Caribbean and African States say no to conservation

16 Jul 2004

In 2003 the International Whaling Commission put into motion an important initiative designed to look holistically at the marine environment and how best to conserve marine mammals within this scheme.

The establishment of this Committee has opened up new possibilities for the IWC to promote International cooperation and provide adequate advice for interested national Governments on issues related to cetacean management and conservation.

Into the second day of the proceedings of the 56th IWC meeting, conservation does not seem to be on the agenda of all member states. Caribbean and African countries who have been belaguered by Japan for a decade were absent from the Conservation Committee which should work in parallel with the UNEP agenda for marine protected areas and ocean life according to current negotiations designed to ensure the survival of the species.

Among issues to be addressed by this committee are pollution, extinction of species, by-catch, entanglement, ship strikes, mass strandings, impact of fisheries, habitat degradation, review and compilation of legal and regulatory rules, monitoring and reporting systems and climate change.

In the interest of all countries the convention recommends the safeguarding for future generations of all natural resources such as those represented by the great whales.

The Francophone Coalition emphasizes that “A motivated contribution by all member states to IWC issues is essential. Time is running out globally for both whaling and non-whaling countries. It is incomprehensible that any country at this moment in time would refuse to be party to the emergence of a realistic solution. “

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