Notification to the Parties

No. 932 Geneva, 4 September 1996


Loans of Giant Pandas

1. At its 35th meeting, the Standing Committee considered the question of loans of giant pandas Ailuropoda melanoleuca. It agreed that the Secretariat should prepare, in consultation with the Government of China, a new Notification to the Parties to replace Notification No. 477 of 23 May 1988.

2. At its 36th meeting (Geneva, January-February 1996), the Standing Committee considered document Doc. SC.36.15 and its Annexes prepared by the Secretariat in accordance with the above-mentioned decision.

3. After discussion, the Standing Committee, with the agreement of the observers from China, adopted the following recommendations regarding loans of giant pandas from China:

a) any giant panda exported for loan, and its offspring, should remain the property of the Government of China;

b) exports of wild taken animals should not be authorized except in limited numbers and only where the Management Authorities of China and of the importing country are satisfied that the transaction will generate positive conservation benefits to the species;

c) authorization to export animals able to breed should be given only in exceptional circumstances, where there is a high probability of breeding taking place and if the recipient institution co-operates with others in a breeding programme for the species;

d) every effort must be made to ensure that all the financial benefits from the exhibition of giant pandas, after deduction of the costs incurred, are devoted to the conservation of the species in China, the vast majority being reserved for its conservation in the wild in the framework of the China National Programme for the Conservation of the Giant Panda and its Habitat; and

e) a memorandum of agreement or a similar document should be signed between the Management Authority of China, the Chinese institution that is making any loan of a giant panda and the recipient of the animal, to define the conditions of the loan, including the provisions above.

4. The Secretariat urges the Parties to follow the above recommendations if they are considering the authorization of any loan of giant pandas from China.

5. This Notification repeals Notification to the Parties No. 477 of 23 May 1988.