Highlights and images for 25 August 2019



Highlights for Sunday, 25 August 2019

A mako shark makes an intervention as the second week of CITES CoP18 begins.

Committee I began the morning under the sea, with the consideration of proposals on mako sharks, guitarfishes, wedgefishes and sea cucumbers.Mexico introduced the proposal to include Shortfin mako sharks and Longfin mako sharks in Appendix II. Co-proponents Gabon, Costa Rica, EU, and others stressed that the current scientific evidence available makes clear the urgent need for regulation, recognizing that existing voluntary sustainable use measures, including those of regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs), are ineffective. New Zealand, Antigua and Barbuda, Malaysia, Japan, and others opposed this listing on the basis that global Mako shark populations are more robust than suggested by the proponents, pointing to the conclusions of a recent Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) report. In a secret ballot, Committee I adopted the proposal, with 102 in favor and 40 against.Senegal introduced the proposal to list guitarfishes under Appendix II given declines caused by widespread and largely unmanaged fisheries. Fiji, Nigeria, Comoros, the US, and others supported the proposal, highlighting the need for trade regulation. St. Kitts and Nevis, Japan, and Malaysia opposed it, with Malaysia and China asking for secret ballot voting. In a secret ballot, Committee I voted to adopt the proposal, with 109 in favor and 30 against.Sri Lanka introduced the proposal to list wedgefishes in Appendix II, arguing that an Appendix II listing would raise awareness of the species’ vulnerability and facilitate greater regional cooperation to ensure sustainable use. Egypt, Fiji, Kenya, and other co-proponents argued that an Appendix II listing would have important conservation benefits given the high value of wedgefish fins in international trade. Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan opposed the proposal, pointing to the inconclusive data on the status of global wedgefish stocks, as found by an FAO expert panel report, and the significant implementation challenges implicated by an Appendix II listing. In a secret ballot, Committee I voted to adopt the proposal, with 112 in favor and 30 against.In the afternoon, delegates considered proposals on otters, southern white rhino, and mammoths, among others.Committee II meanwhile discussed pangolins, the African grey parrot, and tortoises and freshwater turtles, among other matters. The Committee considered a proposal for pangolin range States to develop in situ conservation and management programs, and for the Secretariat to develop conversion parameters that will enable reliable determination of the number of animals associated with the quantity of pangolin scales seized. Several Parties highlighted the large seizures of illegally traded pangolin in recent months, and China reported that pangolin scales from its seizures are now available for controlled use in designated hospitals and through registered doctors. Many expressed support for conservation activities in range States, and some also called for increased enforcement and demand-reduction activities.The Plants Committee presented its work on developing a definition of the term ‘artificially propagated’, and Parties in Committee II welcomed the introduction of a new source code ‘Y’ to refer to the assisted production of plants that are neither ‘artificially propagated’ nor ‘wild’, as they are propagated or planted in an environment with some level of human intervention. Georgia noted the new source code would benefit the trade in snowdrop bulbs, which grow in areas where maize and hazelnut are cultivated, supporting rural livelihoods.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report from CITES CoP18.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth

For photo reprint permissions, please follow instructions at our Attribution Regulations for Meeting Photo Usage Page.

Committee I: Species-Specific Matters
Delegates gather in plenary as mako sharks, guitarfishes, and otters, among others, are discussed.
Rodrigo Medellin, Mexico
Pamela Mace, New Zealand
Aurélie Flore Koumba, Gabon
Daven Joseph, Antigua and Barbuda
Ashley Dias, Seychelles
Colin Simpfendorfer, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Rebecca Regnery, Humane Society International
Joshua Wycliffe, Fiji
Delegates vote on six proposals throughout the day.
Delegates vote in favor of uplisting mako sharks to Appendix II following a two-thirds majority.
Delegates record the results of the votes as they are displayed on the screen.
Adalheidur Thorsteindottir, Iceland
Lawrence Kissol, Malaysia
Nicho Gowep, Papua New Guinea
Kim Friedman, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)
Committee II: Interpretation and Implementation Matters
Delegates gather in Committee II as discussions on interpretation and implementation continue.
Dennis Kyabwasi Ikanda, Tanzania
Blamah Sando Goll, Liberia
Peter Paul van Dijk, Nomenclature Specialist
Hank Jenkins, Creative Conservation Solutions
Bandar Al-Faleh, Saudi Arabia
Lise Jubinville, Canada
Laura Noguchi, US
He Jingxin, China
CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero
Duangduen Sripotar, Thailand
Sri Ratnaningsih, Indonesia
Damian Wrigley, Australia
Obaid Ali Al Shamsi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Around the Venue
Sofie Flensborg and Karen Gaynor, CITES Secretariat, speak with CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero in the corridors.
Joaquín de la Torre Ponce, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and José Funes, environmental lawyer
Hesiquio Benítez Díaz, Mexico, speaks with Jorge Rodríguez Romero, EU
Peter Fredrick Moll, World Leaders of Today, speaks with Susan Lieberman, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
Delegates from eSwatini
Tom De Meulenaer and Daniel Kachelriess, CITES Secretariat
A delegate visits the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) website to keep track of the negotiations.
Delegates between sessions.
Delegates from the Pacific region consult in the corridors.


Negotiating blocs
European Union