Summary report, 15–19 August 2011
61st Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee
The 61st meeting of the Standing Committee (SC61) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened in Geneva, Switzerland from 15-19 August 2011. Approximately 300 participants attended the meeting, including SC members, observer parties, and inter- and non-governmental organizations. SC61 proceeded swiftly through a complex agenda that included: relationship with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP); CITES appendices; strategic matters; enforcement matters; trade and conservation issues in species including great apes, elephants, tigers, rhinoceroses, sturgeons, ramin and bigleaf mahogany; and other issues on interpretation and implementation of the Convention.
SC61 agreed to a number of recommendations, including on: the Report on the Working Group on revising the agreement between the CITES SC and the Executive Director of UNEP; conducting a study on the rationale and history of the rules applying to votes by secret ballot within CITES’ Conference of Parties (CoP); the adoption of national laws for the implementation of the Convention; review of significant trade (RST); enforcement matters; elephant management and conservation; and Asian big cats.
Several intersessional working groups were established to carry out work on, inter alia: access to finance; possible solutions to address the challenges encountered by trade in captive-bred or ranched specimens; taxonomic serial numbers; the further implementation of Decision 15.74 on revising Resolution Conf. 10.10 on trade in elephant specimens; livelihood issues related to snake and snake products trade; and rhinos. These working groups are expected to report back to the next meeting of the Standing Committee in July 2012.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CITES
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (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, US, on 3 March 1973, and entered into force on 1 July 1975. There are currently 175 parties to the Convention.
The aim of CITES is to ensure that international trade in 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 threatened with extinction, permitting such trade only in exceptional circumstances. Appendix II species are those that may become endangered if their trade is not regulated, thus requiring controls aimed at preventing unsustainable use, maintaining ecosystems and preventing species from entering Appendix I. Appendix III species are those for which a party requests the cooperation of other parties to control international trade in specimens of 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 technical 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 among 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 the international trade of CITES species through a system of permits and certificates that are required before specimens listed in the Convention’s 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 the second national body, the 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 and two scientific committees: the Plants Committee (PC) and the Animals Committee (AC).
CONFERENCES OF THE PARTIES: The first Conference of the Parties 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 existing species listed in the appendices.
SC54: This meeting convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2-6 October 2006. Over 20 decisions and recommendations were adopted, and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CITES and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was signed. The SC approved the Secretariat’s estimated expenditures for 2006, and set a deadline for the submission of comments on the CITES Strategic Plan 2008-2013. The SC also agreed, inter alia, to: defer consideration of trade in tigers to CoP14; review timber trade in Peru and Malaysia at future SC meetings; designate Japan as a trading partner for the one-off sale of government-owned ivory stockpiles from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, but not to proceed with the sale at this point; and not to revise the 2006 caviar export quotas.
SC55: This meeting took place just prior to CoP14 in The Hague, the Netherlands, on 2 June 2007. The SC examined China’s request to be considered a trading partner for African ivory, but deferred its decision until SC57. The Committee also accepted the Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) baseline data and adopted recommendations on bigleaf mahogany.
CITES CoP14: This meeting convened from 3-15 June 2007, in The Hague, the Netherlands, and considered 70 agenda items and 37 proposals to amend the CITES appendices. CoP14 adopted resolutions and decisions directed to parties, the Secretariat and the Convention’s committees, on a wide 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. Regarding species listings, CoP14 decided to list: slenderhorned and Cuvier’s gazelles, slow loris, and six species of sawfish on Appendix I; Brazil wood, freshwater sawfish and the European 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.
SC56: This meeting took place immediately following CoP14 in The Hague, the Netherlands on 15 June 2007. The Committee re-elected Cristian Maquieira (Chile) as Chair.
SC57: This meeting took place from 14-18 July 2008, in Geneva, Switzerland. SC57 adopted a number of recommendations, including on: development of indicators; the costed programme of work for 2009-2011; review of the status of the elephant, trade in its specimens and the impact of the legal trade; and designation of China as an ivory trading party. Many intersessional working groups were established to carry out work on, inter alia: CITES and livelihoods; introduction from the sea; the MIKE programme; a decision-making mechanism for authorizing ivory trade; operations breeding tigers on a commercial scale; review of the scientific committees; cooperation between parties and promotion of multilateral measures; trade in crocodilian specimens; and purpose codes on CITES permits and certificates.
SC58: This meeting convened in Geneva, Switzerland from 6-10 July 2009. SC58 adopted a number of recommendations on, inter alia: national wildlife trade policy reviews; national reports; RST; revision and publication of CITES appendices; introduction from the sea; trade in crocodilian specimens; stock assessment and a total allowable catch methodology for sturgeons; and bigleaf mahogany. SC58 also established an intersessional working group on the participation of the African region in CITES, initiated by African representatives with European Union (EU) funding.
SC59: This meeting took place on 12 March 2010, in Doha, Qatar, immediately prior to CoP15. SC59 agreed on: the continuation of the CITES and livelihoods working group; the removal of several species from the RST; and lifting its recommendation to suspend trade in saiga antelope, given the Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation MoU concerning the Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Use of the saiga antelope.
CoP15: This meeting convened from 13-25 March 2010, in Doha, Qatar. CoP15 adopted resolutions and decisions 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: Kaiser’s spotted newt; five species of tree frogs; the unicorn beetle; rosewood; holywood; and several Madagascar plant species, among others.
SC60: This meeting took place on 25 March 2010, immediately after CoP15. SC60 agreed to: recommend a suspension of trade with Madagascar in Nile crocodile specimens until 30 September 2010; and reconvene the MIKE/Elephant Trade Information System Subgroup with Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Japan, Mali, Uganda, the US and the UK.
PC19: This meeting convened from 18-21 April 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland. The PC adopted recommendations on the PC work-plan, non-detriment findings (NDFs), the periodic review and amendments to the appendices and the RST; and established seven intersessional working groups, including on NDFs, the periodic review, annotations and climate change.
AC25: This meeting convened from 18-22 July 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland. AC25 adopted recommendations on: the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership; the periodic review; the RST; ranching; identification of CITES-listed corals in trade; progress on the Identification Manual; production systems; species including sturgeons, sharks, snakes, turtles, tortoises, and sea cucumbers. The Committee agreed on twelve intersessional working groups, some jointly with the PC including on: sturgeons; sharks; sea cucumbers; and criteria for listing.
On Monday morning, 15 August 2011, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Standing Committee (SC) Chair, Øystein Størkersen, opened the meeting, emphasizing the need for the Convention to look for innovative ways to promote implementation and underscoring the need to attract financial resources, including Global Environment Facility (GEF) funds. John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General, highlighted achievements since the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP15), including: the launch of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC); financing for the Third Phase of Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE 3); and gaining momentum with electronic permitting. He acknowledged challenges such as: the high number of parties lacking legislation complying with the Convention as well as of parties subject to trade suspensions; the low level of submissions of national reports; and the lack of a financing mechanism for CITES. Referring to the goals of the CITES Strategic Vision, he underscored the importance of reaching out to other international processes and organizations.
AGENDA AND WORKING PROGRAMME: On Monday, the SC adopted the meeting’s draft agenda (SC61 Doc.3 (Rev.2)) and the working programme (SC61 Doc.4 (Rev.1)), both without amendments, and noted the current rules of procedure of the Standing Committee (SC61 Doc.5 (Rev.1)).
ADMISSION OF OBSERVERS: On Monday, the Secretariat introduced the list of organizations that requested and received an invitation to attend the meeting (SC61 Doc.7). The SC noted the list of organizations and non-party observers not requiring an invitation.
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME: UNEP Report: On Monday, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) introduced document SC61 Doc.9.1. (Rev.1). She introduced the UN Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (InforMEA). On administrative and financial management support to the CITES Secretariat, she described the delegation of authority signed between the UNEP Executive Director and the CITES Secretary-General.
Secretary-General Scanlon emphasized the importance of InforMEA and expanding the CITES profile through its engagement with UNEP-administered MEAs.
Outcome: The SC noted the report.
Report on the Working Group on revising the agreement between the CITES Standing Committee and the Executive Director of UNEP: On Monday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.9.2. He highlighted the SC recommendations to note the open and transparent process for the adoption of a new delegation of authority between the UNEP Executive Director and the CITES Secretary-General. He also highlighted the recommendation that the SC consider, inter alia, whether to enter into a new agreement with the UNEP Executive Director and note there are issues raised by some parties that may go beyond the scope of the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the SC and the UNEP Executive Director concerning secretariat services to and support of the Convention as detailed in document SC61 Doc.9.2 Annex 2.
