Gland, Switzerland, 30 March 2007 (IUCN - The World Conservation Union) - Today is a landmark for IUCN's Species Trade and Use Unit and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, as they complete technical reviews of all the proposals submitted to change the listing of plant and animal species on the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Appendices.
Publication of the Analyses of Proposals to Amend the CITES Appendices, online from today and on CD-ROM shortly, is the culmination of three months' intensive consultations involving hundreds of experts around the world. The reviews allow the Parties to CITES to form their positions on the proposals based on the best, and most up-to-date scientific information.
A species may be listed in one of three Appendices, which offer varying degrees of trade regulation. These proposals are to be considered by the CITES member countries when they meet for the 14th Conference of the Parties (CoP 14) in The Hague, The Netherlands 3 -15 June this year.
Thirty six proposals have been analysed covering a broad range of species from mammals, such as African elephant and leopard, to commercially important timber species, including three species of Central American rosewood, and commercially valuable marine species of sharks, eels and coral. A third of the animal species proposals put forward this year are marine species.
IUCN and TRAFFIC prepare the Analyses in the run-up to every CITES conference (which take place roughly every two to three years). IUCN's Species Survival Commission (SSC) collects information on the status and biology of species from its Specialist Group network and the broader scientific community, while TRAFFIC collects data on the trade and use of species, using its own sources as well as the CITES trade database.
The Analyses are available on the SSC website together with an outline of IUCN's wider involvement in CITES. The documents will be available in French and Spanish shortly. They can also be accessed via the TRAFFIC CoP 14 Conference Room, online from today.
The Analyses provide as objective and factual an assessment as possible of each amendment proposal against the requirements of the Convention as laid out in the CITES listing criteria and other resolutions. As they contain a considerable amount of material, a summary booklet is being produced so that users can easily access and digest the most relevant information. This will be widely distributed before and during the conference.
In addition, TRAFFIC prepares its Recommendations on Proposals to Amend the Appendices which will be available in English from the TRAFFIC CoP 14 Conference Room on http://www.traffic.org/cop14/index.htm with French and Spanish versions to be posted soon after.