Anatomy of the CoP so Far

Saturday – a bit of time to step back and reflect on the last 7 days and to try and catch up on the sleep deficit (we’ve been here 12 days; first meeting at 07.00 and stumble into bed midnight or later – it’s brutal)
Here’s the rundown. Ivory sales approved 5 years ago get the green light – that’s 60 tonnes of stockpiled ivory destined for Japan. Three commercially exploited Latin American tree species proposals withdrawn without a fight (we’re talking 45,000 cubic metres of wood from one species from country alone – much of it illegal); the proposal to withdraw CITES protection from the North American bobcat defeated (hooray); the diminutive and appealling slow loris given greater protection under Appendix I of the Convention; the two shark Proposals narrowly defeated in Committee 1 (maybe they can be resurrected in the final plenary session, who knows)……
There has been a lot more besides with detailed work on such weighty issues as Livelihoods, the CITES Strategic Plan, Personal and Household Effects (what you can import without a permit), not to mention the parlous state of the CITES budget (currently running at about $5 million a year)
Monday could be a big day for elephants. The dialogue between African Range States which started on the 30th May has not produced any conclusive outcome or agreement. I predict that this weekend there will another effort to reach a satisfactory compromise between protecting elephants from an all out resumption in ivory trading and permitting a handful of countries to financially gain from legally recovered ivory. But it may come to nothing and then the halls of the World Forum Centre here in the Netherlands may get very tense indeed.


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