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Daily report for 13 March 2013

16th Meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP16)

In the morning, Committee II reconvened to complete outstanding agenda items. The Plenary met shortly after and proceeded to adopt reports and decisions from Committees I and II.


GREAT APES: The Secretariat introduced the draft decisions prepared after discussion of document CoP16 Doc.49 (CoP16 Com.II.13).

The Committee accepted the document.

ASIAN BIG CATS: The Secretariat introduced three draft decisions (Com.II.30), prepared by a working group following discussion of document CoP16 Doc.50 (Rev.1), 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. INDONESIA, supported by CHINA and THAILAND, requested deferring reporting to CoP17 rather than SC65. The US, supported by IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, urged reporting to SC65. The Committee voted to keep the text requiring reporting to SC65, with 64 in favor, 20 against and 28 abstensions. The Committee agreed to the draft decisions with a minor amendment.

CROSS-BORDER MOVEMENT OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: The US introduced the amendment to Resolution Conf.12.3 (Rev.CoP15) on the basis of document CoP16 Doc.40.  AUSTRALIA objected to requiring border officials sign the instruments’ certificates, citing implementation challenges.

The Committee accepted the document noting Australia’s comments.

STRATEGIC MATTERS: Potential conflicts of interest in the Animals and Plants Committees:  IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, introduced the document (CoP16 Com.II.28) prepared on the basis of document CoP16 Doc.11 (Rev.1). He noted the general agreement on the need for addressing the issue but highlighted that there was no 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 emphasized concerns about financial interests. NEW ZEALAND added that at this stage it is important to define financial interests. INDONESIA objected to declaring any interests. After some discussion, the Committee agreed to limiting the conflict of interest to “financial interests.”

The Committee accepted the document.

COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT: National reports: Committee I accepted the document prepared on the basis of CoP16 Doc.30 (Rev.1).

National laws for implementation of the convention: The US introduced the revised document on national laws for implementation of the convention (CoP16 Doc.28). The Committee accepted amendments from the US and IRELAND, on behalf of the EU and its Member States and Croatia, and adopted the document.

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS: Financing and budgeting of the Secretariat and of meetings of the CoP: Draft decisions of the CoP on Financing and the costed programme of work for the Secretariat for the triennium 2014-2016 and draft decisions of the CoP on access to GEF funding: SWITZERLAND introduced the 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 for the Secretariat for the triennium 2014-2016, presenting, inter alia, a compromise between a zero nominal and zero real growth budget. The second presents a draft decision directing the Secretariat to, inter alia, continue exploring a financial mechanism for CITES, such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and report on progress at SC65 and CoP17.

The Committee accepted the documents.


ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS: Credentials Committee: The CoP adopted the document with an amendment. The Chair of the Credentials Committee reported that 149 party credentials were accepted out of 170 registered parties.

Financing and budgeting of the Secretariat and of meetings of the CoP: The CoP adopted documents and recommendations on: the implementation of the costed programme of work for 2012; draft decisions of the CoP on financing and the costed programme of work for the Secretariat for the triennium 2014-2016; draft decisions of the CoP on access to GEF funding; and access to other sources of funding.

Arrangements for meetings: Committee II Chair reported that the proponents withdrew their document and the Secretariat agreed to prepare a document for the consideration of the SC.

STRATEGIC MATTERS: The CoP adopted documents and decisions on: potential conflicts of interest in the AC and PC; the CITES Strategic Vision; cooperation with organizations and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs); a resolution on cooperation with the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); cooperation between parties and promotion of multilateral measures; CITES and livelihoods; wildlife trade policy reviews; proposal concerning a needs assessment for strengthening the implementation of CITES in developing countries; and capacity-building programme for science-based establishment and implementation of voluntary national export quotas for Appendix-II species.

On the capacity building document and decisions, which the CoP adopted, the BAHAMAS said that the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Index (HDI) should not be used as the only criteria for determining who receives support. He asked that his comment go on record. The CoP adopted the document.

REVIEW OF RESOLUTIONS: The CoP adopted the recommendations of the Committees on proposals of the Secretariat and climate change.

COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT: The CoP adopted the recommendations of the Committees on: national laws for implementation of the Convention; enforcement matters; national reports; and disposal of illegally-traded and confiscated specimens of Appendix-I, -II and -III species.

TRADE CONTROL AND MARKING: The CoP adopted the recommendations of the Committees on: introduction from the sea; non-detriment findings (NDFs); electronic permitting; improving the efficiency of international cooperation on permit and certificate verification; decision-making mechanism (DMM) for a process of trade in ivory; proposal to amend Decision 14.77 on a DMM for a future trade in elephant ivory; purpose codes on CITES permits and certificates; transport of live specimens; cross-border movement of musical instruments; use of taxonomic serial numbers; physical inspection of timber shipments; standard nomenclature, including the report of the AC and PC and standard nomenclature for Hippocampus species; identification manual, including the report of the Secretariat and of the PC; and e-commerce of specimens of CITES-listed species.

