This week’s main highlights at CITES
Posted on 08/03/2013
Eurogroup has been attending the 16th Conference of Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES CoP16) which takes place 3-14 March 2013 in Thailand.
The first week has been very eventful and started with a major disappointment when a proposal put forward by USA and Russia to end commercial trade on polar bears was rejected. Lengthy debate and passionate argument from Inuit about threats to their livelihoods left polar bears out in the cold, despite concerns raised over unsustainable hunting quotas for some Canadian populations.
Also worth mentioning, animals and accountability have lost again as attempts to increase transparency in voting were rejected by CITES Parties. This, despite EU efforts to try and improve transparency.
Finally, we left Friday on a good note with all reptile pet trade proposals to increase protection of geckos, pit vipers and turtles being adopted by consensus.
Next week we will see the highly controversial proposals on sharks on the agenda and hopefully adopted. Eurogroup urges the EU to lobby with us this weekend to get strong support for the shark proposal and gain as much support as possible!
CITES regulates the international trade in over 30,000 plants and animals with restrictions on commercial trade for species threatened with extinction. 177 countries are Parties to CITES and are voting on proposals to strengthen or weaken trade restrictions on certain species.