On the draft MoU, Norway noted that it reflects both parties’ interests well and encouraged the SC to endorse it. Botswana, on behalf of southern African countries, and the US, on behalf of North America, expressed support for the draft MoU as it is. The UK, on behalf of the European Union (EU) and its 27 member States, suggested not endorsing the draft MoU as such, recommending instead that it is forwarded to the UNEP Executive Director and returned to the SC for further comments and discussion. The US proposed resolving the issue of its endorsement in an in-session working group and the SC agreed.
On Friday, Secretary-General Scanlon reported on the discussions in the working group and noted the amendments agreed on the MoU, including that it is entered into without prejudice to the negotiations on administrative arrangements between UNEP and UNEP-administered conventions, including any future negotiations between CITES and UNEP. He asked that the SC consider a decision in which: the SC agree to the MoU as amended and authorize its signing; the Secretariat prepare a report for SC62 informing of any decision taken by the UNEP Governing Council (GC) special session in February 2012; and should the MoU be adopted or accepted during the UNEP GC session, the Secretariat would inform the SC and the matter would be referred back to the SC and working group for further consideration.
The UK suggested adding that “in the event that amendments are suggested” the MoU should be referred back to the SC and working group.
Outcome: The SC agreed to the revised text of the MoU.
MEETINGS OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES: Structure and length of future meetings: On Monday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.11.1 on options for reducing the length of future meetings, inviting delegates to comment on three proposals. The US, UK, Norway and Malaysia favored the option of reducing the second working week to four days instead of five. Acknowledging all delegates’ comments and suggestions the Secretariat proposed developing an online forum and using the inter-sessional period to finalize the document.
Outcome: The SC instructed the Secretariat to prepare a further document and noted it would solicit comments through the CITES online forum.
Arrangements for the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties: On Monday, Thailand, the next host country, gave an update of the preparations for CoP16, which will be held on 3-15 March 2013 at a venue to be determined.
Improving transparency of voting during meetings of the Conference of the Parties: On Monday, Poland, on behalf of the EU, presented document SC61 Doc.11.3, prepared by Hungary, and proposed, inter alia, that: the SC recommends to CoP16 that a new provision is introduced in Rule 25 of the CoP Rules of Procedure, allowing individual votes of all parties to be displayed on a screen for all participants to see immediately after a vote has taken place; and the Secretariat provide a report for SC62 on the rationale and history of the rules applying to votes by secret ballot within CITES CoPs.
Germany, in supporting the proposal, highlighted the voting on the porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) at CoP15, noting that Germany’s vote was not recorded properly, and lamented the lack of transparency in voting. Botswana, on behalf of southern African countries, expressed support for voting by secret ballot, together with Japan, Dominica, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The UK, Australia, Canada and Mexico welcomed the opportunity to prepare a report on the use of secret ballot. The US welcomed the need for transparency and greater exercise of restraint in the use of voting by secret ballot.
Outcome: The SC approved the first proposal regarding the addition to the Rules of Procedure. The SC also agreed that the Secretariat conduct a study on the history of use of secret ballots, after Switzerland, as the depositary of the Convention, broke the tie by voting in favor of commissioning a study.
PROVISION OF SUPPORT FOR COMMITTEE MEMBERS: On Monday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.12. The Secretariat proposed that, for determining support for participation to CITES meetings of committee members and other representatives, the UN Development Programme Human Development Index be used. Japan and Ukraine suggested the use of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development categories of developed countries. Norway, supported by the UK, spoke in support of the proposal and suggested drafting guidelines by using those prepared by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as a reference.
Mexico on behalf of the Chairs of the CITES Animals Committee (AC) and Plants Committee (PC) noted the importance of seeking external funding to facilitate participation.
Outcome: The SC requested that the Secretariat invite on-line comments and prepare a document for SC62.
CITES APPENDICES: Dialogue Meetings: On Monday, the Secretariat drew the attention to document SC61 Doc.55, highlighting Resolution Conference 14.5 on the establishment of dialogue meetings aimed at seeking consensus on controversial proposals for amendment of the CITES appendices between range states. He encouraged parties to inform on proposals that might require dialogue meetings. Kenya stressed that parties should have the right to submit proposals for amendments according to the established guidelines.
Outcome: The SC noted the document.
FINANCIAL MATTERS: Costed Programme of Work: On Monday, the Secretariat introduced the costed programme of work (CPW) for 2010 (SC61 Doc.10.1 and Annexes 1, 2, 3 and 4) and the CPW for 2011 (SC61 Doc.10.2 Rev.1 and Annex), stating that the Secretariat will need to draw from the Trust Fund reserve in order to cover overspending on staff and office maintenance costs.
Secretary-General Scanlon drew attention to the small size of the CITES Secretariat and budget compared to other conventions, suggested that other financing options should be considered and explained that the Finance and Budget Subcommittee has been asked to prepare a paper on this for SC62.
The UK urged the Secretariat to prioritize activities when budgeting. Secretary-General Scanlon expressed willingness to comply with both of these requests.
Outcome: The SC accepted the report of the Secretariat on CPWs (SC61 Doc.10.1) without comments. On the CPW for 2011 (SC61 Doc.10.2 Rev.1), following the recommendation of the Finance and Subcommittee, the SC, inter alia:
- noted the difficulties stemming from exchange rate fluctuations;
- requested that that the Secretary-General continue to inform the SC through the Subcommittee; and
- agreed to retain the current format of the CPW.
Non-payment of contributions: On Monday, the Secretariat presented SC61 Doc 10.3 and requested comments and proposals from the SC. The UK, supported by Norway, proposed penalizing countries that have not contributed. The US, supported by Japan and India, opposed this proposal, with the US underscoring that contributions are voluntary.
Outcome: The SC encouraged the Secretariat to engage in bilateral discussions with parties concerned and instructed the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to collect contributions.
Rules of Procedure of the Animals and Plants Committees: On Thursday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.8, recommending that the SC establish a working group to assist it with the implementation of Decision 15.9 on the need for the Rules of Procedure of the AC and PC to deal with potential conflicts of interest of its members.
The US, supported by Kuwait, noted that it is not a question of changing the Rules of Procedure, with China remarking that it is a code of conduct issue. Norway supported the proposal. The UK proposed establishing a voluntary register of conflicts of interest, with China objecting.
Outcome: The SC recommended not establishing a working group but noted the UK suggestion for CoP16 to address the setting up of a register.
CITES STRATEGIC VISION: On Monday, the Secretariat presented a report on the implementation of the CITES Strategic Vision 2008-2013 (SC61 Doc.14.1) and planning for 2014-2016 (SC61 Doc.14.2), recommending the SC establish a Strategic Vision revision working group to: review the post-2010 biodiversity targets and make recommendations for SC62 for possible adjustments to the Strategic Vision; consider whether a recommendation should be made for CoP16 to extend the Strategic Vision 2008-2013 to 2016; and initiate a process for the development of a new Strategic Vision for post-2016.
Japan suggested considering extending the Strategic Vision to 2019. The US, supported by the UK, stressed the need for assessing the Strategic Vision and the use of indicators and suggested the working group address this rather than whether to extend the Strategic Vision. The UK, with Nigeria, favored working on a new Strategic Vision until 2020.
Outcome: The SC established a working group and asked that the Secretariat prepare a revised draft Strategic Vision, incorporating the post-2010 targets and the comments made at SC61 and share it with the working group.
ACCESS TO FINANCE, INCLUDING GEF FUNDING: On Tuesday, Secretary-General Scanlon recalled that CITES does not have a financial mechanism for assisting parties in implementing their commitments and presented possible options for accessing funds under the GEF (SC61 Doc.16). The options include: assisting parties to access GEF funding under the biodiversity focal area through including CITES activities among the priorities in the revised National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans; and a broader approach to formally request the GEF to become a financial mechanism for CITES at the next GEF replenishment. The US, supported by the UK, stressed that the GEF should be considered only one possible source of funds, also in view of the fact that negotiations for the GEF replenishment are still ongoing. Norway recommended CITES explore existing financing opportunities rather than developing new ones. Mexico said no formal link could be made with GEF before the new replenishment is approved in 2014 and called for more involvement with the private sector as a source of financing.
Outcome: The SC requested the Finance and Budget Subcommittee to establish an intersessional working group on access to finance as well as report to SC62 on the outcome of discussions.
Cooperation between Parties and promotion of multilateral measures: On Tuesday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc.17. The UK and the US supported continuation of the Working Group on Multilateral Measures but UK expressed a desire to see the development of an inventory of stricter methods included in the Terms of Reference of the Working Group.
Outcome: The SC agreed to continue the Working Group on Multilateral Measures and requested the Working Group to compile an inventory of parties’ stricter domestic measures.