EXEMPTIONS AND SPECIAL TRADE PROVISIONS: The CoP adopted the recommendations of the Committees on: personal and household effects; proposed revision of Resolution Conf.13.7 (Rev.CoP14) on control of trade in personal and household effects; and implementation of the Convention relating to captive-bred and ranched specimens.

SPECIES TRADE AND CONSERVATION: The CoP adopted the recommendations of the Committees on: great apes; Asian big cats; illegal trade in cheetahs; leopard quotas; elephants (including monitoring the illegal killing of elephants; monitoring of illegal trade in ivory and other elephant specimens; recommendations on the draft revision of Resolution Conf.10.10 (Rev.CoP15) on trade in elephant specimens; and a resolution on the African Elephant Action Plan and African Elephant Fund); rhinoceroses; Tibetan antelope; Saiga antelope; snake trade and conservation management; hawksbill turtle; sturgeons and paddlefish (including reports of the AC and the Secretariat); sharks and stingrays; humphead wrasse; sea cucumbers; regional cooperation on the management of and trade in the queen conch (Strombus gigas); Madagascar; agarwood-producing taxa (including the report of the PC and draft resolution on implementation of the Convention for agarwood-producing taxa); bigleaf mahogany; Cedrela odorata, Dalbergia retusa, D. granadillo and D. stevensonii; and the report of the Central Africa Bushmeat Working Group.

 On tortoises and freshwater turtles, 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 on re-opening debate. With 24 for, 86 against and 21 abstaining, the Indonesian proposal did not carry, and debate remained closed.

The CoP noted the report on toothfish: report of CCAMLR (Doc.63 (Rev.1)).

AMENDMENT OF THE APPENDICES: The CoP adopted the recommendations of the Committees on: criteria for the inclusion of species in Appendices I and II; criteria related to ranched populations; proposed revision of Resolution Conf.10.9 on consideration of proposals for the transfer of African elephant populations from Appendix I to Appendix II; Periodic Review of the Appendices (including revision of Resolution Conf.14.8 on Periodic Review and review of the Appendices: Felidae); and development and application of annotations and annotations – report of the PC.

PROPOSALS TO AMEND APPENDICES I AND II: On proposals to amend Appendices I and II, the CoP adopted the two draft decisions in CoP16 Doc.77.

The CoP noted the withdrawal of proposals on: Ceratotherium simum simum and Loxodonta africana. The CoP also noted the decisions on Cuora galbinifrons, Geoemyda japonica and Mauremys annamensis.

The CoP adopted proposals on: Rupicapra pyrenaica ornate, Vicugna vicugna, Pteropus brunneus, Thylacinus cynocephalus, Onychogalea lunata, Caloprymnus campestris, Chaeropus ecaudatus, Macrotis leucura, Trichechus senegalensis, Caracara lutosa, Lophura imperialis, Tympanuchus cupido attwateri, Campephilus imperialis, Sceloglaux albifacies, Naultinus spp., Protobothrops mangshanensis, Chelodina mccordi, Clemmys guttata, Emydoidea blandingii, Malaclemys terrapin, freshwater box turtles, Geochelone platynota and softshell turtles. The CoP rejected proposals on: Ursus maritimus, Gallus sonneratii, Ithaginis cruentus, Tetraogallus caspius, T. tibetanus and Crocodylus acutus.

On Crocodylus siamensis, THAILAND, supported by ECUADOR and CAMBODIA, requested reopening the proposal. 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.


As delegates sipped coffee in the hallways on Wednesday morning while waiting for Committee II to reconvene, several commented that the delays caused by their uncompleted work might leave plenary pressed for time. But by mid-afternoon, not only had Committee II ended and plenary begun, but the CoP had completed its entire agenda for the day and had swiftly moved on to consideration of Thursday’s work. One noted the hard work of Committees and drafting groups was paying off, as many of the most divisive issues had found—if not full resolution—outcomes acceptable to parties, either through compromise text, amendments and revisions, or, in some cases, clear decisions through the votes. Around 3:30pm, another delegate was heard excitedly whispering to his colleague that CoP16 perhaps might end an entire day early, leaving them with extra time for shopping and temple visits before their flights home.

As anticipated by some delegates over the past days, the most difficult agenda items were on proposals to amend the Appendices, with the debates re-opened on the Siamese crocodile. Nervous anticipation over whether the shark, manta ray or stingray proposals would be re-opened was suspended, as the Chair closed the plenary session promptly at 5:00pm, three frog proposals short of considering the oceanic whitetip shark.

ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of CITES CoP16 will be available on Monday, 18 March 2013 online at:

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