australia’s request to consider eight additional Hippocampus species.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the resolution (CoP16 Com.I.8).

IDENTIFICATION MANUAL: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee II, the Reports of the Secretariat (CoP16 Doc.44.1) and the PC were introduced (CoP16 Doc.44.2 (Rev.1)). On Tuesday, 12 March, the Secretariat introduced the draft revisions to the resolution (CoP16 Com.II.15) and the PC introduced the draft decision (CoP16 Com.II.16). Committee II accepted both documents.

Final Outcome: The resolution (CoP16 Com.II.15) directs the Secretariat to prepare texts on the identification of animal and plant species for inclusion in the Identification Manual. The draft decision (CoP16 Com.II.16) directs the Secretariat to issue a notification to parties within six months of the close of CoP16 requesting information on available identification and guidance materials.

E-COMMERCE OF SPECIMENS OF CITES-LISTED SPECIES: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced the document (CoP16 Doc.45) and reported on the development of a CITES website portal on the e-commerce of CITES-listed species. The US proposed a recommendation that asks the SC, in collaboration with the Secretariat, to liaise with the WCO on including CITES-listed species in the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System. Committee II accepted the deletion of Decision 15.58 and accepted the recommendation proposed by the US.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft decision, which the US said they would provide the text of the recommendation to the Secretariat in writing.

EXEMPTIONS AND SPECIAL TRADE PROVISIONS

PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS: This item was discussed on Friday, 8 March, and Tuesday, 12, March and in a drafting group including Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, South Africa, Canada, the US and China, as Chair of the SC Working Group on Personal and Household Effects.

 On Friday, China introduced document CoP16 Doc.46 (Rev.1) continuing proposed amendments to Resolution Conf.13.7 (Rev.CoP14), as well as a set of guidelines for interpretation of personal and household effects. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, supported by Kenya and Israel, proposed an additional amendment to Resolution Conf.13.7 (Rev.CoP14) to exclude all hunting trophies from exemptions for personal and household effects. South Africa, supported by Canada, Mexico, Namibia and Botswana, proposed excluding only rhino and elephant hunting trophies. Safari Club International said widening the scope of exclusion would go against the consensus of the Working Group on Personal and Household Effects.

On Tuesday, 12 March, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, presented the drafting group’s proposed amendment to CoP16 Doc.46 (Rev.1), which added text to specify that the export of rhino horn and elephant ivory do not qualify for the personal and household effects exemption. Committee II accepted the draft amendment with a modification.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft resolution as amended.

PROPOSED REVISION OF RESOLUTION CONF. 13.7 (REV. COP14) ON CONTROL OF TRADE IN PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Kuwait requested an amendment to CoP16 Doc.47 (Rev.1) to exempt species of agarwood products and quantities of personal and household effects. Qatar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Oman supported the amendment. Committee I agreed to adopt the proposed revision of Resolution Conf.13.7 (Rev.CoP14).

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the revised resolution.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION RELATING TO CAPTIVE-BRED AND RANCHED SPECIMENS: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.48 (Rev.1), highlighting that the issue was raised in the SC because a number of parties issue permits for specimens declared as captive-bred or ranched without confirming these declarations.

Indonesia proposed adding a paragraph in the first draft decision calling for the development of socio-economic feasibility studies. Committee II accepted the draft decisions with minor revisions.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft decisions.

SPECIES TRADE AND CONSERVATION

GREAT APES: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.49 and the draft revision of Resolution Conf.13.4 on conservation of and trade in great apes (CoP16 Doc.49 Annex 1). TRAFFIC underscored the scale and severity of illegal international trade in great apes, driven by demand in Asia. China stated that they followed CITES regulations when importing great apes.

Committee II noted the document and accepted the proposed revisions to Resolution Conf.13.4 (CoP16 Doc.49 Annex 1). The Committee also noted the recommendations (CoP16 Doc.49 Annex 2). The Committee convened a drafting group joined by Uganda, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, TRAFFIC and UNEP to continue work on the draft decisions

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft decision (CoP16 Com.II.13), directing the SC, Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), CMS, FAO, the AC and others to review the resolution with a view to establishing an illegal trade reporting mechanism.

ASIAN BIG CATS: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.50 (Rev.1), highlighting a “relatively poor” response rate on reporting in compliance with Decisions 15.46 and 15.47 on Asian big cats. He also noted the activities of the Global Tiger Initiative, Project Predator and the guide for enforcement officers prepared by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

The discussion was suspended to allow parties time to review the document, in light of new comments from the Secretariat. The US, India, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, China and Malaysia offered to confer with the Secretariat to review those revisions.

On Wednesday, 13 March, the Secretariat introduced three draft decisions (CoP16 Com.II.30), prepared by a working group, which direct parties, the SC and the Secretariat to, inter alia, report on and review the conservation of and trade in Appendix-I Asian big cat species. India supported the draft decisions with a minor amendment. The US, supported by Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, urged reporting to SC65. Indonesia, supported by China and Thailand, preferred deferring reporting to CoP17. Committee II voted to keep the text requiring reporting to SC65, with 64 in favor, 20 against and 28 abstentions. Committee II agreed to the draft decisions with a minor amendment.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the decisions (CoP16 Com.II.30), with a minor amendment, directing parties to report on the implementation of Resolution Conf.12.5 (Rev.CoP16), at SC65. They also direct the Secretariat to:

•  arrange national seminars in Appendix-I Asian big cat range states;

•  develop a leaflet to increase awareness of illegal trade in Asian big cats;

•  in consultation with Appendix-I Asian big cat range and consumer states, conduct a review of implementation of Resolution Conf.12.5 (Rev.CoP15) on the conservation of and trade in tigers and other Appendix-I Asian big cat species and prepare a report providing its findings and recommendations to the SC65; and

•  gather information on incidents of poaching of and illegal trade in all Asian big cats since the beginning of 2010.

ILLEGAL TRADE IN CHEETAHS: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee II, Ethiopia introduced document CoP16 Doc.51 (Rev.1), highlighting that Somalia, in particular, has been reported as a commonly used transit route for the illegal trafficking of cheetahs. Committee II accepted the document and draft decisions with the Secretariat’s amendments.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft decisions (CoP16 Doc.51 (Rev.1)), directing, inter alia, the Secretariat to commission an independent study on the impact of illegal trade in cheetah on the species’ conservation in the wild.

LEOPARD QUOTAS: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee II, South Africa introduced the document (CoP16 Doc.52 (Rev.1)) and the proposed revisions and draft decisions to Resolution Conf.10.14 (Rev.CoP14) on quotas for leopard hunting trophies and skins for personal use.

Conservation Force suggested that the proposed changes to tag and quota information on export permits for leopard skins should also apply to elephant and crocodile trophies, and, supported by Tanzania, proposed establishing an intersessional working group. India, Namibia and Tanzania supported the proposed revisions and draft decisions. Committee II accepted the document with comments from the Secretariat. It also requested Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, Conservation Force and other interested parties to draft a decision directing the SC to monitor progress and implementation.

Final Outcome: The CoP accepted the draft decision (CoP16 Com.II.33), directing parties to report to SC66 on the implementation of the system set forth in the resolution on quotas for leopard hunting trophies.

RHINOCEROSES: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee II, the UK presented the report of the Working Group on Rhinoceroses (CoP16 Doc.54.1 (Rev.1)). The Secretariat introduced its report (CoP16 Doc.54.2 (Rev.1)) explaining, inter alia: the work of CITES Ivory and Rhinoceros Enforcement Task Force; the use of DNA forensics in cases of illegal trade; and guidelines for international exchange of CITES specimens to be used as evidence in court.

IUCN and TRAFFIC introduced their reports (CoP16 Inf.51 and CoP16 Inf.Doc.38), highlighting the need for stronger penalties. Viet Nam, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Kenya affirmed they were amending their current legislation to apply stricter penalties. A working group was established.

On Tuesday, 12 March, the UK introduced the draft decisions (CoP16 Com.II.24) prepared by the working group and highlighted a large degree of consensus. Several amendments were proposed. Uganda and Tanzania proposed referring to rhino “specimens” instead of “horns” when discussing illegal seizures. Swaziland proposed adding reference to rhino “possession” in addition to illegal trade. Viet Nam asked for a review of the term “hunting trophy.” Committee II agreed to the document with amendments.

Final Outcome: The draft decisions (CoP16 Com.II.24) call on parties to immediately bring every seizure of illegal rhinoceros specimens made within their territories to the attention of authorities in countries of origin, transit and destination. They also call on Viet Nam to:

•  make progress with the development and implementation of the South Africa-Vietnam 2012-2017 Joint Action Plan to improve investigations and prosecutions of Vietnamese nationals suspected of illegally trading or possessing rhino horn;

•  develop legislation on the domestic management of imported hunting trophies; and

•  establish a secure registration database to track legal rhino horn trophies.

CoP16 Com II.24 also contains draft decisions directed to:

•  Mozambique and South Africa to, inter alia, enhance bilateral cooperation to combat illegal killing of rhinoceroses and illegal trade in rhinoceros horn;

•  the Secretariat to, inter alia, convene a CITES Rhinoceros Enforcement Task Force to develop strategies to improve international cooperation; develop a manual on best practices, protocols and operational procedures to promote the use of wildlife forensic technology; and undertake a technical mission to Lao PDR to assess current enforcement activities;

•  the Working Group on Rhinoceroses to, inter alia: report on its activities to SC66; and

•  the SC to, inter alia, extend the mandate of the Working Group and consider its reports and recommendations at SC65 and SC66.

ELEPHANTS: Decision-making mechanism for a process of trade in ivory and proposal to amend Decision 14.77 on a decision-making mechanism for a future trade in elephant ivory: The Secretariat introduced the document on a decision-making mechanism (DMM) for a process of trade in ivory (CoP16 Doc.36 (Rev.1)). Burkina Faso introduced CoP16 Doc.37 (Rev.1) on amending Decision 14.77 on a DMM for a future trade in elephant ivory. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and EIA expressed concern that the DMM distracts from law enforcement and demand reduction. South Africa and Botswana expressed disappointment in delaying its implementation.

The Chair asked the proponents of the two resolutions to find compromise text.

On Tuesday, 12 March, the Secretariat introduced CoP16 Com.II.18, which contained harmonized documents. The Secretariat noted the concern expressed by Kenya that deleting reference to “authorizing” a process of ivory trade would change the meaning of the text.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the revised decision (CoP16 Com.II.18), which, inter alia:

•  postpones a decision on the DMM to CoP17;

•  requests the SC to develop a DMM in consultation with all African and Asian elephant range states; and

•  defines the DMM as a mechanism that: clarifies the basis for the CoP to make a decision on whether to authorize commercial international trade in ivory; specifies criteria needed for such trade; explains the organization and management of any future trade; and determines the roles of CITES bodies in monitoring and evaluating compliance.

Draft revision of Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP15) on trade in elephant specimens: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.26 (Rev.1). Mozambique called for delinking the trade in raw ivory from the African Elephant Action Plan (AEAP) and proposed the establishment of a drafting group to amend the wording.

On Tuesday, 12 March, the US presented the recommendations of the drafting group (CoP16 Com.II.26) revising the resolution on trade in elephant specimens. The Committee accepted the revisions.

Final Outcome: The revised resolution on trade in elephant specimens (CoP16 Com.II.26) contains sections on: definitions; marking; trade in elephant specimens; trade in raw ivory for commercial purposes; quotas for trade in raw ivory as part of elephant hunting trophies; traceability of elephant specimens in trade; Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) and trade in elephant specimens; improving elephant conservation and management in range states; and resources required to implement the resolution.

