Geneva, 14 January 2002
Recommendation to suspend trade
1. Decision 11.77 directs the Standing Committee to decide the appropriate measures to be taken with respect to the Parties identified in Decision 11.15. These are Parties whose national legislation, analysed during phase 3 of the National Legislation Project, is believed generally not to meet the requirements for implementation of CITES and that are engaged in significant amounts of international trade in specimens of CITES species. Fiji is identified as one of these Parties.
2. Decision 11.16 states that all Parties should refuse any import of specimens of CITES-listed species from, and any export or re-export of such specimens to, the Parties listed in Decision 11.15, if, in spite of receiving any assistance that was requested from the Secretariat, the Parties concerned do not adopt the legislation required before 31 October 2001.
3. Pursuant to Decisions 11.15, 11.16 and 11.77, the Secretariat informed the Standing Committee, at its 45th meeting (Paris, June 2001), about the progress made by the countries concerned. Having considered the report of the Secretariat, the Standing Committee agreed to defer until 31 December 2001 a recommendation to suspend trade in specimens of CITES species with those countries.
4. The inadequacy of Fiji’s legislation was brought to the attention of the Management Authority, which has been aware since the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, in April 2000, that Fiji might be subject to a recommendation to suspend trade in specimens of CITES species.
5. In December 2000, the Secretariat received several communications from the Department of Environment advising it of the progress made in preparing the Sustainable Development Bill (SDB) and subsidiary legislation for implementing CITES, and indicating that this legislation should be enacted by 30 April 2001.
6. The Secretariat wrote to Fiji on 7 March 2001 welcoming the progress made and requesting a copy of the draft legislation related to CITES.
7. The Management Authority of Fiji responded on 12 March 2001 pointing out that, owing to political changes in the country, the expected date of enactment of the legislation had been moved from April to August 2001. They indicated that the draft SDB had raised some concerns related to indigenous rights and so had been translated into Fijian and disseminated to provincial heads. They requested technical assistance from the Secretariat to set appropriate penalties for CITES-related offences and to build the capacity of the newly established Scientific Authority. A copy of the draft legislation, however, was not provided.
8. On 14 June 2001, the Secretariat provided technical advice in relation to the penalty levels that might be applied to various offences and reiterated its readiness to provide further technical assistance with the development of its legislation, at any time before the deadline decided by the Standing Committee.
9. On 21 December 2001, The Management Authority informed the Secretariat that: "the Ministry responsible for Fijian Affairs, which initially indicated in early 2001 will complete reviewing the Bill because of a certain requirement of the Fijian Affairs Act pertaining to introduction of new legislation likely to impact natural resource owner’s interest (mostly indigenous Fijians), had requested more time till June 2002 and so our Ministry could not hand in the CITES Bill to Solicitor General’s Office". The Management Authority also stated that Fiji is now moving forward and assured the Secretariat that "by December 2002 or even before CoP12, Fiji will have a new National CITES legislation".
10. It appears, therefore, that Fiji was unable to adopt the necessary legislation before the deadline established.
11. Therefore the Secretariat hereby informs the Parties that, pursuant to Decision 11.16, the Conference of the Parties recommends that, from the date of this Notification, all Parties should refuse any import from and export or re-export to Fiji of specimens of CITES-listed species, until further notice.
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