Nigeria and Senegal raise concern about NDF for trade in hunting trophies at CMS CoP 13

A study on ‘Non-Detriment Findings’ (NDF) on trophy-hunting was flagged by Nigeria and Senegal

By Ishan Kukreti
Published: Wednesday 19 February 2020

Senegal and Nigeria flagged a study on ‘Non-Detriment Findings’ (NDF) on trophy-hunting at the ongoing 13th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Environment Programme's Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

The concerns were raised during a discussion on the African Carnivore Initiative (ACI). The initiative by the CMS and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is for better conservation of four African carnivore species:

  • African Lion (Panthera leo)
  • Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)
  • Leopard (Panthera pardus)
  • African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus)

They are listed on Appendices I and II of CITES. Trade in parts of species in the first appendix is prohibited; for those in the second appendix, trade is regulated.

Trade, however, can be allowed if a country provides an NDF study stating it would not adversely impact the species in question. 

Nigerian and Senegal delegates objected to paragraph 31 of the document created under the ACI framework:

The outcomes of the workshop, which include best hunting management practices and guidance on non-detriment findings for trade in trophies of African Lions, represent valuable capacity building tools for Parties and African Lion Range States.

The workshop was attended by CITES and CMS secretariats and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It developed guidelines for the creation of NDFs for trade in trophies of lion.

Nigeria said it did not agree with the conclusions on several counts, “one being that it is unfeasible to develop common NDF guidelines that work for all countries involved in the trophy-hunting trade.”

The delegations pointed to the fact that African countries were underrepresented at the workshop and said trophy-hunters targeted the largest animals.

“The IUCN Red List assessment for the leopard states that poorly managed trophy hunting has led to a dramatic reduction in populations,” Manon Dené, wildlife policy specialist at non-profit Humane Society International, said.

“Trophy hunters prefer to target the largest animals, which results in weakening of the gene pool. Enabling exports for hunting trophies of even a few individuals has cascading effects on vulnerable populations,” she said.

The Nigerian delegation said it regretted “that Parties of the West African region were not invited to participate to this workshop. It was reported that the majority of ‘experts’ in attendance were from the trophy hunting industry and hunting lobby organisations, with very few independent scientists”.

Nigeria also said that the Seville workshop report did not represent a consensus among the CITES Parties and the conclusions of the workshop report were not agreed upon during the plenary session of the 30th meeting of the CITES Animals Committee.

“Nigeria and Senegal requested that all references to the results of the workshop within the framework of the ACI be deleted because all parties from their region were excluded from this pro-hunting workshop and no consensus was reached. The Secretariat said they took good note of concerns raised by Nigeria and Senegal with regard to paragraph 31 of the ACI,” Dene said.

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