Among other things, the CoP: agrees on a definition for raw ivory; urges, among others, parties in whose jurisdiction there is an ivory carving industry, a legal domestic trade in ivory, and unregulated market for or illegal trade in ivory or where ivory stockpiles exist, to, among other things, regulate the domestic trade in raw and worked ivory; and agrees to continue and expand MIKE and Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) systems with objectives including to build capacity in elephant range states and, as applicable, countries involved in trade in elephant specimens, to implement and make use of MIKE and ETIS in managing elephants and enhancing enforcement.

Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants, monitoring of illegal trade in ivory and other elephant specimens and Elephant Trade Information System report of TRAFFIC: On Thursday, 7 March, the CITES Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.53.1 and the addendum on MIKE. The IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group provided a report highlighting decline in data quality, habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict. The Secretariat noted increased trends in illegal killing of elephants and emphasized correlations between higher levels of poaching, poor enforcement, corruption and demand. Kenya welcomed the reference to the correlation between illegal killing and demand, while China said the primary responsibility for preventing poaching lies with the African range states. International Ranger Federation highlighted the loss of human lives in implementing CITES decisions on elephants.

The Secretariat also introduced the document on monitoring of illegal trade in ivory and other elephant specimens (CoP16 Doc.53.2.1), noting the amount of seized ivory has escalated since CoP15 and is at its highest level in the 16-year period examined by ETIS. TRAFFIC presented the ETIS report (CoP16 Doc.53.2.2 (Rev.1)), which pointed to, inter alia, Thailand, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and China as “priorities of greatest concern” with regard to illegal ivory trade. The Committee noted the MIKE report and ETIS report of TRAFFIC, and proposed a working group to revise the draft decisions on monitoring illegal trade in ivory.

On Tuesday, 12 March, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, introduced the draft decision on monitoring of illegal trade in ivory, prepared in the drafting group (CoP16 Com.II.22). The Committee accepted the decisions.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft decision (CoP16 Com.II.22), which calls for, inter alia, lowering of the weight of ivory seizure requiring forensic analysis to 500kg and remittance of samples of seized ivory within 90 days.

Proposed new resolution concerning the AEAP and African Elephant Fund: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee II, Nigeria proposed a new resolution concerning the AEAP and African Elephant Fund (AEF) (CoP16 Doc.53.3 (Rev. 2)). The Secretariat stated it would have difficulty fulfilling the requests due to lack of capacity.

On Tuesday, 12 March, Nigeria introduced document CoP16 Com.II.17, prepared in consultation with the Secretariat, on the basis of document CoP16 Doc.53.3 (Rev.2) Annex 1. The Committee accepted the amended resolution.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft resolution (CoP16 Com.II.17), which directs, inter alia, the CITES Secretariat and UNEP to promote fundraising for the implementation of the AEAP as part of their overall fundraising initiatives.

TIBETAN ANTELOPE: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee II, the Secretariat presented document CoP16 Doc.55, noting the SC had: reviewed measures taken by parties to eliminate illegal trade in Tibetan antelope products, as directed by Resolution Conf.11.8 (Rev.CoP13); concluded poaching was reduced from previous levels; and recommended deleting the reporting requirement from the resolution. He stated that since this document was prepared several large seizures of products made from Tibetan antelope wool (shahtoosh) had been reported, indicating “significant” illegal trade, and so the Secretariat and SC had withdrawn their recommendation. China proposed two new draft decisions, which the Committee accepted.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted two decisions (CoP16 Com. II. 29) calling on:

•  parties to bring seizures of illegal Tibetan antelope wool and its products to the attention of the Secretariat, as well as to report progress on follow-up investigations; and

•  the Secretariat to report information about seizures and investigations to SC65.

SAIGA ANTELOPE: On Tuesday, 5 March, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.56, highlighting collaboration on saiga antelope with CMS. He underscored that none of the range states had submitted reports or implemented CoP15 decisions and outlined the threats faced by the species, including the ongoing construction of a border fence between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The Russian Federation suggested listing saiga antelope under CITES Appendix I, noting that a draft proposal is in preparation. China questioned whether such a listing is warranted. The US expressed concern about the lack of reporting. The Committee agreed to the proposed decisions.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted decisions (CoP16 Doc.56 Annex) calling on, inter alia:

•  range states to implement the measures contained in the Medium-Term International Work Programme for the Saiga Antelope (2011-2015), developed in support of the CMS MoU concerning the saiga antelope; and

•  consumer and trading countries of saiga parts and derivatives to contribute financially towards saiga antelope conservation and reduce consumption in its products and derivatives.

SNAKE TRADE AND CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT: On Tuesday, 5 March, in Committee I, Switzerland introduced document CoP16 Doc.57 (Rev.1) and the draft decisions on: a study of production systems for Asian snakes listed in Appendix II; guidance for conducting NDFs; methods for differentiating wild from captive species; a traceability system; capacity building and training; and collaboration on enforcement. Indonesia suggested amendments. The AC Chair noted a draft decision in CoP16 Doc.10.2.1 (Rev.1) on the final IUCN red list assessments for Asian snakes, which the AC recommended the CoP adopt. The Committee agreed. Indonesia agreed to consult on the text.

On Friday, 8 March, Committee I addressed amended text on Asian snakes (CoP16 Com.I.2). Switzerland, on behalf of Indonesia, noted amendments related to, inter alia, guidance on NDFs and management systems for wild populations. Committee I agreed to the revised draft decisions with additional amendments on NDFs and quotas from China and Japan, and repealed Decisions 15.75-15.78.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted draft decisions (CoP16 Com.I.2) calling on:

•  the Secretariat to, inter alia, develop guidance to assist parties in monitoring and controlling captive-breeding operations and in the NDFs; and

•  parties to eliminate illegal and unreported trade in specimens, whether live or parts and derivatives, of CITES-listed snake species through, inter alia, ensuring that CITES permits and certificates are properly issued.

TORTOISES AND FRESHWATER TURTLES: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee II, the US introduced the report of the SC (CoP16 Doc.58.1 (Rev.1)). The AC Chair introduced the report of the AC (CoP16 Doc.58.2 (Rev.1) and noted several recommendations, including to communicate the result of a study on NDFs to the SC. Committee II Chair Gabel proposed reconciling the two reports.

On Tuesday, 12 March, the US introduced document CoP16 Com.II.23, prepared by the Working Group on tortoises and freshwater turtles.

On Wednesday, 13 March, in plenary, Indonesia asked that reference to the Asian region in the SC’s report be deleted, and requested to re-open debate, seconded by Malaysia. The US opposed and the CoP voted to re-open debate. With 24 for, 86 against and 21 abstaining, the Indonesian proposal did not carry, and debate remained closed. The CoP adopted the recommendations of the Committee.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted decisions (CoP15 Com.I.16) calling on, inter alia:

•  the Secretariat to seek funding to establish and convene a CITES Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles Task Force, to exchange intelligence and develop strategies to combat illegal trade; and

•  parties to increase enforcement activities to deter, detect and • address illegal and undocumented trade in CITES-listed live tortoises and freshwater turtles.

HAWKSBILL TURTLE: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee II, the Secretariat introduced document CoP16 Doc.59 (Rev.1), noting a draft decision concerning the implementation of recommendations arising from a 2009 regional workshop on the hawksbill turtle in the wider Caribbean and western Atlantic region. Committee II agreed to the document.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft decision (CoP16 Doc.59 (Rev.1)) directing the Secretariat to: collaborate with the Secretariat of the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles; encourage implementation of outstanding recommendations arising from the 2009 regional workshop on the hawksbill turtle in the wider Caribbean and western Atlantic region, taking into account the findings of the status update, as necessary, which shall be completed by 2014; and report on implementation of the decision at CoP17.

STURGEONS AND PADDLEFISH: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee II, the AC Chair introduced the report of the AC (CoP16 Doc.60.1 (Rev.1)), and explained the background of Resolution Conf.12.7 (Rev.CoP14) on conservation of and trade in sturgeons and paddlefish. Various parties expressed concern about the Secretariat’s expansion of the definition of “mixed species” in the labeling of high-quality caviar. With wide support for the Secretariat to provide an overview of molecular, DNA-based and other forensic methods that could assist in identifying the species in trade, the Committee agreed to delete the new definition of mixed species and accept the document.

The Secretariat introduced its report (CoP16 Doc.60.2 (Rev.1)), stressing that the shift to aquaculture and captive breeding of sturgeons has reduced the need for establishing complex harvest and export quotas for specimens of wild origin. The US stated there was no evidence that shared stocks have recovered and asked the Secretariat to reinstate the deleted procedures. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, supported reference to SC61 Doc.48.2 with regard to range states’ monitoring and evaluation of stocks, while Ukraine and Iran, on behalf of Azerbaijan, opposed this reference, preferring instead the informal working group on sturgeons and paddlefish’s version in CoP16 Inf.Doc.53. The Committee suspended debate until parties had reviewed CoP16 Inf.Doc.53 and the Secretariat’s report.

On Tuesday, 12 March, the Russian Federation introduced CoP16 Inf.Doc.53 and highlighted the differences between its proposed revisions to Resolution Conf.12.7 (Rev.CoP14) and those proposed by the Secretariat. Ukraine, Japan and Iran supported the revisions proposed in CoP16 Inf.53, including deletion of reference to SC61 Doc.48.2. The US and Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, opposed the proposed amendments, favoring the Secretariat’s version.

The Committee voted to retain reference to SC61 Doc.48.2 in CoP16 Inf.Doc.53, with 51 in favor, 8 against and 27 abstaining. The Committee voted to accept the revisions proposed by the Secretariat on page five of Inf.Doc.53, with 51 in favor, 14 against and 30 abstaining. The Russian Federation stated she could not accept the outcome and lodged a complaint in accordance with Rule 29 of the Rules of Procedure. The Committee voted on CoP16 Inf.53 with the two controversial aspects of the text as agreed by the previous votes. The Committee accepted CoP16 Inf.53 with the agreed amendments, with 59 in favor, 5 against and 29 abstaining.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the revised resolution in CoP16 Inf.53 as voted by Committee II, retaining reference to SC61 Doc.48.2. as well as the revised text proposed by the Secretariat, which calls upon range states of Acipenseriformes species to, inter alia, collaborate in the development and implementation of strategies for the conservation and management of shared Acipenseriformes stocks and for ensuring sustainable fishing.

SHARKS AND STINGRAYS: On Tuesday, 5 March, in Committee I, New Zealand introduced document CoP16 Doc.61 (Rev.1) containing two draft decisions and proposed amendments to Resolution Conf.12.6 (Rev.CoP15) on conservation and management of sharks. He also noted the Secretariat’s suggestion to either delete Decision 15.85 on freshwater stringrays or transfer it to Resolution Conf.12.6 (Rev.CoP15). Parties suggested various textual amendments, and agreed to continue discussions the following day. On Wednesday, 6 March, Committee I Chair Caceres introduced document CoP16 Com I.1 and the Committee adopted the decisions and amendments.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted decisions (CoP16 Com.I.10) calling on:

•  the Secretariat to request parties to submit information on domestic laws and regulations concerning sharks; make this information available on the CITES website; and collaborate with FAO to develop a single resource on current Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) measures for sharks; and

•  parties to engage with the work of CMS.

HUMPHEAD WRASSE: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee II, China introduced document CoP16 Doc.62 (Rev.1). He highlighted its recommendations, including that the IUCN Species Survival Commission Groupers and Wrasses Specialist Group (GWSG) supports parties in achieving sustainable fisheries, and noted the Secretariat’s proposed amendments. The Committee accepted the document with the understanding that the recommendations would be considered draft decisions. On Wednesday, 13 March, the CoP adopted the recommendations of the Committee.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted decisions (CoP16 Doc.62 Rev.1) calling on, inter alia:

•  parties to investigate reported violations of the Convention in relation to trade in specimens of humphead wrasse and take appropriate enforcement actions under the remits of their national legislation; and

•  the IUCN GWSG continue its support to parties in achieving sustainable fisheries of humphead wrasse and ensuring compliance with the requirement for NDFs.

