U.S. Announces Tentative Negotiating Positions to Amend International Wildlife Trade Rules
The Fish and Wildlife Service has issued the tentative U.S. negotiating positions on amendments to the CITES Appendices (species proposals), draft resolutions and decisions, and agenda items submitted by the other countries and the CITES Secretariat for consideration at the 17th meeting of the conference of the parties to CITES, which is slated to be held Sept. 24-Oct. 5, 2016, in South Africa.
CITES controls and regulates international trade in certain animal and plant species that are affected by trade and are now, or potentially may become, threatened with extinction. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction in which trade is generally prohibited. Appendix II includes (a) species not necessarily threatened with extinction but in which trade is strictly controlled to prevent them from becoming so and (b) species that must be subject to regulation so that trade in other CITES-listed species may be brought under effective control. Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country that has asked CITES parties for assistance in controlling trade.
The FWS states that the U.S. intends to submit or co-sponsor the following proposals.
- Fishhook cacti – transfer taxa from Appendix II to Appendix I
- Argawood – amend the annotation to the listing in Appendix II
- Holy wood – amend the annotation to the listing in Appendix II
- Nautilus – include the family in Appendix II
- Devil rays – include genus in Appendix II
- African pygmy chameleons – include the genera Rhampholeon spp. and Rieppeleon spp. in Appendix II
- Softshell turtles – include the following six species in Appendix II: Cyclanorbis elegans, Cyclanorbis senegalensis, Cycloderma aubryi, Cycloderma frenatum, Trionyx triunguis and Rafetus euphraticus
- African grey parrot – transfer the species from Appendix II to Appendix I
- Indian pangolin – transfer the species from Appendix II to Appendix I
- Philippines pangolin – transfer the species from Appendix II to Appendix I
- Sunda pangolin and Chinese pangolin – transfer the species from Appendix II to Appendix I
- Four African species of pangolins (Manis tetradactyla, Manis tricuspis, Manis gigantea and Manis temminckii) – transfer the species from Appendix II to Appendix I
In addition, the U.S. will submit additional documents on actions to combat wildlife trafficking, demand reduction strategies to combat illegal trade in CITES-listed species, international trade in live Appendix II animals to appropriate and acceptable destinations, annotations for species listed in the CITES Appendices, review of precious corals in international trade, and CITES and youth engagement.