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The Pew Tokyo Whale Symposium

L-R: Symposium Chair Neroni Slade; Richard Black, British Broadcasting Corporation; and Rémi Parmentier, the Varda Group. Black moderated a roundtable discussion entitled “The IWC process on its future: recommendations to the IWC Intersessional Meeting in March 2008”.
Highlights for Thursday, 31 January 2008

Participants at the Second Pew Whale Symposium resumed their discussions today.

During a session entitled “How can a way forward be found?,” presentations were made by: Amb. Eduardo Iglesias, International Whaling Commission (IWC) Commissioner for Argentina; Richard Cowan, IWC Commissioner for the United Kingdom (UK); Tetsu Sato, Nagano University; and Heather Sohl, WWF-UK.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed: killing of whales by anti-whaling countries through ship strikes and by-catch; small cetaceans management; “managing the impasse” versus “looking for a way forward”; the culling of whales for conservation and fisheries purposes; the role of trust; high-level ministerial participation in negotiations; and equitable appropriation of resources and design of management regimes.

In the afternoon, Richard Black, British Broadcasting Corporation, moderated a roundtable discussion entitled “The IWC process on its future: recommendations to the IWC Intersessional Meeting in March 2008”. Delegates discussed, among other things:
View HTML version the role of science;
View HTML version the functioning of the IWC;
View HTML version NGO participation in IWC meetings;
View HTML version “renovating” the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW);
View HTML version cooperation with other organizations;
View HTML version IWC meeting frequency;
View HTML version motivations for the continuation of whaling;
View HTML version a suggestion for a voluntary suspension and review of Japan’s scientific whaling programme;
View HTML version and concrete suggestions for the IWC Intersessional Meeting in March, including appointing new representatives for the IWC, promoting consensus-based approaches rather than voting, and encouraging the chair to take an active role in conflict mediation.

Symposium Chair Neroni Slade presented a Chair’s summary of the meeting. He said the discussions had shown some clear areas of agreement, including that: the ICRW and the IWC have produced significant benefits for whale conservation; endangered species deserve absolute protection; and ultimately the solution to the whaling debate is political, not scientific. He said the most promising compromise would be a combination of actions which would: recognize potentially legitimate claims by coastal whaling communities; suspend scientific whaling in its current form and respect sanctuaries; and define a finite number of whales that can be taken by all of the world’s nations.

Chair Slade said an outcome document will be made available, stressing that it will be a Chair’s summary rather than a consensus document, and closed the meeting at 6:10 pm.
Jan Henderson, Director of the Environment Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand
Nanami Kurasawa, Iruka & Kujira Action Network, Japan
Wakako Hironaka, member of the Japanese House of Councillors
L-R: Kiyoshi Kurokawa, M.D., M.A.C.P., Science Advisor to the Japanese Prime Minister, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, and Professor Morishima
L-R: Joji Morishita (Japan) and Jan Henderson  (New Zealand) announce plans for the IWC Intersessional meeting
Dr. Mamadou Diallo, Species Programme Manager, WWF Western African Marine Ecoregion
Dr. Richard Cowan, IWC Commissioner for the UK speaking at the Thursday morning session, “How can a way forward be found?”
Heather Sohl, Species Trade and Policy Officer, WWF
Paul Spong, Ph.D. Director, OrcaLab, Canada
Alex Garcia Wylie, The Varda Group
Your IISD team. L-R: Aki Mori, Japanese translator, Japan; Nienke Beintema, Writer/Team Leader, the Netherlands; and Kate Neville Writer, Canada. Not in the photograph: Kimo Goree, Digital Editor, United States of America.
Daily web coverage
30 January - 31 January

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