16.84 to 16.92 Rhinoceroses (Rhinocerotidae spp.)


Directed to all Parties
16.84 All Parties should:
  a)  immediately bring every seizure of illegal rhinoceros specimens made within their territories to the attention of authorities in countries of origin, transit and destination, as applicable, and to the attention of the Secretariat. Information on the seizure should be accompanied by available associated information, to enable follow-up investigations to take place;
  b)  notify the CITES Secretariat of seizures of rhinoceros horn for which the origin cannot be determined. Such a notification should include information describing the circumstances of the seizure;
  c)  enact legislation or use existing legislation to:
  i)  facilitate the use of specialized investigation techniques such as controlled deliveries and covert investigations in the investigation of wildlife-crime-related offences, as appropriate, in support of conventional investigation techniques;
  ii)  maximize the impact of enforcement actions by using other tools and regulations, such as anti-money laundering and asset forfeiture legislation, in support of wildlife legislation; and
  iii)  prosecute members of organized crime groups implicated in rhinoceros related crimes under a combination of relevant legislation which carry appropriate penalties that will act as effective deterrents, whenever possible;
  d)  submit rhinoceros horn samples from specimens subject to criminal investigation, to designated accredited forensic laboratories as described in document CoP16 Doc. 54.2 (Rev. 1), for DNA analysis, in accordance with relevant legislation regulating the exchange of such specimens;
  e)  prior to issuing permits or certificates, including pre-Convention certificates, authorizing the movement of specimens of rhinoceroses, consult with the country of destination, so that the true nature of the trade may be confirmed and monitored;
  f)  introduce national measures, as appropriate, in support of CITES implementation, to regulate internal trade in specimens of rhinoceros, including any specimen that appears from an accompanying document, the packaging, a mark or label, or from any other circumstances, to be a rhinoceros part or derivative; and
  g)  consider introducing stricter domestic measures to regulate the re-export of rhinoceros horn products from any source.


Directed to all Parties


16.85 All Parties implicated in the illegal trade of rhinoceros horn as a range or consumer State, where applicable, should:
  a)  develop and implement long-term demand reduction strategies or programmes and immediate actions aimed at reducing the illegal movement and consumption of rhino horn products, taking into consideration the draft demand-reduction principles included in the Annex to document CoP16 Doc. 54.1 (Rev. 1), to achieve measurable change in consumer behaviour;
  b)  develop and implement strategies or programmes to enhance community awareness with regard to the economic, social and environmental impacts of illicit trafficking in wildlife crime, and to encourage the general public to report illegal activities related to wildlife trade to appropriate authorities for further investigation. Such strategies or programmes and immediate actions could include the involvement of local communities that live in the immediate vicinity of conservation areas, community policing projects or other strategies as may be appropriate; and
  c)  provide information on the effectiveness of strategies or programmes referred to in paragraph a) and b) of this Decision, to the Working Group on Rhinoceroses, by 31 January 2015, to assist the Working Group in identifying best practices and challenges experienced, with the aim of developing ideas to further enhance the effectiveness of demand-reduction strategies, and to report on its findings at the 66th meeting of the Standing Committee.



Directed to Viet Nam
16.86 Viet Nam should:
  a)  make progress with the development and implementation of the South Africa – Viet Nam 2012-to-2017 Joint Action Plan, including strengthening management of imported rhino horn trophies, and to improve investigations and prosecutions of Vietnamese nationals suspected of illegally possessing or trading in rhino horn, as referenced in document CoP16 Inf. 24; and specifically to include:
  i)  development of legislation on the domestic management of imported rhino horn trophies addressing the issue of alteration and transfer of rhino horn trophies pursuant to the national laws and CITES Resolutions; and
  ii)  establishment of a secure registration database to track legal rhino horn trophies;
  b)  conduct consumer behaviour research to develop and implement demand reduction strategies or programmes aimed at reducing the consumption of rhino horn products; and
  c)  provide a comprehensive report on progress made to the Secretariat by 31 January 2014, with regard to steps taken to effectively implement the requirements of Resolution Conf. 9.14 (Rev. CoP15), and include:
  i)  an update on arrests, seizures, prosecutions and penalties for offences related to illegal rhinoceros horn possession and trade in Viet Nam since CoP16;d
  ii)  the effectiveness of Decision 112 , reported in document CoP16 Inf. 24, to prevent illegal rhino horn trade; and
  iii)  any other on-going activities and measures implemented to combat illegal killing of rhinoceros and illegal rhinoceros horn trade.



Directed to Mozambique
16.87 Mozambique should:
  a)  take steps to effectively implement the requirements of Resolution Conf. 9.14 (Rev. CoP15);
  b)  give priority attention to the enactment and implementation of legislation with deterrent penalties to effectively combat wildlife crime, prevent illegal killing of rhinoceroses and illegal possession of and trade in rhinoceros horn, taking into consideration the content of Decision 16.84, paragraphs a)-g); and
  c)  assist the Working Group on Rhinoceroses to implement its mandate by providing a comprehensive report on measures implemented, as specified in paragraph a) and b) of this Decision, and on any other activities conducted. This report should be submitted to the Secretariat by 31 January 2014.



Directed to Mozambique and South Africa
16.88 Mozambique and South Africa should further enhance bilateral cooperation with each other and with their neighbouring States, to enhance current efforts to combat illegal killing of rhinoceroses and illegal trade in rhinoceros horn, and should provide a comprehensive report to the Secretariat, by 31 January 2014, with regard to activities conducted in this regard.



Directed to the Secretariat
16.89 The Secretariat shall:
  a)  subject to external funding, convene a CITES Rhinoceros Enforcement Task Force consisting of representatives from Parties affected by rhinoceros poaching and illegal trade in rhinoceros horn, the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime partner organizations, EUROPOL and, as appropriate, other Parties and experts. The Task Force should develop strategies to improve international cooperation, taking into consideration ongoing initiatives [such as the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between South Africa and Viet Nam], and promote similar MoUs as appropriate;
  b)  subject to external funding, develop, in conjunction with relevant institutions and experts, a manual containing guidelines on best practices, protocols and operational procedures, that will promote the use of wildlife forensic technology;
  c)  examine the implementation of Resolution Conf. 9.14 (Rev. CoP15) in those range States where the illegal killing of rhinoceros poses a significant threat to the populations of these species, particularly South Africa and Zimbabwe, and share its findings with the Working Group on Rhinoceroses;
  d)  examine progress with curtailing illegal trade in rhinoceros parts and derivatives by citizens of implicated States, particularly Viet Nam;
  e)  seek external funding to undertake a technical mission to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to assess current enforcement activities relevant to illegal trade in wildlife, in particular in rhinoceros parts and derivatives, and the implementation of Resolution Conf. 9.14 (Rev. CoP15);
  f)  revise Resolution Conf. 9.14 (Rev. CoP15), taking into consideration the contents of Decisions 16.84 and 16.85 and submit this revised version for consideration at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties; and
  g)  report at the 65th and 66th meetings of the Standing Committee on progress with regard to the implementation of paragraph a) to e) of this Decision.



Directed to the Working Group on Rhinoceroses
16.90 The Working Group on Rhinoceroses shall:
  a)  evaluate the reports submitted in compliance with Decisions 16.86, paragraph c), 16.87, paragraph c), 16.88, and the findings of the Secretariat as per Decision 16.89, paragraph c); and report its findings and recommendations at the 65th meeting of the Standing Committee; and
  b)  evaluate the report submitted in compliance with Decision 16.85, paragraph c), and report its findings and recommendations at the 66th meeting of the Standing Committee.



Directed to the Standing Committee
16.91 The Standing Committee shall:
  a)  at its 64th meeting, extend the mandate of the Working Group on Rhinoceroses established at its 61st meeting, to continue to work, primarily through electronic means; and
  b)  at its 65th and 66th meetings, consider the reports and recommendations of the Working Group on Rhinoceroses as required in Decision 16.90, and of the Secretariat, and determine further actions to be implemented by Parties to reduce illegal supply and demand, including any necessary measures pursuant to Resolution Conf. 14.3.


Directed to the Standing Committee


16.92 The Standing Committee shall review the definition of 'hunting trophy' provided in Resolution Conf. 12.3 (Rev. CoP16), in relation to rhinoceros horn hunting trophies, and consider whether any revision is needed in order to eliminate the possible abuse of the definition to facilitate illegal trade in rhinoceros horn.