TOOTHFISH: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee II, parties noted the report of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CoP16 Doc.63 (Rev.1)). On Wednesday, 13 March, the CoP noted the report.

SEA CUCUMBER: On Tuesday, 5 March, in Committee I, New Zealand introduced document CoP16 Doc.64 (Rev.1), noting, inter alia, the AC believes its mandate fulfilled and recommends repealing Decision 14.100 (Rev.CoP15). Various parties recommended postponing the decision to repeal Decision 14.100 until CoP17. New Zealand, supported by the US, China, Japan and Norway, stated that the AC Working Group on Sea Cucumber Fisheries felt their mandate was fulfilled. The Committee agreed to repeal Decision 14.100.

Final Outcome: The CoP repealed Decision 14.100.

QUEEN CONCH: On Tuesday, 5 March, in Committee I, Colombia presented document CoP16 Doc.65 (Rev.1) on regional cooperation on the management of and trade in the queen conch (Strombus gigas), and requested the establishment of a working group to address related draft decisions.

Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica, the US, France and the UK, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, Cuba, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Antigua and Barbuda volunteered to participate in the working group, with Colombia chairing.

On Tuesday, 12 March, Colombia introduced the draft decisions on the management of and trade in S. gigas (CoP16 Com.I.5). France requested several amendments to decisions, adding reference to the Working Group on Queen Conch (Decision 16AA).

Committee I agreed to the decisions, as amended by Colombia and France.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the decisions (CoP16 Com.I.5), directing:

•  range states to adopt, and where applicable, move towards implementation of the recommendations of the Queen Conch Expert Workshop; and participate in the development of national, subregional, and regional plans for the management and conservation of the queen conch; and

•  the Secretariat to invite FAO and others to provide assistance to range states to enhance the capacity of their scientific authorities to conduct NDFs.

MADAGASCAR: On Tuesday, 5 March, in Committee I, PC Chair Clemente-Muñoz introduced the draft decisions in document CoP16 Doc.66 (Rev.1). PC Nomenclature Specialist McGough highlighted work by Madagascar, including: development of identification techniques; preparation of identification material; field surveys for NDFs; and submission of proposals to CoP16 (CoP16 Prop.51, 58, 63-66 and 71). He said this work completes tasks outlined in Decision 15.97 and recommended it be repealed.

Madagascar described its activities on, inter alia: development of timber identification methodologies, noting its preference for simple, low-cost techniques; preparation of an identification guide on 19 timber species, including 17 Dalbergia and 7 Diospyros species on the basis of macroscopic characteristics (PC20 Inf.3); capacity building for customs agents; a pilot project on community-based sustainable management; and ongoing studies to gather data on the trade of five succulent species.

Parties agreed to note the document and reports and to repeal Decision 15.97.

Final Outcome: The CoP agreed to note the document CoP16 Doc.66 (Rev.1) and to repeal Decision 15.97.

AGARWOOD-PRODUCING TAXA: On Tuesday, 5 March, in Committee I, Chair Caceres introduced the PC Report (CoP16 Doc.67.1 (Rev.20) and the draft resolution on implementation of the Convention for agarwood-producing taxa (CoP16 Doc.67.2 (Rev.1)). PC Chair Clemente-Muñoz emphasized the extension of the application of Resolution Conf.10.13 on implementation of the Convention for timber species to include traded tree species. Kuwait noted that the draft resolution amended definitions of “artificially propagated plants” in Decision 15.94 on agarwood-producing taxa, which do not currently apply to field conditions, or to mixed-species plantations prevalent in the tropics. Australia, supported by Indonesia, Canada, China and Bahrain, preferred the scope and definitions in the draft resolution. The US and Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, requested forming a drafting group.

On Wednesday, 6 March, the Committee continued discussion on the draft resolution. The US expressed concern about the resolution’s definition of “artificially propagated,” which they felt could potentially allow repeated collection and export of wild specimens. The US then proposed a draft decision, requesting the PC to monitor the resolution’s implementation to assess its contribution to the long-term survival of agarwood-producing species and to report at CoP17. China, Kuwait, Canada, Indonesia, Australia, Viet Nam, Malaysia and Thailand supported this decision and the draft resolution was accepted.

Chair Caceres noted divergent views from parties on whether amendments to Resolution Conf.10.13, as indicated in the draft resolution, were required in light of agreement on the draft resolution on agarwood-producing taxa. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, Canada, the US and Kuwait supported the draft decisions but opposed the revision to Resolution Conf.10.13, particularly the addition of the term “mixed” to discussions of plantations. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, Brazil and Chile supported directing the PC to further examine the definition of plantations and to report to CoP17.

Committee I rejected the changes to Resolution Conf.10.13 and accepted the decisions contained in the document, including requesting the PC to continue considering these production systems.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the decisions in Resolution Conf.10.13 (CoP16 Doc.67.2 (Rev.1), directing:

•  the PC to, inter alia, consider the current production of tree species and to assess the applicability of the current definitions of artificial propagation in Resolution Conf. 10.13 and Resolution Conf.11.11 and report to CoP17; and

•  the Secretariat to, inter alia, organize a workshop to share experiences, discuss management of wild and plantation-source agarwood and agree on strategies that balance conservation and use of wild populations while relieving pressure on these populations by using planted material.

BIGLEAF MAHOGANY: On Wednesday, 6 March, PC Chair Clemente-Muñoz introduced document CoP16 Doc.68 (Rev.1) and described the activities of the Working Group on the Bigleaf Mahogany and Other Neotropical Timber Species. Guatemala proposed two draft decisions: to the PC, on the work and reporting of the Working Group; and to the Secretariat, on seeking external funding. The PC Chair, the US, Peru, Costa Rica, Chile, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, and Mexico supported the proposal. The Committee agreed to the two decisions and repealed Decisions 15.91 and 15.92.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the decisions directed to the PC and the Secretariat as contained in CoP16 Com.I.Rec.5. Among them, the CoP directs: the PC to, inter alia, report on the progress of the Working Group on Neotropical Tree Species at CoP17; and the Secretariat to seek external funding for the working group, if needed.

CEDRELA ODORATA, DALBERGIA RETUSA, D. GRANADILLO AND  D. STEVENSONII: On Wednesday, 6 March, in Committee I, PC Chair Clemente-Muñoz introduced document CoP16 Doc.69 (Rev.1), outlining the PC’s work and its Working Group on the Bigleaf Mahogany and Other Neotropical Timber Species in relation to tasks assigned under Decision 14.146 (Rev.CoP15) on Cedrela odorata, Dalbergia retusa, D. granadillo and D. stevensonii.

Noting that repealing Decision 14.146 (Rev.CoP15) would also repeal its annex, the US asked to note that the existing Annex 4 work plan be considered when establishing terms of reference for the working group. Referencing its populations of Cedrela odorata, Côte d’Ivoire requested the working group to develop provisions for artificial propagation of species in plantations outside range states.

Committee I noted the decision and agreed to repeal Decision 14.146 (Rev.CoP15).

Final Outcome: The CoP agreed to note the decision and repealed Decision 14.146 (Rev.CoP15).

REPORT OF THE CENTRAL AFRICA BUSHMEAT WORKING GROUP: On Tuesday, 12 March, Democratic Republic of the Congo introduced document CoP16 Doc.70 (Rev.1). He highlighted the recommendation that the Central Africa Bushmeat Working Group should meet regularly to exchange information, with support from the Secretariat. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, expressed disappointment with the lack of progress on the implementation of Decisions 14.73 and 14.74 (Rev.CoP15) directed to the working group, noting the group has not met since 2011.

The Committee noted the document and the Secretariat’s comments and agreed to retain the decisions.

Final Outcome: The CoP agreed to note document CoP16 Doc.70 (Rev.1) and retain Decisions 14.73 and 14.74 (Rev.CoP15) directed to the Central Africa Bushmeat Working Group. Decision 14.73, inter alia, encourages the working group to collaborate with the CBD and FAO in its work. Decision 14.74, inter alia, encourages the working group to collaborate with the CBD Liaison Group on non-timber forest resources, and to report on progress to the SC.

CRITERIA FOR THE INCLUSION OF SPECIES IN APPENDICES I AND II: On Wednesday, 6 March, in Committee I, Canada, on behalf of the AC Working Group on Criteria and the SC, introduced document CoP16 Doc.71 (Rev.1), noting the outcomes of work related to Decisions 15.28, 15.29 and 15.30, on the application to commercially exploited aquatic species of Annex 2a criterion B and the introductory text to Annex 2a of Resolution Conf.9.24 (Rev.CoP15). She said the AC had found, and the SC concurred, that it was not possible to provide guidance favoring a single approach. Committee I noted a comment by IUCN, also on behalf of TRAFFIC, recommending further discussion and possible guidance on the issue, and the Committee noted the document and repealed the decisions.

Final Outcome: The CoP noted the document and repealed the decisions.

CRITERIA RELATED TO RANCHED POPULATIONS: On Wednesday, 6 March, in Committee I, Uruguay introduced the outcomes of the AC’s work on Decision 15.51 related to the criteria for the transfer of ranched populations from Appendix I to Appendix II, including the outcomes of a working group on the issue established at AC25 (CoP16 Doc.72 (Rev.2)). China noted concern about the application of criteria to ranching operations, and Australia clarified the working group’s goal was to consider reinstating ranching criteria as a criteria for appendix transfers. Committee I agreed to modifications of Resolution Conf.9.24 Annex 4 (Rev.CoP15), but did not agree to the recommendation in paragraph 6 to address Resolution Conf.11.16 (Rev.CoP15) and Resolution Conf.9.20 (Rev.) together, in a separate resolution.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the document (CoP16 Com.I.6) and repealed Decision 15.51.

PROPOSED REVISION OF RESOLUTION CONF. 10.9 ON CONSIDERATION OF PROPOSALS FOR THE TRANSFER OF AFRICAN ELEPHANT POPULATIONS FROM APPENDIX I TO APPENDIX II: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee II, Côte d’Ivoire presented document CoP16 Doc.73 (Rev.1). She presented a draft decision directing the SC to establish a working group to further review and revise Resolution Conf.10.9 in advance of CoP17. The US, supported by Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, noted that the draft decision presented by Côte d’Ivoire was similar to the draft decision proposed by the Secretariat in CoP16 Doc.73 (Rev.1), and suggested harmonizing them. The Chair suspended discussion to allow the Secretariat and Côte d’Ivoire to consult.

On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee II, Côte d’Ivoire introduced the revised draft decision (CoP16 Com.II.19) prepared with the Secretariat following discussion of document CoP16 Doc.73 (Rev.1), which the Committee accepted. On Wednesday, 13 March, the CoP adopted the recommendations of the Committee.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted a decision (CoP16 Com.II.19) requesting the SC to establish a working group to review Resolution Conf.10.9 in collaboration and consultation with all African elephant range states.

PERIODIC REVIEW OF THE APPENDICES:    On Wednesday, 6 March, in Committee I, AC Chair Solana introduced document CoP16 Doc.74.1 (Rev.1) containing proposed revisions to Resolution Conf.14.8 on periodic review of the appendices. Mexico and China supported the document. Parties suggested various amendments and IUCN proposed adding categories for vulnerable, extinct and extinct in the wild. AC Chair Solana suggested looking for all the CITES species that IUCN has categorized as extinct or extinct in the wild in the next species selection exercise. Following discussion, parties agreed to accept the amended text and to repeal Decision 15.51, recognizing its mandate had been fulfilled. Parties also agreed to consider the AC Chair’s suggestion under the agenda item on proposals to amend Appendices I and II (CoP16 Doc.77).

