Wrapping up the CITES convention
Posted on 14/03/2013
After two intense weeks of debate and vote, the 16th Conference of Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES CoP16) which has taken place 3-14 March 2013 in Thailand comes to an end.
Overall, the Convention resulted in significant positive successes for many species. Countries have supported stronger protections for over 40 species of turtles, New Zealand green geckos, oceanic whitetip sharks, hammerhead sharks and porbeagle, and manta rays.
Several stronger measures to address illegal and poaching have also been adopted. These include new requirements for DNA analysis of ivory seizures over 500 kilos, the development of guidance on captive breeding facilities and assessment of specimens, the release of a study on the illegal trade in cheetahs and the announcement made by the Democratic Republic of Congo that they are banning all exports of primates from their country.
The CITES Standing Committee is expected to review guidelines for the disposal of confiscated live animals in order to consolidate them.
On a negative note, Eurogroup regrets the failed attempt to put an end to the commercial trade in polar bears despite the concerns raised over unsustainable hunting quotas for some Canadian populations.
Finally, it is worth noting the efforts that the EU, US and many other countries made to try and improve transparency in votes during the Convention despite calls by other parties such as China or Japan to hold secret votes.
Next Conference of Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES CoP17) will be held in South Africa in 2016.