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7 March 2013 - Discussions on species proposals begins at CITES      

Discussions on species proposals begins at CITES

7th March 2013

This morning discussion on the species proposals under consideration at the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) got underway in Bangkok.

After a brief discussion we moved quickly to the proposal to uplist the Polar Bear on Appendix I of CITES, which would ban the international commercial trade in this species. HSI and many other organisations have been strong supporters of this proposal put forward by the US at this meeting.

The proposal proved to be a controversial one, with range states Canada including their representatives from the Inuit community and Greenland/Denmark speaking out against the proposal, whilst other range states US and Russia were strongly in support of the proposal.  In addition many other countries spoke in support of the proposal including Liberia, Senegal, Niger and Ukraine.

After almost three hours of intense and often complex procedural discussions, which included the EU putting forward an amendment to the proposal, parties moved to voting.  The EU amendment failed to achieve the two thirds majority for their compromise proposal so we moved to a vote on the US proposal.  

This too failed to achieve the required two-thirds majority and therefore the proposal failed.  This means that the polar bear will remain on Appendix II, and the unsustainable international trade in polar bear products will continue.

This is a very disappointing outcome, however HSI and our coalition partners will now be analysing the results in conjunction with parties in the hope this may be brought back for further discussion plenary at the end of next week.

Stay tuned for more updates as the meeting moves to discussions on a number of Australian proposals this afternoon.


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