CITES AND LIVELIHOODS: On Tuesday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc.18 on CITES and Livelihoods. He listed improvements to the timetable and recommended expanding participation in the Working Group on CITES and Livelihoods to inter- and non-governmental organizations (IGOs and NGOs) and development cooperation agencies. China, Canada and Kenya agreed to the proposed timeline. US, supported by Mexico and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) expressed concern that expanding the group could push the focus beyond the purview of CITES and urged that in-depth consideration of livelihoods be discussed in fora like CBD and UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Austria, on behalf of the EU, briefly presented on the Vienna Symposium on the relevance of community-based natural resource management to the conservation and sustainable use of CITES-listed species in exporting countries. Canada, supported by Kenya and WWF proposed including consideration of community-based non-consumptive use of CITES species.
Outcome: The SC approved the revised Working Group on CITES and Livelihoods timetable and agreed to expand its membership.
CAPACITY BUILDING: On Tuesday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.19, noting that the Secretariat secured funding of US$ 3,512,500 from the European Commission (EC) for a multi-year project to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to implement the Convention and ensure that international trade in wildlife is not detrimental to the survival of listed species. He also emphasized that a needs assessment revealed the importance of improving guidance to parties on non-detriment findings (NDFs) as well improving communication.
Many countries praised the capacity-building workshops offered by the Secretariat.
Outcome: The SC noted the report.
CITES LOGO: On Tuesday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.20. He recalled that the CITES logo is used only for non-commercial purposes and presented the results of a survey on the use of the logo and a proposal for a less restrictive policy on future use of the logo.
Outcome: The SC requested that the Secretariat submit at SC62 a document proposing a slightly less restrictive policy.
SECRETARY-GENERAL’S CERTIFICATES OF COMMENDATION: On Tuesday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.21 and a proposal to expand the awarding of certificates to scientific and management authorities following similar procedures for the certificates of commendation.
Outcome: The SC agreed to the extension of the certificates of commendation to scientific and management authorities.
COOPERATION WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS: Overview: On Tuesday, the Secretariat presented an overview of cooperation with other organizations (SC61 Doc.15.1). Underscoring the relevance of cooperation to the goals of the Strategic Vision, he listed strategic activities the Secretariat had undertaken with other organizations, instruments and processes.
Outcome: The SC noted the report.
Biodiversity Indicators Partnership and UN Convention on Biological Diversity: On Tuesday, the Secretariat presented SC61 Doc.15.3 on cooperation with the CBD and an oral report on cooperation with the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership. The US expressed support for the Secretary-General’s efforts to create synergies but cautioned that CITES should maintain its character and focus and not be subsumed by CBD.
Outcome: The SC noted the reports.
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals: On Tuesday, the Secretariat introduced the document on cooperation with the UN Convention on conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) (SC61 Doc.15.4 (Rev. 1)). The Secretariat highlighted the planned joint activities for 2012-2014, for the conservation and sustainable use of shared species. CMS highlighted the synergies between the two conventions and noted that CMS received a proposal from the EU to list saker falcons (Falco cherrug) under Appendix I of CMS.
The UK welcomed the joint work and noted the forthcoming international conference on the conservation of snow leopards (Uncia uncia) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in 2012.
Outcome: The SC noted the document and requested the Secretariat to issue a notification to parties inviting comments on the new list of joint activities.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN: On Tuesday, the Secretariat highlighted areas of cooperation with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (SC61 Doc.15.5). He explained that, pursuant to decision 15.18 requesting a review of the cooperation with FAO, a draft umbrella agreement was proposed, to be complemented by specific annexes. FAO underscored the long-standing cooperation between the two organizations. Norway welcomed the improved cooperation between CITES and FAO and commended FAO’s expert panel work on marine species proposals. The US opposed the development of an umbrella agreement with specific MoUs to be annexed and, together with PEW Environment, TRAFFIC, WWF and Environmental Law Project, objected to the paragraphs referring to FAO’s involvement in the revision of CITES listing criteria.
Outcome: The SC requested the Secretariat to invite further comments by parties and prepare a further document for consideration at SC62.
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas: On Tuesday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc.15.7. She introduced the guidelines for cooperation listed in the Annex to the document, prepared by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Secretariat, stressing it is not a formal document and does not yet have the endorsement of ICCAT parties. The UK welcomed cooperation in principle and, cautioning it was too early to agree to any text, suggested it be discussed again at SC62 once ICCAT parties had reviewed it. Norway, supported by the Russian Federation, stated preference for Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) as the primary mechanism for implementing management and conservation measures. The US supported development of guidelines with ICCAT, but opposed provisions under which ICCAT would be involved in the CITES listing criteria.
Outcome: The SC agreed that the Secretariat continue to liaise with the ICCAT Secretariat and, acknowledging the non-formal nature of the document, proposed waiting for the reaction of ICCAT parties at their November 2011 meeting and presenting results ahead of SC62, to enable SC members’ consultations.
World Trade Organization: On Tuesday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.15.8, noting that the CITES Secretary-General has requested ad hoc observer status for CITES in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade. The Secretariat asked that the SC consider how countries that are party to the Convention and members of WTO might actively support the Convention’s requests for observer status in various WTO committees.
The US supported the ad hoc status request, cautioning against detracting Secretariat’s resources from other priorities.
Outcome: The SC noted the request for observer status on the two WTO committees and expressed support for efforts to seek ad hoc observer status on issues of direct relevance to CITES that arose in relevant committees.
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: On Thursday, AC Chair Carlos Ibero Solana introduced document SC61 Doc.15.6. He highlighted the recommendation that the SC endorse the suggestion that the Secretariat and the CITES committees continue their engagement with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The UK and Mexico supported the recommendation. Bolivia, while recognizing the value of an IPBES as a way to address biodiversity decline, expressed concern over the commercial approach informing the discussion, especially through the payment for ecosystem services concept and proposed use of economic valuation.
Outcome: The SC accepted the recommendation.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: Animals Committee: On Thursday, AC Chair Solana, presented an oral report from AC25. He discussed the key topics that had been covered during the meeting, including the programme for the conservation and sustainable use of saker falcon (Falco cherrug). On NDFs, he endorsed conclusions from PC19 (AC25 Sum.1) and suggested further discussion at the joint AC/PC intersessional meeting in March 2012, underscoring the importance of a joint AC/PC resolution on NDFs.
Plants Committee: On Thursday, on behalf of PC Chair Margarita Clemente, PC vice-Chair Hesiquio Benitez presented an oral report on PC19. He noted subjects covered of particular relevance, including: preparation of scientific guidelines for preparation of NDFs; annotations; Review of Significant Trade (RST); climate change; and definition, clarification and scope of terms.
Outcome: The SC noted the reports.
INTERPRETATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION
REVIEW OF RESOLUTIONS FOLLOWING DECISION 14.19: On Tuesday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.22 and Annex, noting that at SC57 an intersessional working group to review documents prepared by the Secretariat in compliance with Decision 14.19 was established, but that resources to continue the review were now lacking. The Secretariat thus invited the SC to, inter alia, discuss whether it would be worth continuing the review through a different mechanism after CoP16.
The UK and US agreed that it would be important to discuss the continuation of the review process.
Outcome: The SC, inter alia, requests that the working group carry on considering ways to continue the review.
NATIONAL LAWS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION: On Tuesday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc.23 and Annexes 1 and 2 on national legislation. She highlighted the list of countries requiring priority attention, recommending that the SC invite parties and dependent territories to make use of the means suggested to increase legislative momentum, and consider appropriate compliance measures for those priority countries which have not submitted CITES implementing legislation for approval before SC62.
The US recommended suspension of trade for the priority countries that had not submitted CITES implementing legislation. Japan supported the Secretariat recommendations and endorsed strengthening government-to-government partnerships. The UK proposed a deadline of 90 days before SC62 for submitting progress on legislation. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Malaysia, Nigeria, Colombia and Bolivia stated progresses in their CITES implementing legislation.
Outcome: The SC:
- agreed that the adoption of national laws is a serious matter;
- urged parties requiring priority attention to increase legislative momentum;
- decided to consider appropriate compliance measures in priority countries; and
- asked the Secretariat to issue a notification requesting priority parties to submit legislative progress 90 days before SC62.
NATIONAL REPORTS: On Tuesday, the Secretariat provided an update on document SC61 Doc.24. Rev.1. She also noted that Libya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone had failed to produce reports for the past three years and could be subject to trade suspensions. The Democratic Republic of Congo responded that they had sent their report the previous week and should therefore not be included. This was duly noted. Japan, the UK and US expressed support for issuing a trade suspension in the case of non-submission of reports and work on reducing the reporting burden.
Outcome: The SC: asked the Secretariat to issue a Notification to Parties recommending that they not authorize trade in CITES-listed species with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lybia and Sierra Leone until they provide their annual report; re-established the Working Group on Special Reporting Requirements; and requested that the group address the issues described in SC61 Doc.26 on ranching operations.
