The CITES Secretariat has now posted Document 105.1, presenting its final assessments of the proposals to amend Appendices I and II of the Convention. These 57 proposals submitted by Parties to CITES for consideration at CoP18 address a wide range of wild plants and animals. The detailed assessments and recommendations can be found in an annex to the document here.
The proposals call for increasing or decreasing controls on international trade in wildlife and wildlife products. Many seek to protect species by proposing to ban commercial trade in them (Appendix I), while others aim to protect species through managed trade and sustainable use (Appendix II). In total, around 550 species may be affected by the proposed changes. They include the African elephant, the giraffe, a variety of lizards, geckos and newts, tortoises, sharks, sea cucumbers, Grandidier’s baobab, rosewood and many others.
As required by the text of the Convention, the Secretariat’s recommendations are based upon the agreed criteria for amendments to the Appendices as set out in CITES Resolutions, and in particular Resolution 9.24 (Rev. CoP16). They consider whether each proposal satisfies certain biological criteria, whether international trade is a relevant threat to the species’ survival, the adequacy of the information provided, and other technical and scientific factors.
Nine Parties have also provided their views on the proposals. In addition, as instructed by the Parties, the Secretariat conducted its assessment after consulting bodies concerned with the conservation and sustainable use of marine species and timber species. Thirteen intergovernmental bodies provided their views on the marine species proposals, and three provided their views on the timber proposals. The Report of the Sixth FAO Expert Advisory Panel is available here.
Parties will draw on these evaluations and recommendations to make their own decisions at CoP18 about which proposals should be adopted and which rejected.
“Amending the CITES Appendices is a rigorous, science-based process that demands a wide range of expertise,” said CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero. “The stakes are high, both for these vulnerable species of plants and animals and for the people whose livelihoods depend upon them. We should also consider that Parties have legally binding obligations towards all species included in the CITES Appendices. It is vital that our decisions be as well-informed and wise as possible.”