For use of the media only;
not an official document.
Country proposals on wildlife trade rules
posted on CITES website
17 January 2007, Geneva – The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has received some 40 proposals from member countries to adjust the rules governing trade in wildlife species. These proposals have just been posted on the CITES website (www.cites.org) in the language in which they were received.
Countries will vote to accept, reject or modify these proposals for amending the CITES Appendices at a conference to be held in The Hague, the Netherlands, from 3 to 15 June 2007. CITES Appendix II lists species that are at risk and whose import and export are controlled through a permit system and Appendix I lists species that are endangered and that may not be commercially traded.
The proposals may be fewer this time than at previous conferences but they confirm growing interest in commercially valuable timber and marine species. Countries have proposed the inclusion in the appendices of precious timbers, two species of sharks (spiny dogfish and porbeagle shark), the Brazilian population of spiny lobster, eels, sawfish and precious red corals.
Amongst the species targeted at the forthcoming meeting also feature the black caiman, the bobcat, several ornamental and medicinal plants and CITES’s well-known flagship species: the elephant.
The proposals on the African elephant reflect opposing views on how to improve the conservation and sustainable use of this species. Indeed, Botswana and Namibia have now submitted a proposal to maintain elephant populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe in Appendix II, and the United Republic of Tanzania is recommending that their elephant populations be transferred from Appendix I to Appendix II. They argue that trade in ivory of their elephant populations is sustainable and a valuable instrument of conservation. On the contrary, Kenya and Mali are recommending a trade ban in raw or worked ivory for a period of 20 years. They argue that allowing any trade in ivory will increase the killing of elephants.
The CITES Secretariat will publish its preliminary technical and scientific assessment of the proposals, together with its preliminary recommendations, at the end of February.
Note to journalists: The proposals can be viewed at www.cites.org. For more information, contact Juan-Carlos Vasquez at +41-22-917-8156 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Michael Williams at +41-79-409-1528 (cell), +41-22-917-8242 (office), or email@example.com.
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