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the document (CoP16 Com.I.12).

Felidae: On Wednesday, 6 March, in Committee I, the US introduced the review of the appendices on Felidae (CoP16 Doc.74.2 (Rev.1)), noting it provided an update on progress on Decision 13.93 (Rev.CoP15) concerning the periodic review of Felidae as directed to the AC. The Committee agreed to the revised decision to extend Decision 13.93 to accommodate ongoing reviews, with amendment by the Secretariat to delete already-completed tasks, and by the AC Chair to replace the word “progress” with “results” in the request to the AC for a report at CoP17.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the decision (CoP16 Com. I.11) directing the AC to complete its Review of the Appendices for Felidae and report back to CoP17.

DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF ANNOTATIONS and ANNOTATIONS – REPORT OF THE PLANTS COMMITTEE: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee II, PC Chair Clemente-Muñoz introduced document CoP16 Doc.76 (Rev.1), highlighting CoP recommendations on: orchids; the review of annotations for Cactaceae and Orchidaceae; and the annotations to the appendices for plants. The US introduced document CoP16 Doc.75 (Rev.1), highlighting challenges associated with developing and implementing annotations. Several countries supported some of the proposed revisions and draft decisions. Canada, supported by Australia, noted the SC Working Group on Annotations should complete its activities before developing new procedures. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, supported simplifying procedures. The Committee established a working group on these two agenda items.

On Tuesday, 12 March, the US introduced the document CoP16 Com.II.27 reflecting recommendations prepared by the working group on the basis of CoP16 Doc.75 (Rev.1) and CoP16 Doc.76 (Rev.1). The Committee accepted the recommendations. The US and the PC Chair then reviewed the definitions proposed in CoP16 Doc.75 (Rev.1) and CoP16 Doc.76 (Rev.1). The Committee accepted the definitions. The PC Chair invited the Committee to note the recommendations, relating to annotations for orchids listed on Appendix II. The Committee noted the paragraph and accepted the proposed recommendations, including the draft decision as amended in the annex.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted a draft decision (CoP16 Com.II.27) acknowledging that, at CoP16, parties agreed to include definitions of terms in annotations in the Interpretation section of the appendices as an interim measure until a final decision is reached by the SC on where they should be included permanently.        

PROPOSALS TO AMEND APPENDICES I AND II: On Wednesday, 6 March, in Committee I, the Secretariat introduced the draft decisions contained in CoP16 Doc.77, relating to extinct or possibly extinct species. He highlighted three problems identified by the Secretariat in handling proposals for species that were extinct or possibly extinct, including that the resolution states that possibly extinct species should not be deleted from Appendix I if they may be affected by trade in the event of rediscovery, and that a transfer onto Appendix II to monitor the effects of downlisting has little interest or value for extinct species. In comments, parties noted, inter alia, the need for clarification related to higher taxa and the possibility for the rediscovery of supposedly-extinct species. The Committee accepted the decisions, which were adopted in plenary on Wednesday, 13 March.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the draft decisions recommending, inter alia, the AC and PC to more closely examine the issue of extinct and possibly extinct species.

 Rupicapra pyrenaica ornate: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, introduced the proposal to transfer R. pyrenaica ornate (Abruzzo chamois) from Appendix I to Appendix II, as endorsed by the AC (CoP16 Prop.1). He noted that the range state, Italy, had undertaken a Periodic Review for the species. Committee I accepted the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.1).

Vicugna vicugna: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, Ecuador introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.2) to transfer V. vicugna (vicuña) from Appendix I to Appendix II, with an annotation specifying, among other things, enabling requirements. Committee I agreed to the proposal, with an amendment proposed by Mexico to align the annotation with the annotations of other vicuña listings.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the amended proposal (CoP16 Prop.2).

Ursus maritimus: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, the US introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.3) to transfer U. maritimus (polar bear) from Appendix II to Appendix I, noting, inter alia, that while climate change is the main threat to the species, an Appendix I listing could contribute to protecting the species.

In extensive discussions, parties expressed divergent views, differing on whether the polar bear met the scientific and trade criteria for uplisting. Among supporters, the Russian Federation highlighted its concerns that legal international trade facilitates illegal trade and poaching of Russian sub-populations. Among opponents, Greenland, on behalf of Denmark, opposed the proposal on the grounds that the species does not meet the biological criteria. Interventions addressed, inter alia: polar bear population estimates from the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group, quotas, prices for polar bear hides, and the potential impact of the decision on the livelihoods of Inuit populations.

Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, citing efforts to find a constructive way forward, introduced an amendment to the US proposal (CoP16 Inf.44). He outlined the proposal to maintain the Appendix II listing and add an annotation with a “package of measures” and several draft decisions, including for range states to set export quotas at subpopulation levels and the AC to include the polar bear in the review of significant trade (RST) as an urgent case to review before CoP17.

Parties disagreed on whether the EU compromise narrowed the scope of the US proposal, with Israel challenging the Chair’s ruling on the validity of the proposal. In a vote, the motion to disallow the alternate proposal was not carried by the requisite simple majority, with 26 in favor, 73 against and 15 abstentions.

Several spoke in support of the EU proposal, including Norway, as a range state. Brazil welcomed the EU proposal but requested the deletion of the decision directed to the parties, noting that it more appropriately falls under the mandate of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Committee I first voted on the amended EU proposal, with 63 in favor, 43 against and 17 abstaining. The Committee then voted on the US proposal, with 38 in favor, 42 against and 46 abstaining. Neither vote obtained the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

Final Outcome: The CoP rejected the proposal (CoP16 Prop.3).

Pteropus brunneus: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, Australia introduced its proposal (CoP14 Prop.4) to delete P. brunneus (dusky flying fox) from Appendix II, stating the motivation was to simplify the appendices by removing an extinct species. New Zealand and Qatar voiced support, and the Committee agreed to the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP14 Prop.4).

Thylacinus cynocephalus, Onychogalea lunata, Caloprymnus campestris, Chaeropus ecaudatus and Macrotis leucura: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, Australia presented the proposals (CoP16 Prop.5-9) to remove from Appendix I: T. cynocephalus (Tasmanian tiger) (Prop.5), O. lunata (crescent nailtail wallaby) (Prop.6), C. campestris (buff-nosed rat-kangaroo) (Prop.7), C. ecaudatus (pig-footed bandicoot) (Prop.8) and M. leucura (lesser rabbit-eared bandicoot) (Prop.9). Australia explained the five species are extinct, and so would not require the precautionary measure of transfer to Appendix II. New Zealand, Qatar, Paraguay and China supported the proposals, and the Committee agreed.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposals (CoP16 Prop.5-9).

Ceratotherium simum simum: On Thursday, 7 March,in Committee I, Kenya outlined the objectives of its proposal for amending an annotation on the South Africa and Swaziland populations of C. simum simum (Southern white rhino) listed in Appendix II to specify a temporary zero quota on hunting trophies (CoP16 Prop.10). He explained the aim was to reduce the quantity of legal rhino horn entering illegal markets and to reduce, as a result, poaching in Kenya and other rhino range states. Noting opposition from some parties to the proposed annotation, he outlined a number of consultations held on the proposal and its goals, and announced the withdrawal of the proposal. He asked parties to instead consider and support the decisions contained in CoP16 Doc.54.1 and Doc.54.2, to be discussed in Committee II. The proposal was withdrawn.

Final Outcome: The CoP noted that the proposal was withdrawn (CoP16 Prop.10).

Loxodonta africana: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, Burkina Faso, also on behalf of Kenya, withdrew their proposal on L. africana (African elephant) (CoP16 Prop.11 and 12). Highlighting incidents of slaughter and illegal trade, he urged measures to combat poaching. He further urged parties to recognize the legal sale of ivory as increasing poaching pressure. He recommended support for and action on the AEAP, the AEF, MIKE and ETIS. Kenya called on parties to: address illegal killing of and trade in elephants; address consumer demand; and respect the moratorium on ivory.

Final Outcome: The CoP noted that the proposals were withdrawn (CoP16 Props.11 and 12).

Trichechus senegalensis: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, Senegal, with Benin and Sierra Leone, presented the proposal to transfer T. senegalensis (West African manatee) from Appendix II to Appendix I (CoP16 Prop.13). Senegal noted actions being taken by range states and their general support for the listing proposal. Acknowledging the limited data available on the species and its status, Benin underscored the threat to the species from illegal international trade and the need to adopt a precautionary approach to its conservation. Numerous delegates expressed support for the proposal, including Colombia, the US and Egypt. The CMS Secretariat highlighted efforts under CMS, including a MoU on the conservation of the manatee and small cetaceans of Western Africa and Macaronesia. Committee I accepted the proposal by consensus.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.13).

Caracara lutosa: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, Mexico introduced its proposal to delete C. lutosa (Guadalupe caracara) (CoP16 Prop.14) from Appendix II, noting that the species is extinct. Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Australia, Chile and New Zealand supported the proposal, with New Zealand adding that an annotation was not needed. Committee I agreed to the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.14).

Gallus sonneratii: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, New Zealand, on behalf of the AC, presented the proposal on the removal of G. sonneratii (grey junglefowl) from Appendix II (CoP16 Prop.15). India, supported by Pakistan and Qatar, opposed the proposal, highlighting concerns about declining populations and the potential for a de-listing to threaten the species by promoting trade in feathers. The US noted India’s opposition and supported their position. The US, supported by AC Chair Solana, urged states to participate in Periodic Reviews. Committee I did not accept the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP did not adopt the proposal (CoP16 Prop.15).

Ithaginis cruentus: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, New Zealand, on behalf of the AC, introduced the proposal to remove I. cruentus (blood pheasant) from Appendix II (CoP16 Prop.16), noting the outcome of the Periodic Review indicated it no longer met listing criteria. Range states China, India, Nepal and Bhutan, supported by Pakistan, opposed the proposal, indicating deletion might trigger international trade that would threaten the species. The US supported range state views, but noted “frustration” that range states had not responded during the Periodic Review. The Committee did not accept the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP did not adopt the proposal (CoP16 Prop.16).

Lophura imperialis: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, France introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.17) to delete L. imperialis (Imperial pheasant) from Appendix I. He reported that L. imperialis is a hybrid between L. edwardsi (Edward’s pheasant), which is also listed, and L. nycthemera. Viet Nam, the range state, supported the proposal. Parties agreed to support the proposal with an editorial modification from the Secretariat.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.17).

Tetraogallus caspius: On Thursday, 7 March, New Zealand, on behalf of the AC, introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.18) to transfer T. caspius (Caspian snowcock) from Appendix I to Appendix II. He said the population does not meet the criteria for an Appendix I listing. Noting that Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Turkmenistan represent the seven range states, he said that only Georgia responded to requests for information, informing the AC that its population is vulnerable. Noting that its population is dependent on other range states, Georgia supported downlisting if the other six range states agreed. Armenia informed parties its population is vulnerable and opposed the proposal. Georgia then opposed the proposal. Committee I rejected the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP did not adopt the proposal (CoP16 Prop.18).

Tetraogallus tibetanus: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, New Zealand, on behalf of the AC, introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.19) to transfer T. tibetanus (Tibetan snowcock) from Appendix I to Appendix II noting the Periodic Review found the species no longer meets the biological criteria for Appendix I. Range states China, India, Nepal and Bhutan, supported by Qatar, opposed the proposal, citing lack of data and concerns that a downlisting would spur trade. AC Chair Solana recognized the right of range states to participate in appendix listings and transfers, but cited concern with justifications raised in the discussion based on anecdotal observations and data gaps. Committee I did not accept the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP did not adopt the proposal (CoP16 Prop.19).

