Resolution Conf. 12.5 (Rev. CoP16)

Conservation of and trade in tigers and other Appendix-I Asian big cat species

 

RECALLING Resolution Conf. 11.5, adopted by the Conference of the Parties at its 11th meeting (Gigiri, 2000), relating to Conservation of and trade in tigers;

NOTING that wild populations of tigers and other Asian big cat species (snow leopard, Uncia uncia, clouded leopard, Neofelis nebulosa, all subspecies of leopardPanthera pardus within its Asian range, and Asiatic lion, Panthera leo persica) are threatened by the combined effects of poaching and habitat loss caused by disturbance, fragmentation and destruction;

AWARE that all tigers and other Asian big cat species are included in Appendix I, and that commercial international trade in Asian big cat species and their parts and derivatives has been prohibited by the Convention since 1975 (with the exception of the Asiatic lion and the Amur tiger Panthera tigris altaica, which were included in 1977 and 1987, respectively);

CONSCIOUS that three subspecies of tiger, Panthera tigris, have become extinct within the last 50 years and noting with concern that, despite inclusion of Asian big cat species in Appendix I, illegal trade in specimens of nearly all these species has escalated and further threatens their long-term survival in the wild;

CONCERNED that the use of medicines and products containing parts and derivatives from the tiger and other Asian big cat species continues in many countries around the world and that the bones of some of these species may be used in traditional medicine systems as a substitute for tiger bone;

CONCERNED further that, despite some improvements, trade in skins from the tiger and other Asian big cat species continues to fuel poaching that could lead to extinction in the wild;

NOTING that the Standing Committee has called upon all Parties and non-Parties to the Convention to take such measures as are required to halt the illegal trade in tigers and tiger parts and derivatives;

COMMENDING the positive actions taken by some range and consumer States to address the illegal trade in tiger specimens and to facilitate cooperation with other Parties, but noting that measures are required to address illegal trade in specimens of all Appendix-I Asian big cat species;

CONSCIOUS that the driving forces behind the illegal killing of tigers and other Asian big cats and the illegal trade in specimens thereof vary from region to region and may include financial gain from the sale of live specimens, parts and derivatives, protection of people living in Asian big cat habitats and protection against or response to the predation of livestock;

RECOGNIZING that strengthened technical cooperation between range and non-range States and financial support, would contribute to more effective conservation of tigers and other Asian big cat species;

ACKNOWLEDGING that increased political commitment, financial resources and expertise in some range and consumer States will significantly improve control of the illegal killing of Asian big cat species, trade in their parts and derivatives and protection of their habitats;

ACKNOWLEDGING the progress made through the CITES Tiger Enforcement Task Force, and the results of the second CITES Enforcement Experts Group meeting in 2009, and noting that the causes of conservation problems could be relevant to other Asian big cat species and that the solutions to reduce illegal trade in tiger specimens could be applied to benefit these species;

ACKNOWLEDGING further the actions and reports of members of the Snow Leopard Network and of the Global Tiger Forum in reviewing the threats to the long-term survival of the species in the wild and the recommended measures to address those threats;

WELCOMING the establishment of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC);

AWARE of the important role of ICCWC in bringing coordinated support to the national wildlife law enforcement agencies and to the subregional and regional networks that, on a daily basis, act in defence of natural resources;

ENCOURAGING all stakeholders to take note of the final report of the ICCWC Seminar on Tiger Crime for Heads of Police and Customs, held on 14 February 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand;

CONCERNED that the failure to provide regular detailed reports on progress in implementing measures aimed at conserving tigers and other Appendix-I Asian big cats has prevented adequate assessment of the effectiveness of the measures taken;

RECOGNIZING also that long-term solutions to the protection, conservation and management of tigers and other Asian big cat species and their habitats requires the adoption of bold and innovative actions based on a sound base of information;

THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION

URGES:

a)    all Parties and non-Parties, especially range and consumer States of Asian big cat species, to adopt comprehensive legislation and enforcement controls which clearly define the administrative responsibilities of the various government agencies responsible for regulating trade within and outside of protected areas and in outlets for parts and derivatives, such as in wildlife markets and shops, etc., as a matter of urgency;

b)    all Parties seeking to improve their legislation prohibiting international commercial trade in specimens of tiger and other Asian big cat species, and products labelled as, or claiming to contain, their parts and derivatives, to adopt such legislation, to include penalties adequate to deter illegal trade and to consider introducing national measures to facilitate implementation of CITES, such as voluntarily prohibiting internal trade in such parts, derivatives and products, as provided for in Resolution Conf. 9.6 (Rev. CoP16);

c)    all Parties, especially range and consumer States, to introduce innovative enforcement methods and, as a matter of priority, strengthen enforcement efforts in key border regions, and develop or improve implementation of regional enforcement networks;

d)    all range States and other relevant Parties to implement systems for the recording of information relating to illegal trade in Asian big cats and to share this information as appropriate to ensure coordinated investigations and enforcement;

