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Nieuws van de Conferentie van Partijen in Johannesburg

BIj de Conferentie van Partijen in Johannesburg zijn twee collega's van het Collective of Animal and Plant Stakeholders aanwezig. Zij geven regelmatig een update over de gang van zaken. De eerste update (in het Engels, we regelen zo snel mogelijk een vertaling) is inmiddels binnen:

Hi Folks,

The first few days at the CITES Conference of the Parties have gone by without too much incident. Focus has been on general resolutions (but often very important ones) around such issues as CITES Purpose Codes, Protecting Rural Livelihoods, Snake Trade, Definition of Artificially Propagated Plants, Neotropical Tree Species, Trade in Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles, Madagascan Ebonies, Trade in African Tree Species and Trade in Cycads.

The overall feel of the conference is one towards protectionism rather than sustainable trade but aspects of the conference contradict this trend. Hence the discussions on protecting rural livelihoods through sustainable trade has been endorsed without any significant dissent but, at the same time, we see a seeming willingness (especially from the European Union) to support listing on CITES Appendix I of species that do not fulfil any of the criteria supposedly required before a listing is accepted which would then, obviously, preclude rural populations from benefiting from the sale of this listed species. A prime example being the African Grey Parrot proposed by some African countries, the EU and the US for a CITES I listing despite the fact that the IUCN and CITES Secretariat have formally concluded that the species does not satisfy the listing criteria for a CITES Appendix I listing. Frustratingly, in meeting with the EU Delegations and Commission it has been confirmed that they will not be likely to support the Peregrine Falcon down-listing proposal (Appendix I to Appendix II) by Canada even though they stated the species "clearly does not meet the listing criteria for continued listing on CITES II". Unbelievable!

It has made a real big difference having two pro hobby/trade representatives attending the CoP with Chris Newman joining me for the first time. So much of the effort involves being present at side events (which often occur simultaneously which obviously means missing an event if there's only one of you), lobbying Government representatives from around the world (and especially the UK/EU representatives) in the corridors, liasing with international colleagues and have representation at simultaneously running Committee meetings that having more than one person doing it from the UK is invaluable - our opponents still outweigh us in numbers at least 30 to 1 and are clearly able to split their resources accordingly. The largest impact we have is undoubtedly in lobbying and subtle persuasion of delegates. Making a public intervention in the hall is a hobby for some protectionist NGO's (who like to be able to claim interventions as though they mean something) but rarely has much impact at the stage it is made - although occasionally justified. The impact at this stage is really only of any significance when made by one of the country signatories to CITES.

The CITES Listing Proposals commence today with consideration of mammals (with the exception of the elephant proposals which will be held over until Monday), followed by all the plant proposals, then birds, followed by reptiles and amphibians and concluding with fish and invertebrates.

Kindest Regards,