TRAFFIC Recommendations for CoP15 available
Cambridge, UK, 20th January 2010—TRAFFIC’s recommendations on the proposals to amend the Appendices of CITES (the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) have been released today.
Parties to CITES will be asked to vote on whether the proposals should be adopted by the Convention or not at the forthcoming meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP15) in Doha, Qatar, which takes place from 13–25 March 2010.
Amendments to the CITES Appendices can have profound conservation implications for affected species. The listing of a species in Appendix I effectively prevents all commercial international trade, while those listed in Appendix II can be traded under special permit conditions aimed to allow trade only when it is not detrimental the species’s conservation.
Each proposal is examined in depth by IUCN and TRAFFIC and their analyses are available on the TRAFFIC website, together with the TRAFFIC recommendation, drawn up after careful consideration of each proposal’s analysis.
TRAFFIC recommendations are put forward for all but two of the 42 proposals being presented at CoP15. They relate to wildlife ranging from beetles and lizards to plants and timber.
“TRAFFIC’s recommendations are based on the best scientific information and knowledge of wildlife trade markets currently available,” said Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC.
“We trust that our recommendations, read in conjunction with the IUCN-TRAFFIC analyses of the proposals, offer CITES Parties sound conservation advice on which to base their decisions.”
TRAFFIC recommends support for a number of proposals to list marine species such as sharks, corals and tuna, to ensure trade in these resources is managed sustainably.
Some marine proposals were rejected at the previous CITES CoP, in part because of differences in the interpretation of the intended scope of CITES engagement in fisheries trade. However, there has been considerable progress in ironing out these differences and a recent Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Panel on marine issues has expressed support for several of the proposals now before CITES Parties.
TRAFFIC fully supports the proposal to list species like the Kaiser’s Spotted Newt, an amphibian endemic to Iran, in Appendix I. The species has declined in the wild by more than 80% in recent years largely because of illegal collection of specimens for the international pet trade and clearly meets the Convention’s biological criteria for listing in Appendix I.
Others, like the Morelet’s Crocodile in Central America are no longer considered to be at risk from trade in wild animals, and therefore the proposal to transfer the species from Appendix I to Appendix II appears justified.
In other cases, such as a proposal by Honduras to list three threatened lizard species in Appendix II in order to monitor their international trade more closely, TRAFFIC believes an alternative listing—in Appendix III may be more appropriate. An Appendix III listing is intended to assist countries compile information on trade in their national populations of listed species and to support their existing national laws.
The proposals are not the only items on the CoP meeting agenda. There will also be important discussions based on documents submitted in advance of the meeting relating to Tigers, elephants, rhinos and species like the Humphead Wrasse.
This will be the first CITES CoP to be held in the Middle East, and TRAFFIC hopes that an additional outcome of the meeting will be greater attention to the need for enhanced regional enforcement co-operation in the region.