The United States has submitted
proposals to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
(CITES) to implement international trade protections for eight species
of plants and wildlife at its biannual meeting in Thailand later this
year. The species include painted bunting, humphead wrasse, Asian yew
and five species of Asian turtles.
The proposals, announced
by Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks
Craig Manson, also seek to remove international trade restrictions that
currently apply to the bobcat and the peach-faced lovebird and to change
the status of the American bald eagle to reflect its ongoing recovery
in the continental United States.
CITES is an international
agreement signed by 166 nations that is designed to control and regulate
global trade in certain wild animals and plants that are or may become
threatened with extinction due to commercial trade. The convention's
13th meeting of the Conference of Parties will be held in October in
"As one of the world's
largest consumers for wildlife and wildlife products, the United States
has an important role to play in guarding against the over-exploitation
of wildlife species and ensuring that any such trade in these species
is legal and sustainable," Manson said. "Our proposals reflect
the evolving nature of the international wildlife trade that requires
CITES nations to continually refine, update, and adapt the way the convention
is implemented and enforced."
A CITES-regulated species
may be included in one of three appendices to the Convention:
I includes species for which it is determined that any commercial
trade is detrimental to the survival of the species. Therefore, no
commercial trade is allowed in Appendix-I species. Non-commercial
trade in such species is allowed if it does not jeopardize the species'
survival in the wild. Permits are required for the exportation and
importation of Appendix-I species.
II includes species for which it has been determined that commercial
trade may be detrimental to the survival of the species if that trade
is not strictly controlled. Trade in these species is regulated through
the use of export permits.
- Appendix III includes species
listed by a range country that requires the assistance of other parties
to ensure that exports of their native species are legal. Permits are
used to control and monitor trade in native species. Any CITES party
may place a native species in Appendix III.
Any listing of a species in
either Appendix I or II requires approval by two-thirds of the CITES party
countries that vote on the proposal.
For the October meeting, the
United States is proposing several plants and animals for inclusion in
CITES Appendices II as well as removal from Appendix II or transfer from
Appendix I to Appendix II.
The United States is proposing
the following species for inclusion in Appendix II:
- Asian turtles -- The United
States is sponsoring proposals to add five species of Asian turtles
to CITES Appendix II. This is a continuation of efforts to include all
species of Asian freshwater turtles and tortoises in the CITES Appendices,
as agreed at a CITES-sponsored Technical Workshop on Conservation of
and Trade in Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises in Asia, held in Kunming,
China in March 2002. The United States co-sponsored similar proposals
at the last two conferences of parties.
-- The United States will co-sponsor with China adding additional
species of this tree to Appendix II. The extract from this tree is
used for medicinal purposes and the United States is seeking to have
additional species regulated under CITES, in line with consensus recommendations
of the CITES Plants Committee.
wrasse- Based on recent research on the effects of trade on the sustainability
of this fish species, the United States is proposing adding the species
to Appendix II.
- America's national symbol, the bald eagle is making a comeback in
the United States. Therefore, this country is proposing to transfer
the bald eagle from Appendix I to Appendix II which brings the CITES
listing into line with the eagle's current biological status. This
will ensure that CITES actions are consistent with actions under the
U.S. Endangered Species Act.
- Trade is adversely impacting this native North American songbird
and wild populations are declining. Therefore, the United States is
proposing this species for Appendix II.
The United States is proposing
to remove the following species from Appendix II:
United States, with strong support from state wildlife agencies, is
proposing to remove the bobcat from Appendix II because the species
is abundant and well-managed and therefore does not require CITES
listing. The significant resources invested by states, tribes, and
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to comply with CITES requirements
for export of bobcat could be redirected to other species with more
immediate conservation needs.
lovebirds-The United States is proposing to remove this small parrot
from Appendix II because nearly all of these birds in trade are captive-bred
and therefore trade has little or no impact on wild populations.
The second portion of the
United States' submission deals with resolutions that focus on the interpretation
of the treaty. Not only do such resolutions help member nations better
carry out the Convention, but also they provide a forum for the biennial
evaluation of critical wildlife trade issues. The United States is submitting
documents on the following six issues:
from the Sea (IFS)-- This is a discussion paper and draft resolution
on some of the important aspects of CITES Introduction from the Sea
implementation, including permit issuance policy and interpretation
of terms associated with IFS.
Bigleaf mahogany plywood--
Following extensive consultation with the CITES Plants Committee,
the Mahogany Working Group, and U.S. industry, the United States is
submitting a definition for bigleaf mahogany plywood corresponding
with Customs' Harmonized Tariff Codes in order to aid in CITES implementation
Systems-- This submission contains two separate draft resolutions.
The first concerns a clarification of ranching to correct an inadvertent
omission that has lead to an inappropriate use of this source code,
causing conservation concern and enforcement problems. The second
draft resolution concerns the creation of a joint Animals and Plant
Committee working group to clarify the treatment of production systems
of trade in plants-- The United States, as the chair of a CITES Plants
Committee Working Group, is recommending changes to clarify the definition
of "artificially propagated" as well as the exemption from
CITES controls of flasked seedlings of orchid species.
To aid inspectors at ports of entry, the United States is proposing
the inclusion of a timber identifier number on CITES permits and certificates.
If adopted, the U.S. hopes the measure will address some enforcement
issues at U.S. ports.