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Action Alert - CITES      



Urge the Government to support global species protection at CITES
The proposals for animals and plants to be added or removed from the global list of species controlled in trade under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) have now been submitted. The 169 Parties to the Convention will be meeting in the Netherlands in June 2007 (CoP14), and the Department of Environment and Water Resources (DEW) is currently seeking input into Australia's position on the proposals being considered.

Action Required:

Please send your comments on the proposals to amend the Convention Appendices to Liz Ferguson, CITES Liaison Officer, International Wildlife Trade, GPO Box 787, Canberra ACT 2601, or by email to wildlifetrade@environment.gov.au or by fax on 02 6274 1921.

Further information on the DEW request for input can be found at the DEW website http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/trade-use/cites/cop/index.html

Following are some suggestions to include in your submissions:

  • Congratulate Australia on submitting documents supporting increased efforts to prevent the illegal trade in endangered species used for traditional medicines, and to improve the conservation and management of the world's shark species, including efforts to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported shark fishing.

Ask that Australia support:

  • The proposal to list the family of sawfishes, making them the first fishes listed in Appendix I. All species of sawfish are critically endangered, yet their trade is wholly unregulated.
  • The listing of the porbeagle and spiny dogfish sharks on Appendix II. These species have suffered huge population declines resulting from harvest and trade. If successful, these will be the first ever listings of commercially harvested marine species in CITES Appendices.
  • The 20 year moratorium on trade in elephant ivory proposed by Kenya and Mali. This timeframe is essential in order for vital MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) data to be collected; for illegal ivory markets to be closed; and for greater monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to be developed and implemented. Stress that it is essential the Australian government are committed to voting pro-conservation on elephant ivory proposals prior to their arrival at the conference.
  • The Cambodian proposal to uplist the slow loris from Appendix II to Appendix I. This species is heavily exploited for international trade as pets, food and for traditional medicine, and is at serious risk from habitat destruction.

Ask that Australia oppose:

  • The Japanese proposal to have the listing of all cetaceans reviewed. These species are currently afforded the highest level of protection under CITES. Numerous attempts to downlist whale species at previous CITES meetings have proved unsuccessful, and this review seeks to challenge the International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling by reducing their protection under CITES.
  • The proposed doubling of Mozambique's annual leopard skin export quota. There have been no detailed field studies or accurate data collection on the status of international trade in these skins to warrant such as increase in quota.
  • The USA proposal to delete the bobcat from Appendix II. International trade in the skins, parts and products derived from this species has increased 500% over the last 10 years.
  • The proposals by Botswana and Namibia to increase the trade in raw ivory. No trade in raw or worked ivory, commercial or non-commercial, should be allowed while illegal levels of trade and poaching remain serious threats to endangered elephants across many parts of Africa and Asia.

The documents for species proposals and agenda items can be accessed at the CITES website at http://www.cites.org/eng/cop/index.shtml

The Species Survival Network (SSN), a global coalition of more than 60 NGOs that specialise in the CITES Convention, has produced a digest of recommendations on the proposals. These can be accessed from the SSN website at http://www.ssn.org/Meetings/cop/cop14/cites_cop14_EN.htm

HSI will be attending CoP14 as the NGO representative on the Australian Government's Delegation, and also as a member of the Species Survival Network, and staff would be happy to discuss any of the proposals and recommendations further at any time.
Please send any replies you receive to HSI at PO Box 439, Avalon 2007.

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