Washington, DC -(AmmoLand.com)- Safari Club International (SCI) helped secure victories for hunters at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) in Johannesburg.
With the help of SCI, the proposal to move the African lion from CITES Appendix II to CITES Appendix I was officially defeated. Lions will remain on Appendix II with a new provision that regulates commercial trade in lion bone. Trade in lion hunting trophies, including skulls and bones, will not be affected in any way.
The African lion debate was one of the most contentious of the entire Conference. The debate was settled with a compromise reached after four days of closed discussions among lion range states and private organizations. The compromise includes a zero annual quota for commercial trade in lion bone derived from wild sources and limits commercial trade in lion bone derived from captive breeding facilities in South Africa to annually established export quotas.
The compromise also initiated a scientific review of the taxonomy of the lion (Panthera leo), which will be completed over the next three years by the CITES Animals Committee. The outcome of the taxonomic review will inform the 18th CITES Conference on the proper listing of lions in the CITES Appendices. Any change in taxonomy may clarify distinct subspecies that have a different conservation status.
New lion conservation and management initiatives were also institutionalized by CITES. Initiatives include the development of a range-wide inventory of lion populations, the creation of relevant lion databases, the launch of a study looking at legal and illegal trade in lion parts, the establishment of a Lion Task Force, and several measures to support the capacity of range states to conserve lions.
In addition, CITES adopted a formal position on hunting trophies. The resolution recommends that countries fulfill certain standards and procedures – many of which have long been practiced by the hunting community – when deciding whether to issue export and import permits for hunting trophies of CITES-listed species. For example, hunting of some species “should produce conservation benefits” before trade is allowed. Even though some countries might try to use this provision to delay or prevent importation of certain species, the resolution provides balance by also recommending that importing countries thinking of blocking imports “consider the contribution of hunting to species conservation and socio-economic benefits, and its role in providing incentives for people to conserve wildlife.”
SCI’s delegation of CITES experts played an important role with the creation and adoption of these measures.
About Safari Club International:
Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation.
Visit the home page www.SafariClub.org, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.