REVIEW OF THE GUIDELINES FOR THE PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION OF ANNUAL REPORTS: On Tuesday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.25, noting its plan to work with UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Center on a draft revision of the Guidelines, and consult with the Working Group on Special Reporting Requirements. The Secretariat recommended that the SC take note of this plan and invited parties to discuss the possible revision of the Guidelines including by working through an intersessional working group of the SC.
The UK suggested that the Working Group on Special Reporting Requirements be tasked with the revision. Several countries expressed support for the Secretariat’s proposal and noted they would accept the UK’s suggestion.
Outcome: The SC instructed the Working Group on Special Reporting Requirements to review the Guidelines.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION RELATING TO CAPTIVE-BRED AND RANCHED SPECIMENS: On Tuesday, Poland introduced a document prepared by Hungary (SC61 Doc.27) and sponsored by the US, proposing, inter alia: that the SC invites all CITES parties to report to the Secretariat on challenges for implementing the Convention and resolutions relevant to trade in captive-bred or ranched specimens; and the establishment of an intersessional working group reporting to SC62 on the problems encountered and recommendations to address them.
Norway and Australia, on behalf of Oceania, agreed with the establishment of an intersessional working group. Mexico noted that the misuse of source codes affects plants as well as animals and suggested including plants in the analysis. The US and UK suggested first addressing animals and then plants.
Outcome: The SC established a working group, chaired by the US, and tasked it with preparing a draft text on possible solutions to address the challenges encountered by trade in captive-bred or ranched specimens by SC62.
REVIEW OF SIGNIFICANT TRADE: On Thursday, the Secretariat presented the documents on RST (SC61 Doc.28). He reported on, inter alia: the failure of Vietnam and Lao PDR to respond to requests for information on the Malayan box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) and the Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) respectively; and funding shortfalls for reviewing trade suspensions issued prior to 2010. He requested the SC to endorse the actions suggested in the document pertaining to these issues. He introduced an additional development regarding the status of trade suspensions of India’s Red sandalwood (Pterocarpus santalinus) and Himalayan yew (Taxus wallichiana). India reported on corrective measures taken in response to recommendations made at SC59, including an NDF study on P. santalinus, to be completed by November 2011, and requested the suspension be lifted for both species.
Outcome: The SC endorsed the suggestions made. The SC also agreed to lift suspensions on T. wallichiana immediately and for P. santalinus, following India’s release of the NDF study.
E-COMMERCE OF SPECIMENS OF CITES-LISTED SPECIES: On Thursday, the UK, Chair of the E-Commerce Working Group, presented document SC61 Doc.29. He recommended extending the Working Group until CoP16 and commissioning an independent study on the impact of e-commerce on trade of specimens of CITES-listed species.
Bulgaria, on behalf of the EU, supported the continuation of the Working Group, and, with the US, did not favor the independent study. The US supported extending the Working Group only to review the toolkit. TRAFFIC suggested looking at social networks and engaging technology experts.
Outcome: The SC re-established the E-Commerce Working Group until CoP16 and invited parties, IGOs and NGOs to submit information for review by the Working Group.
ENFORCEMENT MATTERS: On Friday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.30, proposing that the trade suspension against Nigeria be lifted, in light of progress and legislation being upgraded to category one. He also described that the illicit trade in Guinea affecting among others, chimpanzee and great apes, has reached significant level, with false CITES documentation being issued.
Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana, urged the SC to take appropriate action, with the US suggesting to the Secretariat that they issue a notification if Guinea does not invite an in-country CITES mission which CITES asked to carry out. CMS proposed a joint mission with the UNEP Great Apes Survival Partnership.
China noted that great apes were imported into China from Guinea with valid documentation but that such import has now been suspended.
Outcome: The SC noted the report and accepted the Secretariat’s oral recommendation to lift the suspensions against Nigeria. The SC also accepted an oral recommendation from the Secretariat that Guinea should be requested to issue an invitation, by 30 November 2011, for the Secretariat to conduct a mission to Guinea to examine illicit trade issues. The Committee agreed, should such an invitation not be forthcoming by 30 November 2011, that the Secretariat would issue a Notification to the Parties recommending a suspension in commercial trade in specimens of CITES-listed species to and from Guinea.
GATHERING AND ANALYSIS OF DATA ON ILLEGAL TRADE: On Friday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc.31, requesting the SC to consider the necessity of an illegal trade database, underscoring its burden on financial and human resources. He suggested the Working Group on Special Reporting Requirements as the body to reflect on this and revisit it at CoP16. The Secretariat pointed to reference to International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) databases in SC61 Doc.31, explaining their existence are part of the reason for questioning a new database. Australia, China and Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) supported using INTERPOL databases. The US, UK, and New Zealand supported further discussion in the Working Group on Special Reporting Requirements.
Outcome: The SC noted the document and adopted the recommendation that the Working Group on Special Reporting Requirements consider the issue.
TRADE CONTROL AND MARKING
INTRODUCTION FROM THE SEA: On Wednesday, the US, as vice-chair of the SC Working Group on Introduction from the Sea, presented document SC61 Doc.32. He highlighted that the Working Group reached agreement on all but one paragraph, on chartered vessels, of the discussion document and a draft revision of Resolution Conf. 14.6 (Rev. CoP15) on introduction from the sea, and recommended that the SC consider the discussion document and the draft revision.
Kuwait, for Asia, expressed concern that many provisions in the draft revision are unpractical, such as data collection for NDFs and control of fishing vessels, and that compliance with the requirements would pose difficulties to the fishing industry and the management and scientific authorities. She suggested, supported by China, the Russian Federation, Thailand and Indonesia, the establishment of a new working group to review the applicability and justification for introduction from the sea as a type of trade.
The US responded that the Working Group already has a mandate from the CoP, which does not include reviewing introduction from the sea and its provisions. Australia, Norway, the UK, Colombia and Brazil commended the work of the Working Group and endorsed the continuation of its work on the chartering issue. Japan underscored the importance of a thorough discussion of the draft revision beyond the working group. The Russian Federation underscored the need to take into consideration the rules of the existing RFMOs. WWF, PEW Environment Group and Humane Society International (HIS) strongly opposed Kuwait’s proposal. On Thursday, Kuwait withdrew her proposal and suggested that the concerns of Asia countries be addressed by the existing Working Group, to which the SC agreed. Japan requested that his questions be put on record.
Outcome: The SC noted the withdrawal of the proposal to establish a new working group and that concerns expressed by some countries in the Asian region would be addressed by the Working Group on Introduction from the Sea. The SC also noted Japan’s questions.
ELECTRONIC PERMITTING: On Friday, Switzerland, chair of the Working Group on Information Technologies and Electronic Systems, presented document SC61 Doc.33 highlighting intersessional activities by the Working Group, emphasized inter alia, that parties are investing in the development of CITES e-permitting systems more rapidly than expected, and underscored the importance of the alignment of such systems with the recommendations of the CITES e-permitting toolkit. He proposed the SC recommends CoP16 to extend the mandate of the Working Group.
Australia, Norway, India and Japan supported extending the Working Group. Species Survival Network (SSN) and the US suggested proceeding with caution in consideration of the challenges faced by some parties.
Outcome: The SC accepted the recommendation to extend the Working Group on Information Technologies and Electronic Systems.
PURPOSE CODES ON CITES PERMITS AND CERTIFICATES: On Friday, the Secretariat presented document SC62 Doc.34 and requested the SC support re-establishment of the Working Group on Purpose Codes to continue its work. Norway, Japan, US and China expressed their support.
Outcome: The SC supported re-establishment of the Working Group on Purpose Codes with 23 members and Canada as its chair.
PHYSICAL INSPECTION OF TIMBER SHIPMENTS: On Friday, the Secretariat presented an oral report on this item to identify best practices and implementing measures. Italy presented on the findings of the working group on timber shipments, describing results from a questionnaire on their practices, completed by nine member parties. He recommended the SC develop guidelines for timber inspection. He also requested the SC to decide whether to continue the working group, withdrawing Italy’s position as Chair.
Many expressed support for the continuation of a working group. The SC Chair requested the nomination of a chair for the working group but no one came forward. US offered to consult with the existing working group and the Secretariat to ensure work continues until SC62.
Outcome: The SC accepted the US offer to consult with the existing working group and the Secretariat to ensure work continues until SC62.
USE OF TAXONOMIC SERIAL NUMBERS: On Friday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc.36.1, as a unique identifier for CITES species, assigned by the Integrated Taxonomic Information System. He urged that if a working group is formed it should collaborate closely with the E-permitting Working Group.
Canada presented on “Proposed terms of reference for Standing Committee discussions on use of taxonomic serial numbers” (SC61. Doc.36.2), describing their potential for aiding identification on permits, helping customs officials and helping inconsistencies with taxonomy nomenclature. He welcomed discussion in an intersessional working group.
