[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 13 (Friday, January 20, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3319-3322]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-594]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Fish and Wildlife Service


Request for Information and Recommendations on Species Proposals, 
Resolutions, Decisions, and Agenda Items for Consideration at the 
Fourteenth Regular Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the 
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna 
and Flora; U.S. Approach for the Meeting of the Conference of the 
Parties

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for information.

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SUMMARY: In order to implement the Convention on International Trade in 
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES or the Convention), 
the Parties to the Convention meet periodically to review which species 
in international trade should be regulated and other aspects of the 
implementation of CITES. The fourteenth regular meeting of the 
Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP14) is tentatively scheduled to 
be held June 3-15, 2007, in The Hague, Netherlands. Therefore, with 
this notice we are soliciting recommendations for amending Appendices I 
and II of CITES at CoP14. We are also soliciting recommendations for 
resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for discussion at CoP14. We 
invite you to provide us with information and recommendations on animal 
and plant species that should be considered as candidates for U.S. 
proposals to amend CITES Appendices I and II. Such amendments may 
concern the addition of species to Appendix I or II, the transfer of 
species from one Appendix to another, or the removal of species from 
Appendix II. We also invite you to provide us with information and 
recommendations on possible resolutions, decisions, and agenda items 
for discussion at the upcoming meeting. Finally, with this notice we 
also describe the U.S. approach to preparations for CoP14.

DATES: We will consider all information and comments received by March 
20, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Send correspondence pertaining to species proposals to the 
Division of Scientific Authority; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 
North Fairfax Drive; Room 750; Arlington, Virginia 22203, or via E-mail 
to: scientificauthority@fws.gov. Comments and materials received 
pertaining to species proposals will be available for public 
inspection, by appointment, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, at the Division of Scientific Authority.
    Send correspondence pertaining to resolutions, decisions, and 
agenda items to the Division of Management Authority; U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service; 4401 North Fairfax Drive; Room 700; Arlington, 
Virginia 22203, or via E-mail at: CoP14@fws.gov. Comments and materials 
received pertaining to resolutions, decisions, and agenda items will be 
available for public inspection, by appointment, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, at the Division of Management Authority.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information pertaining to species 
proposals: Robert R. Gabel, Chief, Division of Scientific Authority, 
phone 703-358-1708, fax 703-358-2276, E-mail: 
scientificauthority@fws.gov.
    For information pertaining to resolutions, decisions, and agenda 
items: Peter O. Thomas, Chief, Division of Management Authority, phone 
703-358-2095, fax 703-358-2298, E-mail: CoP14@fws.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

Background

    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild 
Fauna and Flora, hereinafter referred to as CITES or the Convention, is 
an international treaty designed to control and regulate international 
trade in certain animal and plant species that are now or potentially 
may be threatened with extinction. These species are listed in the 
Appendices to CITES, which are available on the CITES Secretariat's Web 
site at http://www.cites.org/eng/app/index.shtml. Currently, 169 
countries, including the United States, are Parties to CITES. The 
Convention calls for biennial meetings of the Conference of the 
Parties, which review its implementation, make provisions enabling the 
CITES Secretariat in Switzerland to carry out its functions, consider 
amendments to the list of species in Appendices I and II, consider 
reports presented by the Secretariat, and make recommendations for the 
improved effectiveness of CITES. Any country that is a Party to CITES 
may propose amendments to Appendices I and II, resolutions, decisions, 
and/or agenda items for consideration by all the Parties.
    This is our first in a series of Federal Register notices that, 
together with announced public meetings, provide you with an 
opportunity to participate in the development of the U.S. negotiating 
positions for the fourteenth regular meeting of the Conference of the 
Parties to CITES (CoP14). Our regulations governing this public process 
are found in 50 CFR 23.31-23.39.

Announcement of the Fourteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties

    We hereby notify you of the convening of CoP14, which is 
tentatively scheduled to be held June 3-15, 2007, in The Hague, 
Netherlands.

