Possible Wildlife Trade Changes are Focus of FWS Inquiry
The Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting through Feb. 2, 2016, information on comments on specific resolutions, decisions and agenda items that the U.S. is considering submitting for consideration at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which will be held Sept. 24-Oct. 5, 2016, in South Africa. The U.S. will forward its submissions to the CITES secretariat no later than April 27, 2016, and will list them on its website shortly thereafter.
CITES is an international treaty designed to regulate international trade in certain animal and plant species that are now, or potentially may become, threatened with extinction. The 180 countries that are party to CITES meet at least every two years to review the implementation of the agreement, consider amendments to the list of species in appendices I and II in which international trade is prohibited or regulated, etc.
The one proposal the U.S. is currently likely to submit for consideration is for a document highlighting U.S. progress and leadership on efforts to combat wildlife trafficking.
The U.S. is still undecided on whether to submit resolutions, decisions or agenda items on the following issues pending additional information and consultations.
- trade in live elephants
- complete ban on global elephant ivory trade
- restrictions on exports of live rhinoceros
- potential problems raised by the introduction of synthetic wildlife products such as synthetic rhino horn
- reducing illegal trade in pangolins
- the impacts of lawful sport hunting on the survivability of hunted species in the wild
- the fish maw (swim bladder) trade
- wildlife trafficking and the transport industry
- international transport of musical instruments
- mandatory annual reporting on illegal CITES trade
- the legal and illegal trade in timber for the production of traditional Chinese furniture
- management of nationally established export quotas
- CITES specimens accompanied by court-ordered CITES documents
The FWS also states that the U.S. is not likely to submit resolutions, decisions or agenda items on other issues unless it receives significant additional information. These involve elephant specimens and ivory, rhinoceros horn, cheetahs, African lions, Asian big cats, bears, great apes, saiga antelope, hornbills and sandalwood, freshwater turtles and tortoises, sharks and cetaceans, rosewood and ebony, musical instruments, enforcement and CITES documentation.