CITES Stakeholder Meeting
SA Hunters responded on the listing proposals of stakeholders at the recent stakeholder meeting to discuss South Africa’s position in preparation of the next conference of parties (COP) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to be held in Panama later this year. Our response is indicated in the table below. Currently, 866 South African plants and 444 animals are listed on CITES, which put specific requirements on SA in so far as trade is concerned.
The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment indicated that Elephant, Black Rhino, Leopard, and Lion will not be discussed because South Africa currently does not have a policy position on the way forward with these species. A policy is currently being developed. This is of concern given the varying challenges that landowners and parks are experiencing in relation to these species and the associated impacts of trade restrictions. Sustainable trade can significantly contribute to conservation efforts on the ground.
|Species||Proposal||Views of SA Hunters|
|Conophytum Species||Listing on 2/3||We are closely involved in the anti-poaching and conservation of Conophytum and have sufficient data that support the notion that poaching of local species is increasing at an alarming rate to meet growing international demand. We support listing on Appendix 3 that would assist in obtaining trade data, but it will allow control of the listing in the hands of SA and the Conference of Parties.|
|Albany Adder||Appendix 1||The major threat to the species is habitat transformation. SA Hunters is not convinced that listing on CITES will address the threats. In addition, there are examples of how listing can actually result in a rush of illegal collection. However, we did not assess the species’ trade data in detail and will not submit a formal response.|
|Bontebok||Proposal was not very clear on the outcomes it wants to achieve. However, it was clear that an intervention is required to facilitate export of hunting trophies of Blesbok, which is currently not the case due to the enhancement findings required by US Fish and Wildlife. More than 100 trophies that have been legally hunted, are waiting to be exported.||Although we support trade in principle, in this specific case, it is clear that the major stumbling block is the impediments on exports due to the USFW’s requirement of enhancement findings. The Non-detriment Finding that we participated in has not been finalised and published for comment. SA’s best approach would be to engage in bilateral discussions to demonstrate that the population is stable and growing, and that the USFW should facilitate issuing of import permits.|
|Giraffe||Down-listing||Fully supported. SA has a reservation on the listing, as it should never have been listed in the first place. Data shows that international trade is not having a detrimental impact on the species. Challenges in northern and east Africa are related to habitat degradation, impacts of civil unrest, and the illegal bushmeat trade. CITES listing will not address these challenges. If the countries outside of SADC want to continue with listing, SA Hunters suggested that we should consider possible split-listing where the southern species are down-listed.|