CITES Decisions Map the Future of Wildlife Trade
The Hague, The Netherlands - Environmental officials from 171 countries are leaving The Hague today after adopting more than 100 formal decisions that update the regulations governing international wildlife trade.
A new timber species was added to the list of CITES protected species. The trade in brazilwood will now require CITES permits, although exports of bows for musical instruments are exempted.
But the European Union withdrew its proposal to include Cedrela in CITES Appendix II, which allows trade in a species under strict permit conditions.
One of the Cedrela species, Cedrela odorata, growing in Costa Rica (Photo courtesy C. Navarro) Cedrela, also called Spanish cedar, includes seven species in the mahogany family found in Central and South America that are in demand for furniture and finish carpentry.
WWF and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, criticized the CITES' failure to support Cedrela conservation.
"It is a shame how this opportunity was missed," said Ximena Barrera from WWF Colombia. "We lost a decade of conservation action for another tropical tree, big-leaf mahogany, because it took 10 years to include it on CITES Appendix II. As a result, this species is now on the verge of commercial extinction. The same is likely to happen with Cedrela if the current exploitation levels continue."
Today Australia offered US$200,000 to fund two posts in the CITES Secretariat to address illegal timber trade, and announced a high-level meeting on this issue to be held in late July.
After lengthy budget negotiations and three votes which failed to achieve the required 75 percent majority, delegates took a short break and returned to approve a proposal by Ireland for a six percent increase in the budget.
Qatar offered to host the next Conference of the Parties and presented a video of his country, and delegates adopted by acclamation the time and venue for next COP to take place in Doha, Qatar, in 2010.
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