CITES 1994 (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) – Robin des Bois gives you an update

22 Nov 1994

Back from Fort Lauderdale (Florida), where the 9th Conference of the Parties to CITES* was held from the 7th to the 18th November 1994, Robin des Bois gives you a post-CITES update.


The good…
The African elephant stays in Appendix I.
As does the Minke whale.
The hippo is listed in Appendix II.
The leopard cat populations of India, Thailand and Bangladesh stay in Appendix I.
Three species of pangolin are listed in Appendix II.
Box turtles are included in Appendix II.
Two species which are commonly used (and misused) as pets – Emperor scorpions and tarantulas are listed in Appendix II.
17 species of Aloe are uplisted to Appendix II.
The US downlisting of the Urial sheep is withdrawn.
A new set of listing criteria is accepted with a very strong precautionary principle and with “guidelines” instead of “numerical thresholds”.


The bad…
The South African population of the Southern White Rhino is downlisted from I to II (with amendment : only the trade of live animals to “appropriate” destinations only to be used for trophy-hunting).
Peruvian population of vicuna goes from I to II.

All other leopard cat populations are downlisted from I to II.
The Cape Pangolin loses its Appendix I protection and is placed in II.
The Asian swiftlets proposal is withdrawn before the debate even starts.
Tropical wood : Uplisting proposals for two species of African mahogany, African Blackwood and Mun Ebony are immediately withdrawn.
A vote is taken for the uplisting of South American Mahogany : 50 for, 33 against – close, but not close enough for a 2/3 majority.

A proposal to list the Giant Triton (conch shell) is withdrawn at the last minute.

And the Kiwis didn’t make it to Appendix I…


Emerging Issues…
A document is accepted to encourage the gathering of data on a fairly recent problem: the management of sharks.
Extensive discussions take place on what to do with live animals after having been confiscated at customs.
The enforcement of CITES is a much talked-about subject.
Tropical wood is indeed an emerging issue: at least it is starting to be seriously discussed within CITES.


Environmental Press Review in the Southern States of America.

– “Firat”, a Turkish freighter carrying 2600 tons of steel, 184.000 gallons of heavy fuel oil and 50.000 gallons of diesel, ran aground off Fort Lauderdale beach during Tropical Storm Gordon. None of the 29 crew members were able to start the engines and steer her away. No fuel spillages were expected.

– A truck carrying 55 – gallon drums of hazardous chemicals – (hydrogen peroxide and dichloral methane) crashed on Interstate 95, a southbound motorway in Florida. The Broward County Hazardous Materials Team who were on the scene reported no spillages.

– An oil and gas platform on Lake Catherine, near New Orleans, burned out of control after a welder’s torch caused an explosion, producing a cloud of poisonous hydrogen gas sulfide. Three injured and a fourth missing.

– A law will be passed early next year which will ban people from collecting live shells from Sanibel Island. This is a tiny island off Florida’s south – west coast which is famous for its rare shells, but a remarked decline has been noticed in the past five years.


* Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species.
Appendix I = Ban on international trade ; Appendix II = Controlled international trade.




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