Notification to the Parties
No. 1998/09 Geneva, 31 March 1998
Decisions of the Conference of the Parties Relating to Elephants
1. At its 10th meeting, the Conference of the Parties adopted a number of decisions relating to elephants and ivory, notably Decisions 10.1 and 10.2 and Resolution Conf. 10.10.
2. These decisions give certain responsibilities to the Standing Committee, which discussed the implementation of the decisions at its 40th meeting (3-6 March, London, United Kingdom).
3. The result of the discussion was the adoption of the decisions listed in the Annex to this Notification.
4. The Standing Committee noted that the funding required for the implementation of the recommendations relating to Decision 10.1 and Resolution Conf. 10.10 was estimated to be CHF 180,000 and decided that these activities should be considered very high priorities for funds to be drawn from the Trust Fund balance from previous years.
Decision of the Standing Committee
Regarding Decisions Adopted at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties
Relating to Elephants
At its 40th meeting, the CITES Standing Committee adopted the following decisions regarding the implementation of the decisions of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties relating to elephants, Decisions 10.1 and 10.2 and Resolution Conf. 10.10
In relation to Decision 10.1
1. The Standing Committee agrees that the list of deficiencies recorded in document Doc. SC.18.104.22.168 as having been identified by the Panel of Experts on the African Elephant is considered to be complete and is the list to be addressed in the context of Decision 10.1, Part A, paragraph a).
2. The Standing Committee welcomes document Doc. SC.22.214.171.124, put forward by Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe in relation to Decision 10.1, accepts the dates put forward for the steps required to be taken by themselves and the Secretariat and has no significant differences with their interpretation of the elements of Decision 10.1, Part A, except that, in relation to paragraph g) of this Decision, the Committee:
a) agrees that its evaluation referred to in Decision 10.1, Part B, paragraph a) will provide the basis for deciding whether or not there is any escalation of illegal killing of elephants or of illegal trade in elephant specimens and whether or not such escalation is a consequence of the resumption of legal trade;
b) agrees that, in the event of non-compliance with the conditions in Decision 10.1, Part A, or if it is satisfied that illegal hunting of elephants or illegal trade in elephant products has escalated as a result of the resumption of legal trade in raw ivory, it will:
i) request the Depositary Government to make a proposal to transfer to Appendix I one or more of the African elephant populations currently included in Appendix II, to be considered by postal procedures unless the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties is less than six months away; and
ii) request Botswana, Japan, Namibia and Zimbabwe to immediately cease authorizing commercial trade in raw ivory; and
c) recommends that the Management Authorities of Botswana, Japan, Namibia and Zimbabwe agree to cease trade in compliance with Decision 10.1, Part A, paragraph g), if so requested by the Standing Committee.
3. At its 41st meeting the Standing Committee will decide whether all the conditions specified in Decision 10.1, Part A, have been met.
Regarding Decision 10.2
4. TRAFFIC's report of the audit of declared and verified government stocks (in documents Doc. SC.126.96.36.199 supplemented by Doc. SC.40/Inf.8) should be accepted and the final result of the audit should be distributed as soon as possible with a Notification to the Parties.
5. The representatives of Africa in the Standing Committee should ensure that, at the next meeting of the African elephant range States, the representatives of the 15 States that have declared government stocks discuss how they wish to proceed in obtaining donor support for the purchase of declared government stocks of ivory and, in particular, whether they wish to make a co-ordinated approach to donors and whether they require any assistance in this connection. They should inform the Secretariat of the results of this discussion.
6. The Secretariat should take the necessary action to progress the implementation of Decision 10.2, in consultation with the representatives of Africa in the Standing Committee and TRAFFIC, and should report on progress to the 41st meeting of the Committee.
7. The paper on conservation trust funds, submitted by WWF-US, contained in document Doc. SC.188.8.131.52 Annex B should be noted. It should be distributed with a Notification to the Parties as an information document containing some examples.
Regarding Resolution Conf. 10.10
A. In relation to reporting and monitoring of illegal trade
8. The Secretariat should send the report form for the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) with a Notification to the Parties before the end of March 1998.
9. TRAFFIC should continue its work to develop the ETIS database and to develop the system for gathering additional relevant information.
B. In relation to illegal killing of elephants
i) summary reporting and monitoring
10. The Secretariat, with support from IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group, should continue the development of a national reporting form, with the aim of sending this with a Notification to the Parties by 1 July 1998.
11. IUCN/SSC should continue the work it has started to develop a plan for the long-term, site-based monitoring of illegal killing.
ii) enforcement intelligence
12. The Secretariat should distribute to the Parties its Incident Reporting Form (annexed to document Doc. SC.40.5.2), to initiate the collection of data that could provide an early warning of poaching problems.
13. The Secretariat should initiate work to verify reports of illegal killing through consultations with national authorities and report to the 41st meeting of the Standing Committee.
14. The relevant range States, the Secretariat, IUCN and TRAFFIC should agree on an international reporting and monitoring system and the Secretariat should report this agreement to the 41st meeting of the Standing Committee
15. The Secretariat should convey all of the above decisions of the Standing Committee to the Parties as soon as possible.
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