Outcome: The SC established a working group on use of taxonomic serial numbers.
IDENTIFICATION MANUAL: On Friday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc.37 on progress on the CITES Identification Manual, highlighting that the manual now exists as the web-based CITES Wiki Identification Manual and is an ongoing process aiming at, inter alia, increasing its usability.
Australia asked for a CD-Rom version to be made available to countries with unreliable internet access. The UK welcomed the continued updating of the Wiki Manual and suggested the original manual be made available on the CITES website. Japan, Nigeria and HSI highlighted the need for improvements to the manual, including with graphic and visual elements.
Outcome: The SC noted the document.
EXEMPTIONS AND SPECIAL TRADE PROVISIONS
PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS: On Thursday, China presented document SC61 Doc.38 and reported that the working group on this issue met informally just prior to SC61 and has agreed, inter alia, to the offer by New Zealand to prepare a questionnaire to facilitate the collection of comprehensive information on domestic measures. He recommended extending formally the mandate of the working group.
Outcome: The SC extended the operation of the Working Group on Personal and Household Effects until CoP16 and the extension of membership to the other countries having expressed interest in participating in it.
REGISTRATION OF OPERATIONS THAT BREED APPENDIX-I ANIMAL SPECIES IN CAPTIVITY FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES: On Friday, the Philippines presented document SC61 Doc.39 (Annex 1-4) on a request for application for registration of a captive-breeding operation for four Cacatua species: Cacatua sulphurea abboti, C. s. citrinocristata, C. s. sulphurea and C. moluccensis.
The US raised procedural issues related to the submission of the request for registration and the Secretariat clarified the submission was received but it did not have time to review it before SC61.
Outcome: The Chair postponed the discussion to SC62.
SPECIES TRADE AND CONSERVATION
ELEPHANTS: On Wednesday, Kuwait, on behalf of Asia, requested that Agenda Item 44 on Elephants (except initially Item 44.6 on the First technical exchange to reduce the illegal trade in African elephant ivory) be a closed session. Botswana supported this request. The UK registered strong opposition, arguing that exclusion of IGOs and NGOs would be to the detriment of the debate and progress of the SC. Kenya agreed with the UK, calling for open and transparent discussion. Kuwait conceded that TRAFFIC and IUCN could attend discussion of Agenda Items 44.2 and 44.3 on Elephant management and conservation and the MIKE-ETIS (Elephant Trade Information System) Subgroup respectively. Chair Størkersen, citing Article 26 of the Rule of Procedure, requested the SC vote, which resulted in 7 votes for a closed meeting, 6 against and 3 abstentions. The meeting was therefore closed.
Control of trade in elephant specimens: On Wednesday, document SC61 Doc. 44.1 was discussed in a closed meeting.
Outcome: The SC noted that the Secretariat would maintain the current recommendation of a suspension of trade in relation to Gabon and Somalia until they submitted the questionnaires. The SC also requested Thailand to submit a written report at SC62 describing progress in regulating internal trade in ivory and combating illegal ivory.
Elephant management and conservation: On Wednesday, documents SC61 Doc 44.2 (Rev.1) and Annex 1 and 2, were discussed in a closed meeting.
Outcome: The SC, inter alia, endorsed the report in Annex 1 and the recommendations therein, with the exception of recommendation three on the early-warning functionality.
Reopening of the session: On Wednesday, Norway presented a motion to reopen discussion on whether the sessions should remain closed. 11 voted in favor, two against and three abstentions. The SC then voted on a proposal to continue to meet in closed session. The motion was rejected by three votes in favor, eight against and five abstentions and was thus re-opened to non-Party observers.
Overarching working group on African and Asian elephants: On Wednesday, the UK proposed establishing an overarching working group on African and Asian elephants, as described in document SC61 Inf.11, acknowledging that this would not interfere with the MIKE-ETIS Subgroup. Botswana registered opposition to this working group. The US, supported by Democratic Republic of Congo and India, suggested discussing this further within the proposed working group on the revision of Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Trade in elephant specimens), if established. Kenya, supported by South Africa and Botswana, citing their suggestion of expanding the MIKE-ETIS Subgroup, proposed that it consider an Africa-Asia Action Plan, rather than starting a whole new group. UK responded that the document is a preliminary one and they will give it broader consideration and if necessary, return to the issue at SC62.
MIKE-ETIS Subgroup: On Wednesday, after the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.44.3, the UK underscored the importance of the programme for, inter alia: building capacity in elephant range states and population monitoring. Noting potential continued EU funding, he also called other countries, especially those trading, to donate. China suggested the MIKE-ETIS Subgroup apply to China Wildlife Association for funding. Kenya expressed support for the MIKE-ETIS Subgroup but requested membership be opened to all African and Asian range states.
On Friday, the Subgroup noted that it met throughout the week and agreed to consider the following, inter alia: updates on MIKE-ETIS analysis (SC61 Doc.44.2 (Rev.1)); progress on evaluation of projects in Africa; current terms of reference and possible amendments; and views on the UK proposal to establish an overarching working group on African and Asia Elephants. The Subgroup did not complete consideration of all items, which they agreed to complete intersessionally. They agreed, among other issues, that the early-warning functionality described in SC61 Doc 44.2 (Rev.1) is not feasible and that its mandate should not include Asian elephants. They requested that the SC agree on the revised terms of reference of the Subgroup and note the report. On the question of quorum and attendance raised by Kenya, Uganda noted that no decision should be taken in absence of a simple majority and that the meetings of MIKE-ETIS would also be open to observers that are invited.
Outcome: The SC took note of the report.
Decision-making mechanism for authorizing ivory trade: On Wednesday, the Secretariat presented SC61 Doc.44.4 and recalled that Decision 14.77 assigned to the SC the task to propose a decision-making mechanism for a process of trade in ivory for approval, at the latest, at CoP16, and that SC57 agreed to the mandate for an independent study to be carried out. He acknowledged the financial support received by Botswana and the EC in implementing the CoP decision. He invited the SC to recommend stakeholders to be consulted during the study.
The US, supported by Botswana, the UK and the Democratic Republic of Congo, recommended to include Japan and China as consumers and the UK and the US as significant donor countries among the stakeholders to be consulted, and to allow technical expert inputs from, inter alia, IUCN, SSN and TRAFFIC. The UK and Japan asked for the consultant report to be shared with SC in February 2012. Kenya underscored the importance of the African Elephant Action Plan for the study. EIA, IFAW and HSI expressed concern about developing a mechanism before measures to control illegal ivory trade are in place.
Outcome: The SC agreed to the proposal to work towards the implementation of Decision 14.77 as well as to consult with the suggested stakeholders and requested that the report be shared with SC members as soon as possible.
Review of Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP15): On Wednesday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.44.5, noting that Resolution Conf. 10.10 is an old and long resolution and suggesting the possibility of integrating the Action Plan for the control of trade in elephant ivory, adopted at CoP13 and renewed most recently at CoP15 through Decision 13.26 (Rev. CoP15), in the relevant sections of a revised Resolution Conf. 10.10. He also recommended that the SC agree on a process and timetable for the further implementation of Decision 15.74 on revising Resolution Conf. 10.10, including establishing a working group to lead this work, possibly by enlarging the current mandate of the MIKE-ETIS Subgroup to include the implementation of the Decision.
The US expressed support for establishing a working group but not to expand the mandate of the MIKE-ETIS Subgroup to including the implementation of the Decision.
Botswana, the UK and Kenya welcomed the opportunity to revise Resolution Conf. 10.10. The UK, supported by WWF, agreed with the establishment of a working group, rather than expanding the scope of the MIKE-ETIS Subgroup and supported agreeing on a process and timetable.
On Thursday, India reported that: India will chair the working group; items related to the work of the MIKE-ETIS Subgroup will not be addressed; the action plan for control of trade on Africa and ivory trade will be addressed by this working group; and financial matters will be addressed by both the MIKE-ETIS Subgroup and the working group.
Outcome: The SC agreed to revise the resolution and establish a working group. It also instructed the MIKE-ETIS Subgroup to contribute on the sections relevant to them and recommended that such working group decide on a timetable and report to SC62.
Consideration of proposals for the transfer of African elephant populations from Appendix I to Appendix II: On Wednesday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc.44.6. The SC Chair underscored that this document proposes determining an appropriate panel to deal with listings to be established at SC62 in time for CoP16.
Outcome: The SC noted the document.
First technical exchange meeting between producing, consuming, and transiting nations to reduce the illegal trade in African elephant ivory: On Wednesday, the US presented document SC61 Doc.44.7. IUCN presented further on the meeting, underscoring its importance for raising awareness along the trade supply chain.
Outcome: The SC, inter alia, endorsed the recommendation that the initiative would hopefully catalyze additional efforts to educate and increase awareness of consumers all along the ivory supply chain, and particularly consumer country nationals in Africa, and that these efforts will lead to a substantial reduction in illegal ivory trade.