Tympanuchus cupido attwateri: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, Switzerland, on behalf of the US, presented the proposal (CoP16 Prop.20) to transfer T. cupido attwateri (Attwater’s greater prairie chicken) from Appendix I to Appendix II. The US supported the proposal, saying the species is intensively managed and protected in the US, and no threat is posed by the appendix transfer. Committee I agreed to the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.20).

Campephilus imperialis: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, Mexico introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.21) to delete C. imperialis (Imperial woodpecker) from Appendix I, noting it is extinct. Australia, Paraguay and Venezuela supported the proposal. The Committee agreed to the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.21).

Sceloglaux albifacies: On Thursday, 7 March, in Committee I, New Zealand introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.22) to remove S. albifacies (laughing owl) from Appendix II, noting that it is extinct. Australia and Venezuela supported the proposal. The Committee agreed to the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.22).

Crocodylus acutus: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, Colombia introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.23) to transfer a population of C. acutus (American crocodile) from Appendix I to II adding an annotation preventing exchange between the population and Appendix-I listed populations as well as a provisional zero export quota (CoP16 Prop.23 Addendum (Rev.1)). Thailand, Peru, Egypt, Honduras, Cuba, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Brazil, Liberia, Panama, Uruguay, Mexico, Indonesia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Senegal, Qatar and Argentina supported the proposal.

Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, the US, Israel and Switzerland noted Colombia’s efforts and encouraged their ongoing work, but stated the population did not meet biological criteria for downlisting and did not support the proposal. The US raised concern that such a transfer would set a precedent for future proposals. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, suggested alternative approaches, including submitting a proposal under the ranching resolution or drafting decisions related to ranching for consideration at CoP17. In a vote, the proposal did not achieve a two-thirds majority, with 57 in favor, 50 opposed and 16 abstentions.

Final Outcome: The CoP did not adopt the proposal (CoP16 Prop.23).

Crocodylus porosus: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, Thailand introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.24) to transfer C. porosus (saltwater crocodile) from Appendix I to Appendix II with a zero quota for wild specimens. He said the proposal applies only to the Thai population. The Gambia, the Philippines, Viet Nam, Madagascar, Pakistan, Myanmar, Colombia, China, Brazil and Cambodia supported the proposal.

Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, opposed, saying reestablishment of wild populations should be the basis for downlisting. India also opposed, expressing concern that downlisting would stimulate trade in wild specimens from range states. Australia, supported by the US, said C. porosus continued to meet biological criteria for Appendix I and opposed the proposal.

Noting a lack of consensus, Committee I Chair Caceres proposed a vote. Thailand requested voting by secret ballot, which more than ten parties supported. The proposal was rejected, with 61 in favor, 54 against and 6 abstaining. The US requested its vote against the proposal be recorded in the meeting record, noting it will publicly announce its position on all secret ballots.

Final Outcome: The CoP did not adopt the proposal (CoP16 Prop.23).

Crocodylus siamensis: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, Thailand introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.25) to transfer their population of C. siamensis (Siamese crocodile) from Appendix I to Appendix II, with a zero quota for wild specimens. Thailand explained the zero quota placed on wild specimens would ensure only captive-bred populations, which contribute to local livelihoods, would be traded. The Gambia, Ecuador, Pakistan, Uganda, Madagascar, Colombia, Brazil, Lao PDR, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia and China, among others, commended Thailand’s captive breeding programme and supported the proposal. The US, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, and Switzerland did not support the proposal, stating that Thailand’s wild population is small, fragmented and does not meet the biological criteria for downlisting, emphasizing that the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group also opposed the proposal as the species remains “Critically Endangered.” The proposal was put to a vote. It failed to meet the two-thirds majority needed to pass, with 69 voting in favor, 49 against and 11 abstaining.

On Wednesday, 13 March, Thailand, supported by Ecuador and Cambodia, requested reopening the proposal in plenary. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, supported by Switzerland, questioned the need to re-open discussion. The motion to re-open the discussion carried, with 48 in favor, 74 against and 16 abstentions. After a discussion, the CoP voted on the proposal, which was rejected, with 57 in favor, 70 against and 11 abstentions.

Final Outcome: The CoP did not adopt the proposal (CoP16 Prop.25).

Naultinus spp: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, New Zealand introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.26) to transfer all nine species of geckos in the genus Naultinus from Appendix III to Appendix II, noting N. gemmaeus meets the biological criteria for uplisting and the other species meet the “look-alike” provisions. Many supported the proposal, including Japan, Ecuador, Samoa, Liberia and Pro-Wildlife. Committee I agreed to the proposal, which was adopted on Wednesday, 13 March.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.26).

Protobothrops mangshanensis: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, China introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.27) to include all populations of P. mangshanensis (Mangshan pit viper) on Appendix II, highlighting small population sizes, restricted distribution and threats from the international pet trade. The US, Pakistan and Madagascar agreed with the proposed listing. Committee I accepted the proposal, which the CoP adopted on Wednesday, 13 March.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.27).

Chelodina mccordi: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, the US introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.28) to transfer C. mccordi (Roti Island snake-necked turtle) from Appendix II to Appendix I, highlighting that the species is listed as one of IUCN’s top 25 endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles.

Indonesia, as a range state, opposed the proposal, stating that international trade is mainly in captive-bred specimens. Supported by China, Qatar and Guyana, he proposed adding an annotation to the current Appendix II listing for a zero export quota from the wild. The US did not wish to block consensus, but asked for a decision to be added requesting the AC to undertake a Periodic Review of the species.

Committee I agreed to the amended proposal with the added annotation and to a decision for its consideration in a Periodic Review.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the amended proposal and decision (CoP16 Prop.28).

Clemmys guttata: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, the US introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.29) to list C. guttata (spotted turtle) on Appendix II, noting, among other things, its capture from the wild for trade, primarily bound for Asia. Among others, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, voiced support. Committee I agreed to the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.29).

Emydoidea blandingii: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, the US introduced the proposal to list E. blandingii (Blanding’s turtle) on Appendix II (CoP16 Prop.30), noting, among other things, its upgrade to endangered on the IUCN red list. Among others, Canada and Senegal spoke in support. Committee I agreed to the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.30).

Malaclemys terrapin: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, the US introduced the proposal to include M. terrapin (diamondback terrapin) in Appendix II (CoP16 Prop.31) emphasizing an Appendix II listing could enhance domestic law enforcement. Several parties supported the listing, including the UK, as a range state. Committee I accepted the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.31).

Freshwater box turtles: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, before discussion on freshwater box turtles (CoP16 Prop.32), Committee I Chair Caceres, cited Rule 23.6 and said the proposal, as least restrictive to trade, would be considered prior to proposals on Cuora galbinifrons, Geoemyda japonica and Mauremys annamensis (CoP16 Prop.33-35). The listing proposals for C. galbinifrons (Prop.33) and M. annamensis (Prop.35) were to transfer the two species from Appendix II to Appendix I, and for G. japonica (Prop.34) for an Appendix II listing with a zero annual export quota, with primarily commercial purposes for wild-caught specimens. The proposal for freshwater box turtles (Prop.32) included an Appendix II listing with a zero quota on wild species for commercial purposes for C. galbinifrons, and an Appendix II listing for G. japonica and M. annamensis, provisions that were less restrictive to trade.

China introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.32), submitted with the US, to include 15 species of freshwater box turtles from the Family Geoemydidae in Appendix II (Cyclemys atripons, C. dentate, C. shanensis, C. oldhamii, C. pulchristriata, Geoemyda japonica, G. spengleri, Hardella thurjii, Mauremys japonica, M. nigricans, Melanochelys trijuga, Morenia petersi, Sacalia bealei, S. quadriocellata and Vijayachelys silvatica) and to annotate the Appendix II listings of another 15 species with a zero quota on wild specimens for commercial purposes (Batagur borneoensis, B. trivittata, Cuora aurocapitata, C. flavomarginata, C. galbinifrons, C. mccordi, C. mouhotii, C. pani, C. trifasciata, C. yunnanensis, C. zhoui, Heosemys annandalii, H. depressa, Mauremys annamensis and Orlitia borneensis).

Following China’s introduction, Chair Caceres clarified the adoption of the proposal would preclude consideration of Prop.33-35, again citing Rule 23.6, which stipulates that, when the adoption of one proposal necessarily implies the rejection of another proposal, the latter proposal shall not be submitted for decision. Japan agreed that the proposal on Geomyda japonica (Prop.34) would not be considered, and stated instead her intent to register a national zero export quota. Viet Nam submitted a motion to allow discussion of Cuora galbinifrons and Mauremys annamensis (Prop.33 and 35), agreeing this motion could be considered after the decision on Prop.32.

Following further discussion, Committee I agreed to Prop.32.

After the decision on Prop.32, Viet Nam, under Rule 18.1, appealed the Chair’s ruling. In a simple majority vote, the Chair’s ruling to disallow Prop.33 and Prop.35 was sustained, with 27 voting yes, 59 no and 17 abstaining.

Recognizing the outcome of the vote, Viet Nam said the species in these two proposals, C. galbinifrons and M. annamensis, qualify for inclusion in Appendix I and asked that these species be included in the Periodic Review as a matter of priority. Committee I noted Viet Nam’s request.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.32).

Platysternidae: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, Viet Nam introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.36), with the US as co-proponent, to transfer the Family Platysternidae (big-headed turtles) from Appendix II to Appendix I. Among others, Senegal supported the proposal. Committee I agreed to accept the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.36).

Geochelone platynota: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, the US introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.37) to transfer Geochelone platynota (Burmese star tortoise) from Appendix II to I, noting, inter alia, the species is included on the IUCN’s list of the world’s 25 most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, voiced support. Committee I agreed to the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.37).

Softshell turtles: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, the US introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.38), co-sponsored by China, to include in Appendix II eight species of softshell turtles from the family Trionychidae (Aspideretes leithii, Dogania subplana, Nilssonia formosa, Palea steindachneri, Pelodiscus axenaria, P. maackii, P. parviformis and Rafetus swinhoe), and to transfer from Appendix II to Appendix I two Chitra species (Chitra chitra and C. vandijkii). Among others, Paraguay, Thailand and Humane Society International supported the proposal. India also expressed support, noting his preference for an Appendix I listing. Committee I accepted the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.38).

Epipedobates machalilla: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, Ecuador introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.39) to include E. machalilla (Machalilla poison dart frog) on Appendix II. In discussions on taxonomy, Ecuador said the species, which had been recently transferred from the genus Colostethus, was the only Epipedobates species not included in the standard reference for amphibians adopted at CoP15 (Resolution Conf.12.11 (Rev.CoP15)). Nomenclature Specialist Ute Grimm said the AC Nomenclature Specialist Working Group felt unable to give a recommendation on whether E. machalilla was covered in the original 1987 Epipedobates listing and recommended that Ecuador, as the range state, undertake an investigation and submit a proposal. Following several interventions of support, Committee I agreed to the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.39).

Rheobatrachus silus and R. vitellinus: On Friday, 8 March, in Committee I, Australia presented two proposals (CoP16 Prop.40 and 41) to delete R. silus (southern gastric-brooding frog) and R. vitellinus (northern gastric-brooding frog), respectively, from Appendix II. Following explanation from Australia that the species are extinct, the Committee agreed to support the proposals.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposals (CoP16 Prop.40 and Prop.41).

Carcharhinus longimanus: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee I, Colombia introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.42), with co-proponents Brazil and the US, to include C. longimanus (oceanic whitetip shark) on Appendix II, with an annotation to delay the entry into effect by 18 months to resolve technical and administrative issues.