e)    all range States shall seek to ensure enforcement units and personnel receive relevant and effective support in anti-poaching operations; the gathering and use of intelligence; targeting offenders; wildlife crime investigative techniques; collecting evidence; inter-agency liaison and cooperation; and preparing cases for prosecution;

f)    Parties to contribute financial and technical assistance to enable range States to comply with the implementation of this Resolution and enhance capacity building, improvement of conservation measures and sustainable livelihoods, so as to contribute towards the conservation of Asian big cats;

g)    those Parties and non-Parties on whose territories tigers and other Asian big cat species are bred in captivity to ensure that adequate management practices and controls are in place to prevent parts and derivatives from entering illegal trade from or through such facilities;

h)    those Parties and non-Parties on whose territories there exist stocks of parts and derivatives of tiger and other Asian big cat species (such as tiger bone stocks), but not including pre-Convention specimens, to consolidate and ensure adequate control of such stocks, and where possible destroy the same, with the exception of those used for educational and scientific purposes;

i)     range and non-range States of the tiger and other Asian big cat species to support and participate in international conservation programmes, such as the Global Tiger Forum, the Snow Leopard Network, the CITES Tiger Enforcement Task Force and the Global Tiger Initiative; and

j)     all range and consumer States that are not party to CITES to accede to the Convention at the earliest possible date in order to improve control of international trade in parts and derivatives of tiger and other Asian big cat species;

INSTRUCTS the Secretariat to:

a)    report to the Standing Committee and the Conference of the Parties on the status of Asian big cats in the wild, their conservation, and trade controls in place in Parties, using information provided by the range States on measures taken to comply with this Resolution and related relevant Decisions and any relevant additional information provided by relevant countries; and

b)    work with ICCWC partners to promote increased awareness amongst the law enforcement community of the serious nature and impact of illegal trade in Asian big cat species, and to improve cooperation and a multidisciplinary approach in the detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes related to these species;

RECOMMENDS that:

a)    the range States of the tiger and other Asian big cat species ensure that anti-poaching teams and enforcement units are established and effectively resourced to counter the illegal killing of and trade in Asian big cat species, and that intelligence is shared between relevant enforcement agencies to counter illegal killing and trade;

b)    range States of the tiger and other Asian big cat species carry out appropriate education and awareness campaigns directed at urban and rural communities and other targeted groups, on the ecological and cultural significance and the significance for ecotourism of Asian big cats, their prey and habitats;

c)    all range and consumer States take measures to increase awareness of wildlife crime and illicit wildlife trade among their enforcement, prosecution and judicial authorities;

d)    the enforcement agencies in range and consumer States of the tiger and other Asian big cat species establish cooperative bilateral and multilateral arrangements, especially for the management of shared wildlife species and protected habitats with common boundaries, in order to achieve more effective control of illegal international trade in specimens of Asian big cat species;

e)    Parties and non-Parties convene regional workshops on law enforcement needs associated with illegal cross-border movement of specimens of Asian big cat species, including the extent of the trade, smuggling routes, methods and final consumer markets for live specimens and parts and derivatives, with technical assistance from the CITES Secretariat and, where available, financial support from interested governments and organizations; and

f)    the range States of Asian big cat species conduct, where appropriate, studies to examine the motivation behind the illegal killing of these species and to recommend appropriate measures to address such motivation;

REQUESTS:

a)    countries and organizations with the relevant expertise to encourage and support range and consumer States, as a matter of urgency, in the development of practical identification manuals to aid the detection and accurate identification of parts and derivatives of Asian big cats; and

b)    that, since biological and distribution data are essential for the implementation of the Convention, donor nations assist in funding the infrastructure and the provision of expertise to develop computer databases and mapping as well as any other necessary conservation management techniques;

RECOMMENDS that the consumer States of specimens from the tiger and other Asian big cat species:

a)    work with traditional medicine communities and industries to develop and implement strategies for gradually reducing and eventually eliminating the use of Asian big cat parts and derivatives;

b)    where necessary and appropriate, remove references to parts and derivatives of Appendix-I Asian big cats from the official pharmacopoeia and include acceptable substitute products that do not endanger other wild species, and introduce programmes to educate the industry and user groups in order to eliminate the use of substances derived from Appendix-I Asian big cats and promote the adoption of appropriate alternatives; and

c)    carry out appropriate education and awareness campaigns to eliminate illegal trade in and use of Asian big cat skins as trophies, ornaments and items of clothing or for the production of other materials;

CALLS UPON all governments and intergovernmental organizations, international aid agencies, and non-governmental organizations to provide, as a matter of urgency, funds and other assistance to stop illegal trade in specimens of Asian big cat species, and to ensure the long-term survival of the Asian big cat species in the wild; and

REPEALS Resolution Conf. 11.5 (Gigiri, 2000) – Conservation of and trade in tigers.

* Amended at the 15th and 16th meetings of the Conference of the Parties.

Number / Code: 
Conf. 12.5 (Rev. CoP16)
COP meeting: 
Twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties