The term ‘appropriate and acceptable destinations’ appears in annotations regarding the Appendix II listed populations of the white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) of Eswatini and South Africa and of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) of Botswana and Zimbabwe.
At its 18th meeting (CoP18, Geneva, August 2019), the Conference of the Parties agreed in Resolution Conf. 11.20 (Rev. CoP18) on Definition of the term ‘appropriate and acceptable destinations’ that, where the term ‘appropriate and acceptable destinations’ appears in an annotation to the listing of a species in Appendix II of the Convention with reference to the trade in all live animals, this term shall be defined to mean destinations where the Management and Scientific Authority of the State of import is satisfied that the proposed recipient of a living specimen is suitably equipped to house and care for it sustainably, and that the Management and Scientific Authorities of the State of import and the State of export are satisfied that the trade would promote in situ conservation.
The CoP further agreed in the same resolution that where the term appears in an annotation to the listing of Loxodonta africana in Appendix II of the Convention with reference to the trade in live elephants taken from the wild, the term shall be defined to mean “in situ conservation programmes or secure areas in the wild, within the species’ natural and historical range in Africa, except in exceptional circumstances where, in consultation with the Animals Committee, through its Chair with the support of the Secretariat, and in consultation with the IUCN elephant specialist group, it is considered that a transfer to ex-situ locations will provide demonstrable in-situ conservation benefits for African elephants, or in the case of temporary transfers in emergency situations”.
To-date, the Secretariat has received a single request from the Management Authority of an importing Party seeking advice in line with paragraph 1 of the Resolution. The Secretariat made the information provided by the Party available to the members of the Animals Committee and the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group and asked them to provide their advice on whether this transfer is an ‘exceptional circumstance’ and if so, to determine the in situ conservation benefits of the transaction. The responses to the consultation from the Animals Committee and the African Elephant Specialist Group were made available to the Management Authority of the importing Party for its consideration, as reported in document AC31 Doc. 18.1.
Guidance for suitably housing and caring for living specimens
Article III of the Convention requires that recipients of living specimens of CITES Appendix-I species are suitably equipped to house and care for these specimens.
In order to assist Parties in undertaking the obligations of Article III, paragraphs 3 b) and 5 b) of the Convention and paragraph 2 a) of Resolution Conf. 11.20 (Rev. CoP18), CoP18 adopted Non-binding guidance for determining whether a proposed recipient of a living specimen is suitably equipped to house and care for it.
Decision 18.152 directs the Secretariat to create and maintain a dedicated webpage to make this guidance available and to compile other reference materials, published references, best practice examples, examples of Parties’ appropriate and acceptable destination findings and suitably equipped to house and care for living specimens’ findings, and other relevant information.
Notification 2019/070 - Non-binding guidance for determining whether a proposed recipient of a living specimen is suitably equipped to house and care for it
This Notification also called on Parties, organizations and other relevant stakeholders to submit any reference materials, published references, best practice examples, examples of Parties’ appropriate and acceptable destination findings and suitably equipped to house and care for living specimens’ findings, and other relevant information. A compilation of the responses is available here.
- Document CoP18 Doc. 44.1 on Definition of the term 'appropriate and acceptable destinations' – Report by the Standing Committee
- Document CoP18 Doc. 44.2 on International trade in live African elephants: Proposed revision of Resolution Conf. 11.20 (Rev. CoP17) on Definition of the term 'appropriate and acceptable destinations'
- Documents CoP18 Com. I. Rec. 2; CoP18 Plen. Rec. 2 (Rev. 1); and CoP18 Plen. Rec. 3 (Rev. 1)
- AC31 Doc. 18.1 on Report of the Secretariat
- AC31 Doc 18.2 on International Trade in live African Elephants
- SC69 Inf. Doc. 36 on Challenges to CITES Regulation of the International Trade in Live, Wild-caught African Elephants
- Trade in wild elephants
- Manual for live sale, capture and translocation of wildlife in Zimbabwe
- Minimum Husbandry Guidelines for Chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes (Animal Advocacy and Protection, 2019, rev. 2020)
- Minimum husbandry Guidelines for Barbary macaque, Macaca sylvanus (Animal Advocacy and Protection, 2020)
- Guidance for appropriate and acceptable destinations: African elephants and southern white rhinoceros (San Diego Zoo Global)
- Checklist for evaluating an appropriate and acceptable destination for Southern White Rhinoceros (China SA)
- Checklist for evaluating an appropriate and acceptable destination for African elephants (China SA)
- Checklist for evaluating how to house and care for living Appendix I animals (China SA)
- Guidelines for reintroductions and other conservation translocations (IUCN SSC, 2013)
- IUCN Guidelines on the use of ex situ management for species conservation (IUCN SSC, 2014)
- IUCN Guidelines for Determining When and How Ex Situ Management Should Be Used in Species Conservation (2017)
- The One Plan Approach to Conservation | Conservation Planning Specialist Group (cpsg.org)
- Best Practice Guidelines (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria)
- The African elephant Loxodonta spp conservation programmes of North Carolina Zoo: two decades of using emerging technologies to advance in situ conservation efforts (2019)
- Colchester Zoo Project: Elephant Orphanage Project (EOP), South Kafue National Park, Zambia
- Zoological Society of London – London and Whipsnade: Asian Elephant and Tiger Conservation in Thailand
- Zoo elephant research: contributions to conservation of captive and free‐ranging species (2019)
- Zoological Society of London: HEAT-seeking
- The Aspinall Foundation
- Prigen Conservation Breeding Ark
Guidelines on keeping African elephants and southern white rhinoceros
- EAZA Best Practice Guidelines for the white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, 2018).
- EAZA Best Practice Guidelines for Elephants (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, 2020)
- Elephant Husbandry Resource Guide (International Elephant Foundation)
- Rhino Husbandry Manual (International Rhino Foundation, 2014)
- AZA Standards for Elephant Management and Care (AZA TAG/SSP steering committee, 2011, rev. 2012)
- Standards for Elephant Sanctuaries (Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, 2019)
- Standards for Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus and Tapir Sanctuaries (Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, 2019)
- Optimal Conditions for Captive Elephants: A Report by the Coalition for Captive Elephant Well-Being (2005)
- Best Practices by the Coalition for Captive Elephant Well-Being (2005)
- Secretary of State’s Standards of Modern Zoo Practice Appendix 8 – Specialist exhibits, Elephants (2017)
- Guidelines for the management of elephants within BIAZA zoos (British & Irish Association of Zoos & Aquariums Elephant Welfare Group, 2019) - available on request via the BIAZA office (admin [at] biaza.org.uk)
Other relevant documents
- Caring for wildlife – The world zoo and aquarium animal welfare strategy (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, 2015)
- WAZA Code of ethics and animal welfare (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, 2003)
- EAZA Code of Ethics (Preamble, obligations and behaviour) (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, 2015, rev. 2016)
- EAZA Population Management Manual: Standards, procedures and guidelines for population management within EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, 2020)
- EAZA Standards for the Accommodation and Care of Animals in Zoos and Aquaria (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, 2019)
- EAZA Animal welfare resources (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria)
- Core Fundamental Standard of Practice for Captive Wild Animals (Wild Welfare, 2020)
**The above are external links and do not necessarily reflect the views of CITES.