Geneva, 29 September 2003
Moratorium on trade in CITES species
1. At its 49th meeting (Geneva, April 2003), the Standing Committee agreed that a technical mission should be conducted to Paraguay to assess the sustainability of trade and to provide technical assistance to implement the Convention. The Government of Spain subsequently offered to fund such a mission.
2. The mission was conducted in Paraguay from 16 to19 September 2003 by a team from the Secretariat, led by the Secretary-General, and a scientific expert from Spain.
3. As a result of the team’s work and its discussions with officials of the Government of Paraguay, the CITES Management Authority of Paraguay has decided, with immediate effect, to adopt a voluntary suspension of trade in all specimens of CITES-listed species. This moratorium will remain in effect until further notice.
4. The moratorium is intended to provide the Government of Paraguay with an opportunity to work with the Secretariat and other sources of support to enhance Paraguay’s implementation of the Convention and to combat illicit trade. The Secretariat and the Government of Paraguay will seek assistance, especially from importing countries, to help fund capacity building efforts or provide technical assistance, and the Secretariat calls on Parties to respond positively to such requests.
5. During the moratorium, the Secretariat encourages countries neighbouring Paraguay to be alert to the possibility of unscrupulous traders attempting to smuggle specimens from Paraguay through their territory. It is important that the Management Authorities of these countries verify carefully the source of specimens when they receive applications for export permits. This is particularly relevant in the case of Amazona aestiva, Caiman yacare, Eunectes notaeus, Ramphastos toco and Tupinambis spp. but it may also apply to other species.
6. Progress on this work will be reported at the 50th meeting of the Standing Committee (Geneva, March 2004).
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