Extensive discussions followed. Among the supporters were Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, Liberia, the Bahamas, Norway and Republic of the Congo. Reasons cited for support included that: the proposal is justified by scientific criteria; action by CITES would complement measures by RFMOs; and NDFs can be made to allow continued trade in sharks while ensuring their sustainable management.

Others opposed the listing, including Japan, China, Singapore, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Opponents pointed to, inter alia: management measures for sharks developed by RFMOs; implementation challenges, including with identification of mixed shipments of fins; and negative impacts on livelihoods of coastal communities.

The Committee put the proposal to vote by secret ballot, as requested by Japan and supported by at least 10 parties. The proposal passed, with 92 for, 42 against and 8 abstentions. Several parties publicly announced their votes.

On Thursday, 14 March, in plenary, Japan, seconded by the Gambia and India, proposed re-opening discussion. Japan asked that, if the decision on whether to re-open the debate was taken to vote, it be by secret ballot.

Colombia, supported by Senegal, opposed re-opening discussion, with Colombia explaining the proposal had been “duly and extensively” addressed in Committee I and the decision taken reflected the will of the majority. Mexico and Colombia said there must be clear arguments to justify the re-opening of debate, and noted these had not been given.

The Secretariat clarified the CoP would take a decision on Japan’s motion of whether to open plenary debate on the matter, and listed more than ten parties who supported the motion for a secret ballot.

Switzerland raised a procedural point, saying he understood a two-thirds majority would be required to re-open debate. Japan said the Rules of Procedure indicate motions to re-open debate may not include discussion of the substance of the discussion itself, and added the decision should be taken by a one-third majority, pointing to Rule 19 paragraph 1. The Chair ruled the decision would require a one-third majority and proceed by secret ballot.

As the motion to re-open debate was rejected by vote, with 44 voting yes, 93 no and 4 abstaining, the CoP adopted the proposal. Following this, a number of parties announced their votes, with several citing transparency as their motivation for disclosing their positions.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.42).

Sphyrna lewini, S. mokarran and S. zygaena: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee I, Brazil introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.43) to include S. lewini (scalloped hammerhead shark) on Appendix II with an annotation to delay the entry into effect by 18 months, with S. mokarran (great hammerhead shark) and S. zygaena (smooth hammerhead shark) included as look-alike species.

Mexico, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, Honduras, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador supported the proposal as co-proponents, with many stressing unregulated international trade in fins as a key threat. A number of parties spoke in support.

Several parties voiced opposition, including the Southern African Development Community (SADC), China, India and Japan, noting, among other things, concerns: that the listing of these three species would lead to the inclusion of other hammerhead shark species on Appendix II as lookalike species; on the socio-economic implications of the listing; and with implementation challenges.

The Committee voted on the proposal by secret ballot, as requested by China. The proposal passed, with 91 in favor, 38 against and 8 abstaining. More than ten parties announced their vote for the official record.

On Thursday, 14 March, in plenary, Grenada, seconded by China, proposed a motion to re-open discussion on the proposal. Grenada said prior to the Committee decision, many parties had been provided with contradictory information, and that re-opening the discussion would allow parties to make decisions according to their national interests based on more accurate and informed information. China added his country had additional points on implementation concerns. Grenada asked if the motion to re-open were taken to vote, it had to be by secret ballot.

Mexico, supported by Honduras, opposed re-opening discussion. Mexico stated China’s explanation contravened Rule 19 paragraph 3 by referring to substantive matters, and, counter to Grenada’s comment and with support from Honduras, added that no new information had become available on the proposal and there was no procedural backing to re-open debate.

The Chair announced ten parties supported the motion for a secret ballot. In the vote by secret ballot, the motion to re-open debate was rejected, with 40 voting yes, 96 no and 6 abstaining, and the proposal was adopted. Following the decision, a number of parties announced their votes, with several citing transparency as their motivation for disclosing their positions.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.43).

Lamna nasus: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee I, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, introduced the proposal (Cop16 Prop.44) to list L. nasus (porbeagle shark) on Appendix II, supported by co-proponents Egypt, Comoros and Brazil. Several others supported the proposal, including Republic of the Congo, Canada, New Zealand, Peru, Argentina and WWF, also on behalf of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Wild Aid and Pew Environment Group. Among the points raised by supporters were: that the porbeagle is primarily fished by developed countries and the listing will not result in additional burdens for developing countries; despite assurances at previous CoPs that RFMOs will manage L. nasus, RFMOs have not yet done so; an Appendix II listing can support and complement RFMO efforts; and the majority of the FAO Expert Panel agrees the species meets the biological criteria for Appendix II.

Many opposed the proposal, including Iceland, Chile, Thailand, Republic of Korea and Mozambique, on behalf of SADC. Opponents highlighted, inter alia: the need for a full stock assessment of the Southern hemisphere prior to a decision on listing; implementation challenges; and that major fisheries targeting porbeagle are well-managed.

The Committee voted by secret ballot, as requested by Guinea. The proposal passed, with 93 in favor, 39 against and 8 abstaining. Following the decision, a number of parties announced their votes.

Final Outcome: On Thursday, 14 March, in plenary, the CoP adopted the proposal. Following the decision, China requested the Secretariat to put on record that it had “great concerns” on the enforceability and implementation of the adopted proposal. He stressed it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to implement, and requested the proponents to prepare and make available necessary identification material.

Pristis microdon: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee I, Australia introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.45) to transfer P. microdon (freshwater sawfish) from Appendix II to Appendix I, explaining the Pristidae family is listed on Appendix I, with the exception of P. microdon, and said the species warrants greater CITES protection.

Many speakers supported the proposal, including Indonesia, India, the US, Kenya, Samoa and Species Survival Network (SSN), on behalf of Shark Advocates International, Project AWARE, WCS, the German Elasmobranch Society and Shark Trust. Japan expressed doubts on the benefits of uplisting, but did not wish to block consensus. Committee I accepted the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.45).

Manta: On Monday, 11 March, in Committee I, Ecuador introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.46) to include the genus Manta (manta rays) in Appendix II with an annotation to delay its entry into effect, underscoring its low rates of reproduction and high vulnerability to growing trade in gill plates.

Brazil and Colombia, as co-proponents, supported the proposal, along with many others including Mozambique, on behalf of SADC, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, Uruguay, Liberia and Thailand. Among reasons for support, speakers noted local fishing communities do not depend on manta rays for food or income and the species’ vulnerability justified the precaution of listing.

Others, such as Cambodia, China and Japan, opposed the proposal, pointing, inter alia, to concerns that scientific data were insufficient and the fact proponents had not raised the need for conservation measures under the relevant RFMOs.

The Committee voted by secret ballot, as requested by Cambodia. The proposal passed, with 96 in favor, 23 against and 7 abstaining. Many parties announced their votes.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.46).

Paratrygon aiereba: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Colombia presented the proposal (CoP16 Prop.47) to include P. aiereba (Ceja river stingray) in Appendix II with an annotation to postpone entry into effect by 18 months, urging parties to employ the precautionary principle to list the species. Among others, Ecuador, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Madagascar and Defenders of Wildlife supported the proposal. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, opposed the proposal, citing insufficient information, and preferred an Appendix-III listing. The FAO said the species does not meet the biological criteria for an Appendix-II listing. In a vote, Committee I did not accept the proposal, with 51 votes in favor, 51 against and 19 abstentions.

On Thursday, 14 March, in plenary, Committee I Chair Caceres noted that Committee I had voted to reject the proposal. Colombia, noting her “full respect” for the Committee decision and saying she did not wish to contest the outcome, informed the CoP of the receipt of comments from range states and requested to present a draft decision to initiate a data collection process, with the aim of making progress towards a future Appendix II listing.

CoP Chair Rengsomboonsuk responded this request would mean the debate would have to be re-opened. Reiterating her respect for Committee I’s decision, Colombia, supported by Paraguay and Ecuador, motioned to re-open the debate.

Colombia read the proposal, which, inter alia, directs the Secretariat to establish a working group with the range states under the AC to gather information on the management status, international and national trade of P. aiereba and encourages states, following the assessment of conservation status and threats, to participate in the development of research and monitoring programmes. Colombia agreed to an amendment from the Secretariat that the AC, rather than the Secretariat, would establish the working group.

Recalling their view there was not sufficient information to support inclusion of P. aiereba in Appendix II, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, supported the proposed decision. Brazil, Senegal, Peru, Uruguay, Ecuador, the US, Mexico, Venezuela, Paraguay and Chile also supported the decision. Japan requested parties not to repeat the introduction of proposals at the final moment of plenary, expressing concern about setting a precedent for such practice, but said he would not block consensus.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the amended decision, which Colombia said it would provide to the Secretariat in writing.

Potamotrygon motoro and P. schroederi: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Colombia introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.48) to list P. motoro (South American freshwater stingray) and P. schroederi (Rosette river stingray) on Appendix II, with an annotation to postpone the entry into effect. Ecuador, as co-proponent, recognized the lack of information on these species, but said listing on Appendix II would allow, inter alia, international control and NDFs. Brazil, Venezuela and Uruguay, as range states, along with Senegal, Argentina and the US, supported the proposal. Opposing the proposal were Paraguay and Guyana, as range states for P. motoro, and Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, preferring instead to list these species on Appendix III. In a vote, Committee I did not accept the proposal, with 55 voting yes, 52 no and 25 abstaining.

Final Outcome: The CoP rejected the proposal (CoP16 Prop.48).

Papilio hospiton: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.49) to transfer Papilio hospiton (Corsican swallowtail butterfly) from Appendix I to Appendix II, noting that the species is not traded either legally or illegally. The proposal, supported by Peru and Switzerland, was agreed by the Committee.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.49).

Yucca queretaroensis: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Mexico introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.50) to list Yucca queretaroensis (Queretaro yucca) in Appendix II, highlighting, inter alia, growing demand on international markets. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, noted that, in spite of limited available information on trade levels and the effects of harvest, they supported the proposal, and the Committee agreed.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.50).

Madagascar plants: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Madagascar introduced seven proposals (CoP16 Prop.51, 64-68 and 71) for Appendix II listings for plant species: Operculiya decaryi (Prop.51); Senna meridionalis (Prop.64); Adenia firingalavensis (Prop.65); A. subsessifolia (Prop.66); Uncarina grandidieri (Prop.67); U. stellulifera (Prop.68); and Cyphostemma laza (Prop.71).

In discussions, participants expressed differing views on the strength of evidence for listing. The US highlighted the improvement in data on these proposals since CoP15. South Africa said explanations provided informally by Madagascar had convinced him of threats to wild populations from international trade and the difficulties in tracking trade. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, noted, inter alia, the available trade information does not justify the listing, but said it would not block consensus. Committee I accepted the seven proposals.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the seven proposals (CoP16 Prop.51, 64-68 and 71).

Hoodia spp.: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Namibia introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.52) to amend the annotation of Hoodia spp. (Hoodias), with Botswana and South Africa as co-proponents, noting the current annotation had caused confusion on the term “agreement.” Switzerland explained it had previously entered a reservation because the annotation focused on artificially-propagated species, but said he would not block consensus. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, welcomed the amendment and, supported by the US, proposed including a draft decision directed to the SC Working Group on Annotations to review this annotation. An additional request from Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, to exclude finished products was opposed by Namibia on the grounds this would expand the scope of the proposal. Namibia’s position was supported by a ruling of the Committee I Chair.

Committee I agreed to the proposal with a minor amendment by the Secretariat and the decision directed to the SC.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the amended proposal and added decision (CoP16 Prop.52).

Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, the US introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.53) to amend the annotation to the Appendix-II listings of Panax ginseng and P. quinquefolius (American ginseng) to exclude manufactured parts and derivatives, noting changes to previous annotations had created confusion in enforcement.

