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Daily report for 7 October 2004

13th Meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties (COP13)

Delegates to COP‑13 met in committees throughout the day. Committee I addressed medicinal plant annotations, nomenclature issues and proposals to amend the Appendices. Committee II considered trade in vicuña cloth, enforcement matters, compliance, conservation of, and trade in, great apes, bears, Asian big cats and Tibetan antelope.


MEDICINAL PLANT ANNOTATIONS: The EU, SWITZERLAND, PERU and CANADA supported the PC’s main principles for drafting future annotations for medicinal plants in the Appendices (Doc.58). The Secretariat said preparation of a glossary and training material for the amended annotations should be subject to funding availability. NAMIBIA suggested including both medicinal and ornamental trade within the document’s main principles. Incorporating principles into decisions was approved.

NOMENCLATURE COMMITTEE: The EU supported the NC’s report and recommendations (Doc.9.3.1) on fauna. ISRAEL, supported by HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL, questioned using an online database, noting that it is subject to change. The Secretariat suggested that the NC consider how to handle online data intersessionally. On flora, NC Vice‑Chair McGough noted, inter alia, discrepancies between CITES listings and the UNEP‑WCMC Checklist of CITES Species. The EU supported using the UNEP‑WCMC list as a digest of scientific names for flora. Delegates approved the NC’s recommendations on flora and fauna.

NOMENCLATURE: MEXICO, supported by ISRAEL and PERU, introduced the document on standard nomenclature for birds (Doc.59.1), requesting Parties to return to the original taxonomic reference for Psittaciformes and Trochilidae to conform to internationally accepted taxonomic reference and avoid split‑listing, particularly for Amazona ochrocephala. The EU, SWITZERLAND, INDIA and AUSTRALIA opposed the proposal, noting that taxonomic changes would have impacts on national legislation and databases. HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL said split‑listing can be avoided by replacing subspecific listings with geographical listings. The US and NEW ZEALAND suggested referring this issue to the NC for review. MEXICO withdrew its proposal.

Chamaeleo excubitorKENYA presented a document recognizing Chamaeleo excubitor as a separate species (Doc.59.2). The EU noted it is not a separate species and, with the US, TANZANIA and GHANA, suggested referring the issue to the NC. KENYA agreed.

PROPOSALS TO AMEND APPENDICES I AND II: Hoodia: SOUTH AFRICA introduced its joint proposal with Namibia and Botswana to include Hoodia in Appendix II (Prop.37), proposing to include all derivatives, except seeds and pollen, and finished pharmaceutical products bearing a label stating the Hoodia is obtained through controlled harvesting and production. The EU expressed concern that the annotation would undermine Appendix II listings and, with KENYA, recommended that a drafting group further discuss the proposal. The Chair established a drafting group.

Euphorbiaceae spp: THAILAND introduced its proposal to exempt from CITES controls certain forms of artificially propagated specimens of Euphorbiaceae (Prop.38). Many delegates supported the proposal, which was approved with some amendments suggested by the Secretariat. THAILAND also introduced its proposal to exempt from CITES controls artificially propagated cultivars of Euphorbia mili (Prop.39). The EU and the US said the proposed taxa is a hybrid. SWITZERLAND, opposed by the US, proposed reflecting the cultivar’s name in the taxa. MADAGASCAR requested further morphological characteristics to distinguish it from its wild species, to which THAILAND offered to provide an identification manual. The proposal was approved.

Orchidaceae: THAILAND introduced its proposal on specific exemptions for artificially propagated Orchidaceae hybrids listed in Appendix II (Prop.40). HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL said the proposal goes beyond the PC’s recommendations and does not address hybrid specimens with one parent listed in Appendix I. PERU opposed the proposal, stating that it could become a loophole for illegal trade. MEXICO, ECUADOR and COLOMBIA also opposed the proposal, while QATAR supported it. The EU, supported by KENYA, suggested establishing a working group to discuss the proposal with related proposals by Switzerland (Prop.41 and Prop.42). TRAFFIC noted enforcement problems resulting from similarity of appearance. Chair Dublin proposed that a working group, chaired by South Africa, to discuss the Swiss and Thai proposals, but that discussion on amending an annotation to Orchidaceae in Appendix II (Prop.42) be postponed.

Christmas orchid: COLOMBIA introduced its proposal to transfer Cattelya trianaei from Appendix I to Appendix II (Prop.43). Noting lack of demand for the wild species, many delegates supported, while the US opposed, the downlisting. The proposal was approved.

Blue vanda orchid: THAILAND introduced its proposal to downlist Vanda coerulea from Appendix I to Appendix II (Prop.44), noting lack of demand for the wild plant. The proposal was approved.

Desert living cistance: CHINA introduced its proposal on additions to an annotation to Appendix II‑listed Cistanche deserticola (Prop.45) on parts and derivatives. The EU opposed the proposal, calling for finished pharmaceutical products to be exempt from the annotation, while INDONESIA, THAILAND, SOUTH AFRICA, SWITZERLAND and TRAFFIC supported it. The proposal was adopted.

Manambe palm: MADAGASCAR introduced its proposal to transfer Chrysalidocarpus decipiens from Appendix II to Appendix I (Prop.46), stressing the threat resulting from seed export on its populations. The EU, SOUTH AFRICA and DOMINICA proposed maintaining the species in Appendix II, with annotations for international seed control. The US, BOLIVIA, SENEGAL, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO and GUINEA supported the original proposal, which was approved.


TRADE IN VICUÑA CLOTH: The Secretariat reported on trade in vicuña cloth (Doc.20). PERU, ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA, CHILE, ECUADOR, the US, the EU and JAPAN supported including information on trade data in annual reports, including quantity of exported fibre. PERU, ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA, CHILE and ECUADOR opposed repealing provisions of Res. Conf. 11.6 (Trade in vicuña cloth) on marking, noting their importance to ensure sound management and compliance. 

NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION: The Secretariat introduced a document on national laws for CITES implementation (Doc.22 (Rev.2)). All Parties stressed the benefits of the National Legislation Project and technical support provided by the Secretariat. BRUNEI DARUSALAM and NEPAL suggested that flexibility be given to Parties to implement CITES legislation. NIGERIA and ERITREA proposed holding regional capacity‑building workshops. ARGENTINA, supported by others, proposed deleting reference to the possibility for the SC to consider adopting restrictions on commercial trade in CITES specimens, while the US and the EU suggested the SC Amay recommend@ such measures. Following a vote on Argentina’s proposal, delegates decided by consensus that the SC may consider recommending the suspension of commercial trade, and adopted the decision.

ENFORCEMENT MATTERS: The Secretariat introduced a document regarding enforcement matters (Doc.23), and proposed delaying adoption of a resolution on the topic until COP‑14. ISRAEL, supported by others, opposed delaying its adoption, and proposed establishing an enforcement working group. The US, CANADA, MALAYSIA, DAVID SHEPHARD WILDLIFE FOUNDATION and IFAW supported the draft decisions. CUBA said some of the issues addressed exceed CITES’ scope.

ERITREA said it is establishing its Scientific Authority. CHINA, MALAYSIA and NICARAGUA reported on their success in improving national enforcement.

The RUSSIAN FEDERATION said enforcement‑related information from the public and NGOs should undergo the procedure set forth in CITES Article 13 (International measures), and opposed submission of anonymous information. The EU supported establishing a contact list of enforcement agencies and, supported by CHINA and CUBA, proposed increasing capacity building and training of CITES enforcement officers. TRAFFIC supported further meetings of the CITES Enforcement Expert Group. Delegates adopted the proposed decisions, adding prosecuting agencies to the directory of enforcement agencies, as proposed by Zambia.

COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT: KENYA introduced its proposal for revising Res. Conf. 11.3 (Compliance and enforcement) (Doc.24 (Rev.1)), noting that it incorporates the CITES Enforcement Expert Group’s recommendations. Most Parties supported the proposal. GHANA stressed the need for capacity building, and JORDAN called for political will. The EU noted that enforcement issues related to Appendix I species differ from those for Appendix II species. WILDAID FOUNDATION‑THAILAND said lack of regional networking is the main obstacle to enforcement. Delegates adopted the proposal with the inclusion of prosecution authorities, as proposed by Zambia.

GUIDELINES ON COMPLIANCE: The EU noted that, due to the SC establishing a working group on compliance, the EU’s proposal including guidelines on compliance (Doc.25) was outdated. NORWAY reported on progress in the compliance working group. CANADA expressed hope that a proposal could be presented to COP‑14. MEXICO and the RUSSIANFEDERATION said guidelines should reflect a supportive rather than punitive approach. DAVID SHEPHERD WILDLIFE FOUNDATION and IFAW supported an approach including incentives and sanctions. Delegates took note of the working group’s report.

GREAT APES: The EU presented a proposal on the conservation of, and trade in, great apes (Doc.26). UGANDA, supported by other range States, said the proposal does not sufficiently address, inter alia: linkages between poverty and conservation; costs of wildlife conservation; importance of great apes to local communities; the human‑great apes conflict; and habitat conservation. BURUNDI proposed that CITES and CBD cooperate to develop recommendations for in situ conservation.

While GREEN WARRIORS OF NORWAY, IFAW and WWF stressed the need to address great ape use as diplomatic gifts, UGANDA opposed and NIGERIA, CAMEROON and BURUNDI suggested the issue should not be restricted to diplomatic gifts. TANZANIA proposed that Parties refrain Aas much as possible@ from making such gifts. NIGERIA opposed addressing bushmeat under CITES. The US and INDONESIA noted that controlling domestic trade is beyond CITES’ mandate. Chair Brasher asked the EU to prepare a revised proposal.

BEARS: The Secretariat introduced a report on conservation of, and trade in, bears (Doc.27), noting that many issues relate to enforcement. CAMBODIA and INDIA reported on their conservation efforts. Delegates took note of the report.

ASIAN BIG CATS: The Secretariat introduced a report on the conservation of, and trade in, Asian big cats (Doc.28), recommending convening a meeting of the CITES Tiger Enforcement Task Force. INDIA, NEPAL and BHUTAN reported on their conservation efforts and cooperation. AFGHANISTAN and BANGLADESH requested financial and technical assistance. The EU and CHINA suggested adopting a decision and the Secretariat agreed to prepare one.

TIBETAN ANTELOPE: The Secretariat presented a report on the conservation of, and trade in, Tibetan antelope (Doc.31), recommending that some States in India stop processing Tibetan antelope wool and shahtoosh products. INDIA opposed making reference to specific Indian States. CHINA proposed that the SC undertake regular reviews of trade in wool and shahtoosh products. Delegates agreed to revise Res. Conf. 11.8 (Rev.COP12), delete paragraphs on tasks completed by the Secretariat, and include China’s proposal.


As discussion on amendments to the Appendices got under way, delegates were surprised to see proposals, considered uncontroversial, turn divisive; so divisive that a point of order was called to challenge a Committee Chair’s decision to push forward a proposal that inaccurately reflected the scientific name of a plant species. Some delegates wondered if this was an early sign of the challenges that lie ahead when delegates consider more notorious controversial species, like ramin, elephants and whales. Several delegates believed that many proposals approved in the Committee might be reopened in Plenary.  

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