Wildlife & Biodiversity

CITES adopts resolution to end corruption in wildlife trade

This historic resolution aims at eliminating corruption at every stage of wildlife trade from poaching to selling of wildlife products

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Friday 30 September 2016
The proposal to create a Decision-Making Mechanism for future trade in ivory was rejected at the CITES Conference
The proposal to create a Decision-Making Mechanism for future trade in ivory was rejected at the CITES Conference The proposal to create a Decision-Making Mechanism for future trade in ivory was rejected at the CITES Conference

For the first time in more than 40 years, the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) finally took a decisive step towards rooting out corruption in wildlife trade as the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties adopted the resolution titled “Prohibiting, Preventing and Countering Corruption-Facilitating Activities Conducted in Violation of the Convention.”

This historic resolution aims at eliminating corruption at every stage of wildlife trade from poaching to selling of wildlife products. According to the resolution, the parties and regional and international bodies will "incorporate corruption explicitly into their anti-wildlife trafficking work" and "adopt measures to prohibit, prevent, detect and counter instances of corruption and ensure that any corrupt practices associated with the administration, regulation, implementation or enforcement of CITES are punishable as criminal offences with appropriate penalties under national legislation".

This resolution comes as good news, especially at a time when global illegal trade of wildlife is estimated to be worth $19 billion per year, and is rising at an alarming rate.

Idea of Decision-Making Mechanism for future trade in ivory rejected

Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe had put forth a recommendation for adopting a Decision-Making Mechanism (DMM) for a future trade in ivory. However, the proposal faced opposition from countries such as Burkina Faso‚ Kenya‚ Republic of Congo and Chad. Negotiations over the plight of elephants were held at the conference currently taking place in Johannesburg. Although the motion failed to achieve the required two-thirds majority, the issue can be revived in the plenary sessions next week.

Pangolin, one of the most trafficked mammals, is now one of the most protected

Pangolin, the world's only known scaled mammal and perhaps the most heavily trafficked species on the planet, has been included in Appendix I. All the eight species of pangolin have been moved to this list for ensuring stronger protection. Species threatened with extinction are listed under Appendix 1. Trade in these species is allowed only in exceptional circumstances. Despite facing intense trafficking due to growing illegal demand for their scales, skin and meat, pangolins had never received the same attention as tigers and elephants.

Cape Mountain Zebra loses its ‘threatened with extinction’ status

South Africa’s proposal to transfer the Cape Mountain Zebra from Appendix I to Appendix II has been adopted at the COP17. The decision was taken after the population of Cape Mountain Zebra increased from less than 100 in the 1990s to well over 5,000 in 2016.

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