Canada said she did not view a change to the annotation as necessary but would not block consensus. Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, supported the proposal, and also proposed a new decision, supported by Canada, recommending the SC refer the amended annotations to its Working Group on Annotations for standardization and amendment, as appropriate. Committee I agreed to the proposal to amend the annotation and to the proposed decision.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal with the added decision (CoP16 Prop.53).

Tillandsia spp.: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Brazil introduced the proposals (CoP16 Prop.54-56) to delete three Tillandsia species from Appendix II: T. kautskyi (Prop.54); T. sprengeliana (Prop.55); and T. sucrei (Prop.56), explaining the species no longer qualifies for an Appendix-II listing. Among others, the PC Chair, Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, and Chile supported the proposals, which were adopted by the Committee.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposals (CoP16 Prop.54-56).

Dudleya stolonifera and D. traskiae: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, the US introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.57) to delete D. stolonifera (Laguna beach live-forever) and D. traskiae (Santa Barbara Island live-forever) from Appendix II, explaining no wild or illegal trade has been recorded since their transfer from Appendix I to Appendix II. Committee I adopted the proposal.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.57).

Diospyros spp. and Dalbergia spp.: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Madagascar presented their proposals (CoP16 Prop.58 and 63) to include, respectively, the populations of Diospyros spp. (Malagasy ebony) and Dalbergia spp. (Malagasy rosewood) in Appendix II, with an annotation limited to logs, sawn wood and veneer sheets, noting, inter alia, the Appendix III listing had not prevented exploitation. Many voiced support for the proposals, including the US, Cameroon, Colombia and the PC Chair.

China, supported by Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, proposed amending the text of the proposed action plan (CoP16 Inf.52) to add “especially developed country parties” when requesting importing countries to work with Madagascar.

Parties agreed to the proposals and the action plan as amended by China and with a minor amendment by the Secretariat.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposals and action plan as amended (CoP16 Prop.58 and 63).

Aniba rosaeodora: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Brazil introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.59) to amend the annotation to the Appendix-II listing of A. rosaeodora (Brazilian rosewood), to reflect the new definition of “extract,” as agreed to by Committee II (CoP16 Doc.75), specifying the annotation excludes finished products. He noted the new definition considers essential oils as extracts. Argentina, Madagascar and Senegal supported the annotation amendment. The proposal was accepted by Committee I.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.59).

Dalbergia cochinchinensis: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Thailand introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.60), with co-proponent Viet Nam, to include D. cochinchinensis (Siamese rosewood) in Appendix II, with an annotation specifying logs, sawn wood and veneer sheets.

Several speakers supported the proposal, including Madagascar, Belize and EIA, the UK and Ireland, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, suggested the species meets the criteria for listing on Appendix I. Committee I accepted the proposal with the annotation.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the amended proposal (CoP16 Prop.60).

Dalbergia retusa and D. granadillo: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Belize introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.61) to include D. retusa (black rosewood) and D. granadillo in Appendix II, and proposed adding an annotation specifying logs, sawn wood, veneer and plywood, explaining D. retusa meets the listing criteria for Appendix II and D. granadillo qualifies as a look-alike.

Several spoke in support of the proposal, including Panama and SSN. The Committee agreed to the proposal with the proposed annotation.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.61).

Dalbergia stevensonii: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Belize introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.62) to include D. stevensonii (Honduras rosewood) in Appendix II, adding Annotation 6, pointing to threats from legal and illegal logging for international trade. The proposal with its annotation was agreed by Committee I.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.62).

Osyris lanceolata: On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, Kenya introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.69) to include O. lanceolata (East African sandalwood) on Appendix II, with an amendment to restrict inclusion in Appendix II to populations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia, and with the addition of Annotation 2. Among others, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Ethiopia supported the proposal. Kenya also requested adoption of a decision that, inter alia, recommends the PC and the East African Range States review and gather further information on the status of trade; assess the impacts of such trade on the conservation status of East African species; carry out NDFs for listed populations; and report on the work at CoP17. The Committee agreed to the proposal as amended, with its annotation and decision directed to the PC, the East African Range States, which Kenya said it will provide to the Secretariat in writing.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal (CoP16 Prop.69).

Aquilaria spp. and Gyrinops spp.:On Tuesday, 12 March, in Committee I, China introduced the proposal (CoP16 Prop.70), with co-proponents Kuwait and Indonesia, to delete the current annotation to the listing of Aquilaria spp. and Gyrinops spp. (agarwood-producing taxa) in Appendix II, and replace it with a new annotation. She also presented two new proposed draft decisions related to the development of an identification manual for agarwood products. Senegal, Egypt, Qatar and Malaysia supported the proposal with the amendments. TRAFFIC raised concerns about the exemption of exhausted powder.

Committee I agreed to the proposal for the deletion of the annotation, replacement with the new annotation as amended and the proposed draft decisions by consensus.

Final Outcome: The CoP adopted the proposal and the decisions (CoP16 Prop.70).

CLOSING PLENARY

 On Thursday, 14 March, during the closing session, South Africa offered to host CoP17 in 2016 and presented a video about her country. Delegates accepted South Africa’s offer by acclamation.

 CoP16 Chair Preecha Rengsomboonsuk thanked all delegates for their participation. Several parties, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations made closing remarks. 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 close at 4:36 pm.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF COP16

“This will be a difficult two weeks,” remarked one delegate, as CITES CoP16 commemorated its 40th anniversary and CoP16 got underway by tackling the contentious question of the use of secret ballots for voting. The divided positions on the issue—exemplified by divergent views on the number of parties needed to support even initiating the discussions—led to two “extraordinary” plenaries in the early days of the meeting to address the matter. Yet the question of transparency was only one of the challenging issues addressed by the CoP. Numerous drafting and working groups convened throughout the two weeks to resolve divergent views on a number of ongoing debates, most notably on budget, including whether and how to approach the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to serve as a financial mechanism for CITES, and conflicts of interest in the scientific committees. For some of these matters, along with several of the proposed species listings on the CITES Appendices, no consensus was achieved, and parties resorted to voting to reach final decisions.

Regardless of their positions on each specific debate, wide agreement was expressed inside and outside of the negotiating rooms on the need for action against illegal trade, increasingly referred to as a crime. This widespread understanding of the severity of wildlife trafficking was underscored by several events that took place in parallel with CoP negotiations. These included a roundtable of ministers and high-ranking officers convened at the beginning of the CoP, followed by meetings of wildlife enforcement networks and a symposium on wildlife crime that brought together justices and attorneys general. Each gathering underscored that illegal trade in wildlife is a growing threat that can only be addressed with concerted actions, such as through the recently established International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC).

This brief analysis will explore the legacy and future of CITES through a closer look at transparency (and voting), illegal trade (with a focus on rhinos, elephants and Asian big cats) and the ongoing challenge of balancing economic, environmental and social considerations, including through developing and strengthening cooperation across other organizations and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).

A SEE-THROUGH CONVENTION? TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

A series of votes on the Rules of Procedure on the use of secret ballots, including votes on whether and how to even address the issue, led to confusion and contestation, revealing deep divides among parties and regions on the way the CoP takes decisions. While few parties spoke openly about fears of bribery, discussions in the corridors provided more candid commentary. Some lamented that powerful donor nations exert undue influence on small, developing countries, particularly African and small island developing states, many of whom depend on bilateral funding for areas of work beyond CITES. One developing country delegate alluded to these pressures, noting that negotiations happened more in hallways and communiqués to home governments than in the official meeting rooms.

A key divide among parties was whether these secret ballots were “procedural” or “substantive” issues, and the majority of parties, as indicated by the vote outcome, viewed them as the latter. For many, this decision highlighted the significance of the matter, but did not resolve the question of whether secret ballots increased freedom for countries by reducing their susceptibility to political pressures from other states or lobbyists, or whether it masked such political pressures and removed delegates’ accountability to home governments and citizens.

Following the first secret ballot, the US announced it had a domestic mandate to announce its position publicly on every vote taken in secret. In Committee I’s work on proposals to amend the appendices, a growing number of parties took similar action, announcing their vote for the official record. Many pointed to transparency as the motivation for these announcements, and, in the corridors, some delegates suggested that if enough parties were to take this approach, it would effectively undermine the decision on secrecy—although, of course, this depends on parties being truthful when divulging their votes.

For some participants, however, the issue of transparency was not easily reconciled with their view that secret ballots didn’t mask bribery (as some feared), but instead relieved small developing parties from the pressures of regional bloc and donor positions. In extraordinary plenary debates, several parties pointed to the role of secret ballots in democracies, which allows voters freedom from coercion. Others, though, stressed the difference between individual voters and sovereign states in international negotiations, viewing the need for public accountability as stronger than fears of political pressure from other states.

While these debates dominated the agenda in the early days of the CoP, once decided upon, parties seemed willing to move on and work constructively on other agenda items. Among these, in the days following the extraordinary plenary sessions, CoP16 revised and adopted several decisions on the budget, enforcement measures to address wildlife crime and the Strategic Vision, along with appendices amendments for a number of species including sharks, manta rays, turtles, rosewood and ebony.

BEYOND THE RULE OF LAW? CITES’ ROLE IN ADDRESSING ILLEGAL TRADE

CITES CoP16 convened in the context of often-cited findings that illegal trade in wildlife is now the fourth largest illegal global trade, behind only narcotics, counterfeiting and human trafficking. Sobering statistics on species declines resulting from this illegal trade reminded delegates of the urgency of their decisions.

The impacts of legal domestic trade on international legal and illegal markets, and of farming and ranching operations on wild populations, were hotly contested. Parties debated how to address international trade bans in the context of legal domestic trade, and, conversely, how to enforce and implement domestic trade bans when international markets proliferate. Some parties promoted the role of legal trade in advancing the conservation of highly-vulnerable species by providing local communities with economic incentives for sustainable management. Several debates on different species illustrated these tensions.

Discussions on tigers raised questions as to whether legal domestic trade in some tiger parts and products, as some parties claim exists in China from captive-bred populations, can continue without compromising international trade bans and hastening the decline of wild populations. In a similar vein, participants highlighted concerns about Canadian permits for polar bears (currently a legal international trade) ending up in the hands of poachers, thus allowing traders to circumvent the Russian Federation’s ban on polar bear hunting through these illegal markets. Some expressed fears that restricting trade in porbeagle sharks would increase the mis- and non-reporting of bycatch by fishing vessels, thereby negatively affecting the available data for setting catch limits and quotas. Others pointed to successful experiences in South Africa with captive-breeding rhino operations as a way to support community livelihoods and reduce poaching.

The rise in illegal elephant killings across African range states in recent years, especially the last few months, meant discussions were framed by shared concerns about the need to stop illegal trade in ivory and other wildlife products. In the lead-up to the CoP, Tanzania withdrew its proposal to downlist its population of Loxodonta africana (African elephant), in what many saw as a response to the increase in illegal killings. Several lauded Tanzania’s “constructive” efforts towards discussions. What few parties agreed on, however, were the mechanisms required to shut down illegal trade. As a result, CoP16 did not resolve the long-standing debate on elephants concerning one-off ivory sales, with participants continuing to disagree strongly on the impact and wisdom of such sales as a strategy to protect elephants. Proponents laud one-off sales as a way of funding conservation efforts and fulfilling demand through controlled means, while opponents see these as stimulating demand and increasing incentives for poaching and black markets. Programmes to assess the impact of these sales, such as the Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) and Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS), found no clear connection between the sales and illegal markets, but several delegates pointed to the limited number of one-off sales as providing insufficient evidence for such a conclusion. Parties remained split on whether to even engage in debates on a CITES decision-making mechanism (DMM) to standardize decisions on whether and when to allow one-off sales, with some opposing any move towards allowing such sales.

