David Morgan stressed the usefulness of the Addis Ababa Principles & Guidelines in CITES processes. He reported that at the recent meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Bangkok, Thailand, 2-14 October 2004), CITES member countries had recognized the potential value of the Principles & Guidelines.

On a proposal from the government of Namibia, the CITES Parties instructed their Secretariat to distribute copies of the Principles & Guidelines to all national CITES authorities.

Parties were urged to make use of the AAPG when making their sustainability assessments (known as non-detriment findings in CITES) before allowing exports of specimens of many CITES-listed species. They were also invited to convey case studies of the application of the Principles & Guidelines to the two CITES technical Committees who will conduct a review to identify which are of most relevance to CITES implementation. The CITES Secretariat will then use the results of this review in its capacity building programme for CITES authorities.

Morgan noted that these developments demonstrate that CITES Parties are quick to respond to emerging thinking in the field of sustainable development and that they also represent tangible evidence of synergy between Multi-lateral Environment Agreements.

David Morgan is Chief of the Scientific Support Unit at the CITES Secretariat. E-mail: david.morgan@unep.ch