SNAKE TRADE AND CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT: Report of the Secretariat: On Thursday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.46.1, highlighting the organization of the Asian snake trade workshop in Guangzhou, China, with financial support of the US and the EU. Iran called for the Secretariat’s assistance to combat illegal snake and snake product trade in Western Asia.
Outcome: The SC noted the report.
Report of the Animals Committee: AC Chair Solana introduced document SC61 Doc.46.2 (Rev. 1) and invited the SC to endorse the recommendations based on the results of the Asian snake trade workshop in China. Many delegations supported the establishment of a working group and expressed interest in participating in it. Japan stated that the recommendation for the AC to make proposals for amendment of the appendices exceeds the AC mandate. India suggested the working group address livelihood issues related to snake and snake products trade. TRAFFIC underscored the links with the working group on captive-bred specimens.
Outcome: The SC established a working group.
TORTOISES AND FRESHWATER TURTLES: On Thursday, AC Chair Solana, presented document SC61 Doc.47 (Rev2). He also introduced the IUCN study of progress on conservation and trade (SC61 Doc.47 (Rev2) Annex 2), urging the SC consider both the recommendations in the IUCN report and the AC document. US endorsed the recommendations of IUCN and the AC and proposed the establishment of a working group.
Outcome: The SC established a working group.
STURGEONS: Caviar Trade Database: On Thursday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.48.1, asking the SC to consider whether it is necessary for the Secretariat to provide a report on the database at each meeting. Iran highlighted discrepancies between the database and the actual amount of illegal caviar found in international markets. The US and the UK noted it was not necessary for the Secretariat to provide regular reporting.
Outcome: The SC noted the report, accepted the recommendation to suspend the need for reporting at every SC, and noted Iran’s concerns.
Monitoring of progress: On Thursday, AC Chair Solana presented document SC61 Doc.48.2 highlighting that the AC had not received reports from Caspian range states, except Azerbaijan, on progress in implementing Resolution Conf. 12.7 (Rev. CoP14) on conservation of and trade in sturgeons and paddlefish and in improving the existing sturgeon stock assessment and total allowable catch determination methodology. He recommended the SC endorse the AC recommendations, inter alia, that the Caspian range states establish a regional sturgeon stock assessment committee and the Secretariat assist the Caspian range states in: combating illegal catch and trade; increasing public awareness; and encouraging fishery community involvement in sturgeon management and conservation.
Iran supported the recommendations and underscored the need for the Secretariat and FAO to facilitate technical and financial assistance. The US suggested the SC set a clear timeline for the recommendations and offered financial support. The Russian Federation stated the report was unacceptable, because, inter alia, his and other countries had not been given the opportunity to review the report of the working group on sturgeon, and a stock assessment committee already exists under the Commission on Aquatic Bioresources. He announced his country would quit the working group on sturgeon, leaving it with less than half of the range countries represented.
The Secretariat clarified that the recommendations of the AC on this item have been duly prepared and endorsed according to the AC Rules of Procedures.
Outcome: The SC endorsed the recommendations.
RHINOCEROSES: Implementation of Resolution Conf. 9.14 (Rev. CoP15) and Decisions from CoP15: On Thursday, the Secretariat presented document SC62 Doc.45.1, reminding the SC that this is an information document for reflection, to be re-visited at SC62. He outlined successful missions the CITES Secretariat had conducted in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
UK, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya and China called for collaboration and cooperation in exchange of intelligence, information sharing and education programmes. South Africa described its recent efforts to curb poaching and illegal trade. TRAFFIC urged: a more structured approach to data recording; development of indicators to inform on progress; and the identification of gaps in national policy that inhibit law enforcement.
Democratic Republic of Congo expressed disappointment that no recommendations were given in the document, lamenting that poaching has devastated their rhino populations. The US, in light of no recommendations, encouraged the Secretariat to produce a more comprehensive report in advance of CoP16. India provided a positive outlook, reporting a recent initiative to destroy all their stock of rhino horn. He urged cooperation between Asia and Africa whose issues and consumers are often the same.
Outcome: The SC requested more reporting from the Secretariat and a more comprehensive report summarizing findings, in time for CoP16.
Conservation of and trade in African and Asian rhinoceroses: On Thursday, the UK presented document SC61 Doc.45.2. He stated that since 2008 there has been a surge of illegal catch, trade and consumption of rhino horn, noting that the EU has taken a precautionary approach in implementing measures to restrict trade in rhino horns. He urged the SC to adopt the recommendations listed in Paragraph 4 of the document, referencing SC61 Inf.12 as a potential starting point for terms of reference.
Many parties expressed support for the work of the EU and interest in joining the working group. China supported calls for a precautionary approach, reminding participants that they have prohibited import of rhino horn since 1993. He added that China does allow ranching to reduce pressure from the demand from China’s growing number of zoos. However, he rejected the recommendation for the Secretariat and the traditional Asian medicine consuming states to “launch appropriately targeted awareness-raising campaigns about the lack of evidence supporting claims that rhino horn has certain medicinal properties.” Japan echoed concern about this request. World Conservation Trust (IWMC) referenced previous World Health Organization findings that these campaigns will not convince people of medicinal ineffectiveness.
On Friday, the UK reported on the first meeting of the working group on rhinos. He announced the election of the UK as working group Chair and presented the text agreed for the terms of reference, drawn from SC61 Doc.45.1, SC61 Doc.45.2 and Inf.12.
Outcome: The SC took note of the report and the terms of reference.
HUMPHEAD WRASSE: On Thursday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc.49 on the humphead wrasse and invited the SC to establish a working group, as envisaged in Decision 15.87, which could initially work through electronic means. Australia, the US, Indonesia, China, HSI and the Wildlife Conservation Society expressed interest in joining the working group. China stated that the report of the workshop on humphead wrasse and CITES implementation held in Indonesia in June 2010 and annexed to document SC61 Doc.49 did not correctly report on information on trade of the humphead wrasse in Hong Kong.
Outcome: The SC noted the document and established a working group on the humphead wrasse and requested the group to report to SC62.
TIBETAN ANTELOPE: On Thursday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc. 43 on the Tibetan antelope and underlined that this species is a success story of CITES, as seizures have slowed considerably thanks to combined international action and especially enforcement and anti-poaching activities in China. He asked the SC to note this report and provide guidance on future reporting requirements by the Secretariat. The US suggested the Secretariat propose a revision of Resolution Conf. 11.8 (Rev. CoP13) on the conservation of and control of trade in the Tibetan antelope, to reduce reporting burden for the Secretariat, and, supported by China, that a comprehensive report be prepared only for CoP meetings and not for SC meetings.
Outcome: The SC noted the document and adopted the recommendation for the Secretariat to prepare a brief update for SC62 and a more comprehensive report at CoP16.
GREAT APES: On Friday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc.40. for information only. He underlined the document only covered poaching and illegal trade as the most immediate threats to the great apes populations. He asked the SC to provide guidance on future reporting by the Secretariat on this issue. Norway and the UK supported reducing the reporting requirements. The UK invited the Secretariat to consider a technical mission to gorilla range states.
Outcome: The SC noted the document and adopted the recommendation that the Secretariat prepare a brief report for SC62 and more comprehensive report for CoP16.
ASIAN BIG CATS: On Friday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc.61 (Annex 1-6). He highlighted the need to exchange information and intelligence and suggested that SC establish a working group to work by email or request the Senior Experts Group of the ICCWC to conduct the review and update of the form and guidance in Annexes 1 to 3 in Resolution Conf. 12.5 (Rev. CoP15).
The EU welcomed the involvement of ICCWC and proposed that such review be carried out and included in Decision 11.3 (Rev.CoP15), as the guidance currently does not include tiger-specific matters.
TRAFFIC, also on behalf of WWF, highlighted the Global Tiger Forum collaboration with tiger range states and its relevance to CITES.
Outcome: The SC recommended that ICCWC conduct the review.
BIGLEAF MAHOGANY: Overview: On Friday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc.50.1. Noting the various and innovative approaches applied to work with Peru, she presented a set of recommendations, including: using box 5 of CITES permits to reflect information on the authorized and verified concessions; improving information exchange through, for example, electronic permitting, between import and export countries; undertaking a comparative study about lessons learned from Peru to assist range states of bigleaf mahogany or other CITES-listed timber species; and including results from the study in the second phase of the International Tropical Timber Organization-CITES programme.
The US and WWF cautioned against an over-focus on Peru. The US and the UK supported information exchange but not as an institutionalized practice. China suggested new text on box 5 of CITES permits to make it a voluntary statement. The UK described this proposed text as too weak. TRAFFIC urged that the lessons learnt report look at compliance and enforcement to demonstrate that CITES is an effective tool for addressing illegal logging and timber trade.