With the withdrawal of downlisting proposals on elephants and rhinos, and the postponement of agreement to CoP17 on the outcome of a DMM, the results of this CoP left many debates unresolved. In light of ongoing deep divergences, some delegates anticipated challenging intersessional work, with these tensions setting the tone for its next meeting in South Africa.

THE FUTURE OF CITES? LOOKING BACK TO LOOK FORWARD

On its 40th anniversary, CITES showed no signs of fatigue as a convention at the heart of the challenges of balancing conservation with international trade, and species protection with livelihoods. High-value species have comprised the core of CITES’ work during its first forty years. Outcomes on ivory, mahogany and sturgeon reflect the capacity of parties to take decisions that have significant economic implications, although these outcomes usually follow substantial debate. The decisions at CoP16 signal the continued willingness of CITES parties to address difficult topics and species.

The last few CoPs have reflected a swath of changes in the views of parties on the role of CITES. Seasoned delegates recalled acrimonious debates over timber only a few CoPs ago, and pointed to the inclusion of many economically-valuable timber species at this CoP as reinforcing consensus that CITES has a role in regulating this trade. Some pointed to a similar “turning of the tide” on economically-valuable marine species, shown by the CoP16 listings of oceanic whitetip, hammerhead and porbeagle sharks, as well as manta rays. One participant hailed the final plenary of CoP16 “as the most significant day for the oceans in the 40-year history of CITES.”

The increasing scope of the Convention has resulted in a critical debate over its relationship to other international organizations and agreements. For some, the marine listings were seen as more appropriately managed by regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), but others rebutted that RFMOs had done little for improving the conservation status of the shark species that delegates could not agree to list at CoP15. Others still expressed optimism that CITES could complement RFMOs. This type of cooperation has become a fundamental component of CITES work, with its actions on valuable tropical timber species occurring in close partnership with the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). Growing interaction with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) along with decisions taken at CoP16 on CITES Plants Committee (PC) cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Global Strategy on Plant Conservation (GSPC) illustrate additional institutional linkages. Decisions on synergies with other MEAs and especially biodiversity-related conventions also reflect ongoing efforts to harmonize and integrate actions across international bodies. Along with reducing the burden on the CITES Secretariat, and the associated financial benefits accrued by sharing activities across these organizations, the decisions reflect an acknowledgement of the role of CITES across trade, environment and social development realms, and its ability to contribute to the measures taken in these other forums.

The question of “successes” at the CoP drew thoughtful responses from delegates. Some underscored that the decisions drawing cheers and applause in meeting rooms—most notably four listings on commercially-valuable marine species, comprising three proposals on sharks and one on rays—were in fact failures, since a listing only occurs when management and conservation measures have failed. One commented that “we should be crying, not clapping” when such decisions are deemed necessary. Others stated that CITES commitments need to be implemented before earning applause. As Committee II debates revealed, many states have yet to enact CITES-related legislation, despite some having been party to the Convention for more than twenty years. One delegate remarked that this “seriously undermines” the implementation of the Convention, noting the outcomes of CITES decisions depend on domestic action by governments. Reflecting on the paucity of repercussions for this lack of action, numerous parties pushed for the adoption of tougher compliance measures, including suspension of trade for parties that fail to act on their commitments. One respected participant, taking a long view of the Convention, commented that in its early years, parties were reluctant to even discuss penalties for non-compliance. He pointed to current discussions as an indication that “the tusks of CITES have grown.”

The decisions taken at CoP16 reinforced many parties’ conviction that CITES decision-making processes are up to the challenge of balancing the environmental, social and economic pillars of sustainable development. Now the world will look to CoP17, scheduled to convene in 2016 in South Africa, to see how parties enforce the decisions taken at this meeting, and will judge the outcomes based on their impact on endangered species, whose very existence may hinge on the implementation of the Convention.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

THIRD MEDITERRANEAN FOREST WEEK: The third Mediterranean Forest Week is being organized by the Governments of Algeria, France, Germany, Tunisia and Turkey, along with FAO, the Secretariat of the Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions, l’Association Internationale Forêts Méditerranéennes, le Centre Technique Forestier Tropical, the European Forest Institute, the Mediterranean Forests Model Network and Plan Bleu. The Week will be convened under the theme “Mediterranean forests for sustainable development of territories: what strategies of mitigation and adaptation to global change.” It will focus on strengthening links between the scientific community and other stakeholders working in or dependent on Mediterranean forests, examining both the contribution of the forests to economic development and ecosystem services and their links with climate change. dates: 17-21 March 2013 location: Tlemcen, Algeria contact: Christophe Besacier, Secretariat of Silva Mediterranea email: christophe.besacier@fao.org phone: +39-06570-55508 www: http://www.iii-med.forestweek.org/

UNFF-10: The tenth session of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) will focus on forests and economic development, including agenda items on: forest products and services; national forest programmes and other sectoral policies and strategies; reducing risks and impacts of disasters; and benefits of forests and trees to urban communities. dates: 8-19 April 2013 location: Istanbul, Turkey contact: UNFF Secretariat phone: +1-212-963-3401 fax: +1-917-367-3186 email: unff@un.org www: http://www.un.org/esa/forests/session.html

SOUTH-EASTERN ATLANTIC REGIONAL WORKSHOP TO FACILITATE THE DESCRIPTION OF ECOLOGICALLY OR BIOLOGICALLY SIGNIFICANT MARINE AREAS (EBSAS): This meeting will consider the development of scientific capacity as well as future scientific collaboration. dates: 8-12 April 2013 location: Swakopmund, Namibia contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: secretariat@cbd.int www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=EBSA-SEA-01

THIRD MEETING OF SIGNATORIES TO UNEP/CMS MOU ON MIDDLE-EUROPEAN POPULATION OF GREAT BUSTARD: The Great Bustard Scientific Symposium and the Third Meeting of the Signatories to the UN Environment Programme/Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS) MoU on the Conservation and Management of the Middle-European Population of the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) will be held to advance conservation actions on this species. date: 8-12 April 2013 location: Szarvas, Hungary contact: Melanie Virtue, CMS Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-2401 fax: +49-228-815-2449 email: mvirtue@cms.int www: http://www.cms.int/species/otis_tarda/otis_tarda_meetings.htm

WORLD OCEAN COUNCIL “SUSTAINABLE OCEAN SUMMIT”: This summit will address priorities for cross-sectoral industry leadership and collaboration in ocean sustainability. dates: 22-24 April 2013 location: Washington, DC, USA contact: World Ocean Council phone: +1-808-277-9008 email: info@oceancouncil.org www: http://www.oceancouncil.org/site/summit_2013/

22ND SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE: This meeting will focus on thematic discussion on the challenge posed by emerging forms of crime that have a significant impact on the environment and ways to deal with it effectively. dates: 22-26 April 2013 location: Vienna, Austria contact: United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime (UNODC) phone: +43-1-26060 fax: +43-1-263-3389 email: info@unodc.org www: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/commissions/CCPCJ/session/22.html

14TH SESSION OF THE INFORMAL CONSULTATIVE PROCESS (ICP14): This meeting will continue discussions on UN open-ended Informal Consultative process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea focusing on the impacts of ocean acidification on the marine environment. dates: 17-20 June 2013 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN DOALOS phone: +1-212- 963-5915 fax: +1-212-963-5847 email: doalos@un.org www: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/consultative_process/consultative_process.htm

GEF 44TH COUNCIL MEETING: The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Council meets twice per year to approve new projects with global environmental benefits in the GEF’s focal areas, and provide guidance to the GEF Secretariat and Agencies. dates: 18-20 June 2013 location: Washington, DC, USA contact: GEF Secretariat phone: +1-202-473-0508 fax: +1-202-522-3240 email: secretariat@thegef.org www: http://www.thegef.org/gef/events/gef-44th-council-meeting

AD HOC OPEN-ENDED INFORMAL WORKING GROUP TO STUDY ISSUES RELATING TO THE CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF MARINE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY BEYOND AREAS OF NATIONAL JURISDICTION: The Working Group will meet to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction. It will be preceded by two intersessional workshops will be convened in New York, from 2-3 May and 6-7 May 2013. dates: 19-23 August 2013 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN DOALOS phone: +1-212-963-3962 fax: +1-212-963-5847 email: doalos@un.orgwww: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/biodiversityworkinggroup/biodiversityworkinggroup.htm

INTERNATIONAL SNOW LEOPARD CONSERVATION FORUM: This meeting is organized by the World Bank Global Tiger Initiative with the Kyrgyz Presidency to further the agenda on snow leopard conservation. dates: end of August 2013 location: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan contact: Andrew Zakharenka, World Bank email: azakkharenka@worldbank.org

NINTH MEETING OF THE AEWA STANDING COMMITTEE: This meeting will be hosted by the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management on the conservation of African-Eurasian migratory waterbirds. dates: 18-20 September location: Trondheim, Norway contact: AEWA Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-2413 fax: +49-228-815-2450 email: aewa@unep.de www: http://www.unep-aewa.org/meetings/en/stc_meetings/stc9docs/stc9.htm

EIGHTH MEETING OF THE AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON ARTICLE 8(J) AND RELATED PROVISIONS OF THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY: This meeting will focus on the multi-year programme of work. dates: 7-11 October 2013 location: Montreal, Canada contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: secretariat@cbd.int www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=WG8J-08

CBD SBSTTA 17: At its 17th meeting, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity will address marine and coastal biodiversity, biodiversity and climate change, and collaboration with IPBES. dates: 14-18 October 2013 location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email: secretariat@cbd.int www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=SBSTTA-17

ITTC-49: The 49th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC) and the Associated Sessions of the four Committees will meet in Gabon. dates: 25-30 November 2013 location: Libreville, Gabon contact: ITTO phone: +81-45-223-1110 fax: +81-45-223-1111 email: itto@itto.or.jp www: http://www.itto.int

IPBES-2: The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services will take place in late 2013. dates: 9-13 December 2013 location: to be confirmed contact: UNEP Secretariat email: ipbes.unep@unep.org www: http://www.ipbes.net

PC21/AC27: The twenty-first meeting of the Plants Committee and the twenty-seventh meeting of the Animals Committee will have a joint session. dates: March 2014 location: Mexico contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8139/40 fax: +41-22-797-3417 email: info@cites.org www: http://www.cites.org

CITES COP17: The Conference of the Parties on the Convention in Trade in Endangered Flora and Fauna will convene for its seventeenth session in South Africa. dates: 2016 location: Cape Town, South Africa contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8139/40 fax: +41-22-797-3417 email:info@cites.org www: http://www.cites.org

GLOSSARY
AC
AEAP
AEF
CBD
CITES
CMS
CoP
CPW
EIA       
ETIS      
FAO
GEF
IPBES
ITTO
IUCN
MEA
MIKE
MoU
NDF
PC
RFMO
SADC
SC
SSN        
UNEP
WCO     
WCMC
WCS
CITES Animals Committee
African Elephant Action Plan
African Elephant Fund
Convention on Biological Diversity
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
Conference of the Parties
Costed Programme of Work
Environmental Investigation Agency
Elephant Trade Information System
Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN
Global Environment Facility
Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
International Tropical Timber Organization
International Union for Conservation of Nature
Multilateral environmental agreement
Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants
Memorandum of understanding
Non-detriment finding
Plants Committee
Regional fisheries management organization
Southern African Development Community
Standing Committee
Species Survival Network
United Nations Environment Programme
World Customs Organization
UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre
Wildlife Conservation Society
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This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Catherine Benson, Kate Harris, Resson Kantai, Kate Neville, Ph.D. and Tanya Rosen. The Digital Editor is Francis Dejon. 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 European Commission (DG-ENV), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), and the Government of Australia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2013 is provided by the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Specific funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by UNEP. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the 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 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, NY 10022 USA.
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