Wildlife Trade Pact Admits New Member, Allows Accession by Regional Organizations
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora will enter into force for Angola on Dec. 31, making that country the 179th party to this agreement. A CITES press release notes that 350 species of plants and animals found in Angola are included in the CITES appendices, including 63 species of birds of prey, 28 species of primates, over 20 species of dolphins, 57 species of spurges and 52 species of aloes as well as iconic species such as the African elephant, lion and leopard. International trade in species listed in these appendices is regulated by CITES under a permit system.
In addition, a 1983 amendment allowing regional economic integration organizations to join CITES will take effect Nov. 29 after having finally been approved by the required two-thirds of members. The European Union is currently the only grouping that qualifies as an REIO, which CITES states has as an essential characteristic the existence of a common legal framework for the regulation of international trade in wild fauna and flora. REIOs will vote with a number of votes equal to the number of their member states that are parties to CITES but will not be able to exercise their right to vote if their member states exercise theirs (and vice versa).