capitol building

CITES COP 16: What is your country doing?

by [earth] guest blogger

What are people doing here, anyway?

Day 2 of CITES COP 16 was *eventful*. I’m going to try to make more targeted posts from now on, and I got a great idea for one this morning when I was chatting with one of my friends from the USA, who had some questions for me:

Friend: “Are delegates deciding what to bring back to their countries in these meetings?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Friend: “As in, countries cannot officially pass policies there, right? So they discuss with other countries what needs to be done nationally, and then take it back to their own governments.”

Me: “Oh, yeah they can.”

This is a good question. It’s an implementation question. And maybe some of the nuances of CITES aren’t clear, or aren’t talked about as much as some of the bigger conservation implications. But I love the technical aspects of this Convention! So here we go:

As with any discussion about CITES, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. CITES deals with international trade primarily through implementation of the 3 Appendices

2. It does not regulate the taking (a.k.a hunting, killing, poaching, harvesting, etc.) of wildlife.

3. It does not have any sway over domestic trade–trade within a country.

What actually happens at these COPs? What kinds of decisions are being made?

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CITES COP 16: Opening and Plenary, Happy 40th, CITES!

by [earth] guest blogger

The opening ceremony was quite a spectacle. To summarize very briefly and quite paraphrased:

Prince William: “We can reverse these trends. We can make a difference” (via video chat)

Oystein Stokersen (Chair of CITES Standing Committee): “Must involve communities dependent on resources being managed in a sustainable manner”

Achim Steiner (UNEP Executive Director): “It is easy to remain in the asipiration and to depend on others to do things that we cannot”

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shark

CITES COP 16: Shark Press Conference

by [earth] guest blogger

This morning, the European Union held a press conference to discuss the marine proposals to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES)–recommendations to list a number of shark species and manta rays under Appendix II.

What is CITES? The primary goal of CITES is to regulate international wildlife trade of species and to protect them against over-exploitation for the purposes of future aesthetic, scientific, cultural, recreational, and economic use. Currently there are 178 Parties to CITES.

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Earth in Brackets is reporting from CITES COP16!

Follow us here as well as on facebook and twitter for information on the negotiations on the international trade in endangered species!

Parties are coming together to discuss proposals on issues concerning transport of musical instruments (often made from rare woods), the international trade in timber, and  proposals on the statuses of sharks, rays, polar bears, turtles and tortoises, among other things.