Outcome: The SC, inter alia, agreed to encourage parties to use box 5 of CITES permits and noted that exchange of information between export and import countries could be improved through e-permits.
Management of Bigleaf Mahogany in Peru: On Friday, the Secretariat presented document SC61 Doc.50.2, reviewing Peru’s engagement with the three compliance indicators. She reported that Peru had made progress, in particular on indicators 2 and 3 but questioned whether compliance indicator one had been fulfilled, noting that their information system was only partially installed and operational. She requested the SC to assess whether Peru had fulfilled all of their compliance indicators and suggestions for ways forward.
Peru presented an oral account of his country’s management activities, including an NDF of less than 1% for commercial stock. On the indicators, he stressed their progress on their information system, stating it will be fully operational by 2014. He underscored the importance of involving indigenous communities in management and urged it be considered in CITES livelihood studies. He concluded that Peru had fully met indicator requirements and CITES obligations.
Kuwait, Colombia, Botswana, Dominica, China and South Africa, supported Peru’s conclusion that they had fulfilled all indicator requirements and did not need to appear on the SC62 Agenda.
Norway, the US and UK noted outstanding issues and request that the issue remain on the SC62 Agenda.
Outcome:SC noted that Peru had met compliance indicator requirements and that it would provide the Secretariat with a brief update on Indicator One; it also noted that the Secretariat would decide whether the issue would be an agenda item at SC62.
RAMIN: On Friday, the SC heard oral reports from Malaysia and Indonesia on ramin-related forest management and trade control activities in their countries. Malaysia asked the SC to remove reporting on ramin to future SC meetings or making this reporting voluntary.
Outcome: The SC accepted the proposal to remove ramin from reporting.
PERIODIC REVIEW OF APPENDICES: On Thursday, AC Chair Solana provided an oral report on this item, citing the recommendations to CITES parties to speed up the Periodic Review and the difficulty in moving forward with it. He highlighted the backlog, due in part to a lack of volunteers to carry out these reviews and a lack of funding. He highlighted some of the pending species reviews, such as the reviews on felidae spp. and noted that Kenya and Namibia volunteered to complete the review of the African lion (Panthera leo).
DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF ANNOTATIONS: On Thursday, the US presented document SC61 Doc.54, on the establishment of a SC working group to explore the shared understanding among parties of annotations and the adoption of appropriate and reasonable procedures for crafting plant annotations. The UK and Mexico stressed avoiding overlaps and duplications with the PC working group on annotation.
Outcome: The SC established a working group on annotations and agreed that its Chair would liaise with the PC and AC Chairs of the intersessional working groups on annotations.
TIME-BOUND LISTINGS:On Thursday, the Secretariat introduced document SC61 Doc. 53, asking the SC to consider whether it wishes to initiate a policy dialogue on measures to enhance the complementarity of CITES with other management regimes, including through the use of time-bound listings; and establishing a working group for this purpose.
Norway supported the establishment of a working group, lamenting the current difficulty in downlisting and delisting species. The US, EU, Asia, Australia, Japan and Mexico spoke against establishing a working group, emphasizing the role of the periodic review of the CITES appendices. The US stressed that there are misconceptions about failures to downlist species and, with the EU and Australia, suggested that a working group could be established to address how to improve the periodic review. PEW Environment noted that some species may never recover sufficiently to be delisted because of other threats. FAO supported the initiative to address the periodic review.
Outcome: The SC rejected the recommendation and noted that additional work was required to strengthen the Periodic Review.
REPORTS OF THE REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES: On Friday, Canada informed that they have updated the national regulation and lifted the “holding reservation” mentioned in the Regional Report for North America (SC61 Doc.56.5). Because of time constraints, the SC agreed to review the remaining reports intersessionally.
Outcome: The SC noted the regional reports and agreed to provide comments to the Secretariat in the intersessional period.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS: On Friday, the UK informed that a note of the meeting of the CITES Working Group on special reporting requirements (SC61 Com. 3) is online. Kenya informed about the disposal of about 7 tons of seized ivory.
DETERMINATION OF THE TIME AND VENUE OF THE 62ND MEETING: On Friday, the SC announced that SC62 will be held in Geneva from 23-27 July 2012.
CLOSING REMARKS: On Friday, Secretary-General Scanlon and SC Chair Størkersen thanked the Secretariat and the participants. IWMC welcomed the emerging relationship between UNEP and CITES. HSI on behalf of SSN expressed hope that the temporary exclusion of NGOs was an episode not to be repeated, commending CITES for its reputation of transparency and openness.
The Chair closed the meeting at 17:31.
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF SC61
This session of the Standing Committee comes barely a year after the change in CITES leadership. Amidst the increasing challenges of curbing illegal trade in CITES-listed species and shrinking resources to address them, CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon proposed that it is time for the Convention to look outward; to reach out to other processes to increase its political relevance but also to access new sources of desperately needed financing. In the spirit of seeking to heighten the CITES profile, there was also the Secretariat’s proposal, as an option to streamline and expedite the work of the Convention, to introduce time-bound listings, with a view to both using the Secretariat’s resources more efficiently and serving the purpose of reaching out and perhaps encouraging presently resistant UN Bodies and regional organizations to support more widely the listing of commercially exploited marine species under CITES.
This brief analysis will examine the effort to increase the profile of the Convention and attract more funding and then contrast this with indications that, given the sensitive nature of the issues that the Convention is tasked with, such efforts may encounter some resistance, with some countries preferring to go back to when the SC was closed to inter- and non-governmental organizations (IGOs and NGOs) and making more decisions using the secret ballot. It will conclude by asking what it takes to stop illegal trade in wildlife species. As John Sellar, retiring Enforcement Chief, put it when describing his experiences, illegal wildlife traders continue largely undisturbed in their illegal activities because of poor communication between countries and enforcement bodies that are largely ineffective. It will seek to ask whether the Convention will ultimately suffer if parties continue only to gaze at each other in a closed room.
“LOOKING OUTWARD TOGETHER”
Secretary-General Scanlon, in his opening address to this Standing Committee meeting, gave a compelling speech which revealed some depressing facts: illegal trade is increasing, with implementation and enforcement of the Convention suffering as a result of a shrinking budget and an underfunded Secretariat. With insufficient funding to help parties, more than 50% of them do not have legislation in compliance with the Convention. Between annual report deficiencies, states being subject to trade suspensions and an increase in recommended trade suspensions, the Convention, recognized as a very practical, effective tool to address one of the main causes of species decline, is at a difficult juncture. Scanlon’s view is that, after 38 years without a financial mechanism for the Convention, it is necessary to address the issue of access to funding, for example through Global Environment Facility resources, to assist countries in their implementation and enforcement challenges and meet the capacity needs of the Secretariat, counter the sophistication of 21st century illegal trade and finance the underfunded mandates.
So, many feel that the key challenge is increasing the profile of CITES by showing that it matters and is critical for the achievement of commitments set forth in the Millennium Development Goals, Aichi Targets and UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) Rio+20 governance reform discourse.
While many participants are aware of the sheer magnitude of the demands on the Convention and therefore recognize that something needs to change, they are concerned that the effort involved in this outreach process, which has no short-term guarantee of yielding benefits, carries the risk of detracting from the obligations under the Convention.
THE SUNSET OF THE TIME-BOUND LISTINGS PROPOSAL: A NEW SUNRISE FOR THE PERIODIC REVIEW?
The proposal to resort to time-bound listing is also part of this outward-looking effort of reaching out to management bodies in charge of commercially significant marine species to get their support if CITES listing for those species is warranted, whilst also making the Convention more efficient. The thrust of time-bound listings was, according to how it was first tabled by Norway at CoP12, “to respond to the difficulties related to deletion of species from the appendices or downlisting of species even when this has been warranted under the CITES criteria or when the criteria for inclusion are no longer met.” Time-bound listing would trigger an automatic review of listed species every fifth year or by the introduction of a “sunset clause” for a limited period. The proposal, ultimately rejected at CoP12, received very little support from SC61 members and observers, with one party pointing out that the notion that, once listed, a species will never be downlisted or delisted, is misplaced, citing records from past CoPs that show that species do get downlisted. However, the seeming failure of this proposal to find a solution to the backlog in the periodic review, in fact turned into an opportunity to place the periodic review under the spotlight. Parties were forced to address the underlying problems: the lack of funding and the need for volunteer countries to undertake the reviews. To deal with this, some countries proposed establishing a working group, and while this was not accepted, the debate in general has re-ignited interest in this issue.
“GAZING AT EACH OTHER” BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
While the meeting opened under the auspices of greater reaching out and cooperation with other processes, two incidents during the meeting caused some to reflect on whether CITES was taking a step backwards at a time when transparency, accountability to national constituencies and civil society participation are being invoked as pivotal to better environmental governance and success of processes such as Rio+20. First, when discussing a proposal to increase the transparency of voting at CoP put forward by the EU, many SC members defended the use of secret ballot as a tool to ensure the sovereignty of parties and protect developing countries against intimidation by powerful parties, and resisted the commissioning of a study on the rationale and history of the rules applying to votes by secret ballot; and second, when with a surprise vote, the SC decided to exclude NGOs and IGOs from the debates on elephants.
These decisions took many by surprise and were described as a return to “darkness.” While non-party observers' participation in the Convention’s Scientific Committees and CoP deliberations has always been a tenet of CITES, it was not until 2003 that they were freely admitted to SC meetings. According to SC49 Doc.5 Annex “there was much discussion of whether to specify, for each organization represented by observers, the agenda items for which they could attend the meeting. It was in particular emphasized that there were a number of sensitive issues relating to compliance, punitive measures and the results of investigations that it would not be appropriate to discuss before non-governmental observers.”
The session on elephants was not about compliance but some of the countries that requested and supported the closed session, said this was based on the disclosure of sensitive information, which certain countries were not willing to share with NGOs. It was thought this was on the basis that NGOs might exert undue pressure on SC members and the Chair, share the information with the media, which would pass judgment, without fully considering any scientific merit the information might have. At this meeting, Kuwait, acting messenger and spokesperson for the majority of Asian countries, used Rule 24 to propose a vote on discussing the elephant issue in a closed session. Whilst the motion was passed, the closed session was fairly brief. Some suggested the brevity was due to the fact that the SC members realized that the discussion was not controversial after all and others that it dawned on members that, in trying to avoid media attention, this move had only exposed those that had voted for closure and the Convention generally, as reports were released within minutes of NGO ejection. Through two new votes, the meeting was re-opened after lunch.
HALTING THE “JOHN GREENES” OF ILLEGAL TRADE
Antoine De Saint-Exupery wrote “love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” These words reflect the mood of some participants emerging from this SC. Some expressed the view that, if CITES is to become an even stronger and more effective tool to address illegal trade, the Convention needs to do more “looking outward,” something that members will not accomplish by closing doors and “gazing” at each other but as the preamble to the Convention states, through cooperation. Maybe the course of action that the Secretary-General seeks to chart will need adjustments and reassessment. Perhaps increased cooperation with some bodies rather than others may be more critical. But what emerges throughout is that communication is critical. It resonated in the report on Capacity Building, and the story of John Greene told by John Sellar: a tale of lack of cooperation with other bodies, national and intergovernmental, which allowed a convicted illegal trader to continue his business undisturbed.
One of the challenges for CITES going forward remains to understand what alliances to form to increase its profile, how to maintain them, attract funding and promote the sharing of intelligence and information so that the goals of the Convention are implemented and enforced.
International Workshop on Modern Methods of Sturgeon Species Stock Assessment and TAC Substantiation: This workshop will focus on methods of sturgeon species stock assessment. dates: 15-19 August 2011 location: Astrahan, Russian Federation contact: Dmitry Kremenyuk, International Cooperation Department of the Federal Agency for Fisheries phone: +7 495 987 05 93 fax: +7 495 621 95 94 email: email@example.com
141st American Fisheries Society Conference: The theme for this meeting is: “New Frontiers in Fisheries Management and Ecology: Leading the Way in a Changing World.” dates: 4-8 September 2011 location: Seattle, US contact: Larry Dominguez, Conference Co-Chair email:LD50_@msn.com www: http://afs2011.org/
Second World Biodiversity Congress (WBC): The congress, organized by Century Foundation, India, focuses on the themes of biodiversity in relation to global and climate change, the economics and value of biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and rural development, biodiversity information management, conservation of bio-resources for sustainable livelihoods, and education and public awareness on biodiversity conservation. dates: 8-12 September 2011 location: Kuching, Malaysia contact: WBC Secretariat phone: +91 80 2296 1315 fax: +91 80 2318 1443 email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.worldbiodiversity2011.com/
First Plenary Meeting of IPBES: The First Plenary Meeting of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is expected to adopt the platform’s rules of procedure, and modalities for participation and membership. The meeting will also discuss offers from governments to host the platform’s secretariat and is expected to decide on a detailed work programme and budget. dates: 3-7 October 2011 location: Nairobi, Kenya contact: UN Environment Programme (UNEP) IPBES Secretariat phone: +254 20 762 5135 fax: +254 20 762 3926 email:email@example.com www: http://ipbes.net/plenary-sessions.html
CBD SBSTTA 15: The fifteenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will address, inter alia: the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011– 2020, including indicators; capacity-building strategy for the Global Taxonomy Initiative; invasive alien species; sustainable use; and inland waters biodiversity. dates: 7-11 November 2011 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=SBSTTA-15
ITTC-47: The 47th meeting of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC-47) and associated sessions of the four committees will meet in Guatemala. dates: 14-19 November 2011 location: La Antigua, Guatemala contact: International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) Secretariat phone: +81-45-223-1110 fax: +81-45-223-1111 email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.itto.int
17th Meeting of the CMS Scientific Council and 38th Meeting of the CMS Standing Committee: Both will precede the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP 10) dates: 17-18 November 2011 for the CMS Scientific Council and 19 November 2011 for the CMS Standing Committee location: Bergen, Norway contact: UNEP/CMS Secretariat phone: +49 228 815 2426 fax: +49 228 815 2449 email:email@example.com www: http://www.cms.int/news/events.htm
Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CMS: CMS COP 10 will address, inter alia: the Strategic Plan 2012-2014; measures to improve the conservation status of listed species; climate change and migratory species; guidelines on the integration of migratory species into National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans and other outcomes from CBD COP 10. dates: 20-25 November 2011 location: Bergen, Norway contact: UNEP/ CMS Secretariat phone: +49 228 815 2426 fax: +49 228 815 2449 email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.cms.int/news/events.htm
UNFCCC COP 17 and COP/MOP 7: The 17th session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP (COP 17) and the 7th session of the Meeting of the Parties (COP/MOP 7) to the Kyoto Protocol will meet in South Africa. dates: 28 November - 9 December 2011 location: Durban, South Africa contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email:email@example.com www: http://unfccc.int/
CITES Animals Committee 26: The 26th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Animals Committee will address, inter alia: sharks, snakes, sturgeons, corals, and listing criteria to commercially exploited aquatic species. dates: 15-20 March (excluding Sunday, 18 March) 2012 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41 22 917 8139/40 fax: +41 22 797 3417 email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www. cites.org/eng/news/calendar.shtml
CITES Plants Committee 20: The 20th meeting of the CITES Plants Committee is organized by the CITES Secretariat. dates: March 2012 location: Ireland (tentative) contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-81-39/40 fax: +41-22-797-34-17 email:email@example.com www: http://www.cites.org/eng/com/PC/index.shtml
CITES Joint meeting of the Animals and Plants Committees: This joint meeting of the CITES Animals and Plants Committees will, inter alia, address cooperation with other conventions, guidelines on non-detriment findings (NDFs), transport of live specimens, and the evaluation of the review of significant trade (RST). dates: 22–24 March 2012 location: Dublin, Ireland contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41 22 917 8139/40 fax: +41 22 797 3417 email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.cites.org/eng/news/calendar.shtml
CBD SBSTTA 16: The 16th meeting of SBSTTA is organized by the CBD Secretariat. dates: 30 April - 4 May 2012 location: Montreal, Canada contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 fax: +1-514-288-6588 email:email@example.com www: http://www.cbd.int/meetings/
UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD): This meeting is also referred to as Rio+20. The UN General Assembly, in December 2009, adopted a resolution calling for a UNCSD to be convened in Brazil in 2012. This meeting will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The General Assembly resolution specifies that a three-day PrepCom should convene in May 2010, a two-day PrepCom should convene in February-March 2011, and a three-day PrepCom should convene immediately before UNCSD. dates: 4-6 June 2012 location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/
RAMSAR COP 11: The 11th meeting of the contracting parties (COP 11) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance will meet in 2012. dates: 19-26 June 2012 location: Bucharest, Romania contact: Ramsar Secretariat phone: +41-22-999-0170 fax: +41-22-999-0169 email:email@example.com www: http://www.ramsar.org
CITES Standing Committee 62: The 62nd meeting of the CITES Standing Committee is organized by the CITES Secretariat. dates: 23-27 July 2012 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-81-39/40 fax: +41-22-797-34-17 email:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.cites.org/eng/com/SC/index.shtml
CITES COP 16: The sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES will take place in 2013. dates: 2-15 2013 location: Thailand contact: CITES Secretariat phone: +41-22-917-8139/40 fax: +41-22-797-3417 email:email@example.com www: http://www.cites.org