U.S. Approach for CoP14

What Are the Priorities for U.S. Submissions to CoP14?

    Priorities for U.S. submissions to CoP14 continue to be consistent 
with the overall objective of U.S. participation in the Convention: to 
maximize the effectiveness of the Convention in the conservation and 
sustainable use of species subject to

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international trade. With this in mind, we plan to consider the 
following factors in determining which issues to submit for inclusion 
in the agenda at CoP14:
    (1) Does the proposed action address a serious wildlife trade issue 
that the United States is experiencing as a range country for species 
in trade? Since our primary responsibility is the conservation of our 
domestic wildlife resources, we will give native species our highest 
priority. We will place particular emphasis on terrestrial and 
freshwater species with the majority of their range in the United 
States and its territories that are or may be in significant trade; 
marine species that occur in U.S. waters or for which the United States 
is a major exporter; and threatened and endangered species for which we 
and other Federal and State agencies already have statutory 
responsibility for protection and recovery. We also consider CITES 
listings as a proactive measure to monitor and manage trade in native 
species to preclude the need for the application of stricter measures, 
such as listing under the Endangered Species Act and/or inclusion in 
CITES Appendix I.
    (2) Does the proposed action address a serious wildlife trade issue 
for species not native to the United States? As a major importer of 
wildlife and wildlife products, the United States has taken 
responsibility, by working in close consultation with range countries, 
for addressing cases of potential over-exploitation of foreign species 
in the wild. In some cases, the United States may not be a range 
country or a significant trading country for a species, but we will 
work closely with other countries to conserve species being threatened 
by unsustainable exploitation for international trade. We will consider 
CITES listings for species not native to the United States if that 
listing will assist in addressing cases of potential over-exploitation 
of foreign species in the wild, and in preventing illegal, unregulated 
trade, especially if the United States is a major importer. These 
species will be prioritized based on the extent of trade and status of 
the species, and also the role the species play in the ecosystem, with 
emphasis on those species for which a CITES listing would offer the 
greatest conservation benefits to the species, associated species, and 
their habitats.
    (3) Does the proposed action address difficulties in implementing 
or interpreting the Convention by the United States as an importing or 
exporting country, and would the proposed action contribute to the 
effective implementation of the Convention by all Parties? Differences 
in interpretation of the Convention by 169 Party nations can result in 
inconsistencies in the way it is implemented. In addition, wildlife 
trade is dynamic and ever-changing, thus presenting problems when 
established procedures are not readily applicable to new situations. 
The United States experiences some of these problems and 
inconsistencies directly through its own imports and exports, but we 
also learn of these difficulties through our participation in various 
fora, such as the CITES Standing Committee and the technical 
committees, and through discussions with other countries, non-
governmental organizations, and the Secretariat. When the United States 
cannot resolve these difficulties unilaterally or through one-on-one 
discussions with trading partners, it may propose resolutions or 
decisions, usually in collaboration with other Parties, or have these 
topics placed on the agenda of the meeting of the Conference of the 
Parties for discussion by all of the Parties.
    (4) Does the proposed action improve implementation of the 
Convention by increasing the quality of information and expertise used 
to support decisions by the Parties? With increased complexity, 
sophistication, and specialization in the biological sciences and other 
disciplines, it is critical that the CITES Parties have the best 
available information upon which to base decisions that affect the 
conservation of wildlife resources. Where appropriate, the United 
States will recommend actions to ensure the availability of up-to-date 
and accurate information to the Parties, including through the 
establishment of relationships with relevant international bodies, 
including other conventions, interjurisdictional resource management 
agencies, and international non-governmental organizations with 
relevant expertise.

Request for Information and Recommendations for Amending Appendices I 
or II

    One of the purposes of this notice is to solicit information and 
recommendations that will help us identify species that the United 
States should propose as candidates for addition to, removal from, or 
reclassification in the CITES Appendices, or to identify issues 
warranting attention by the CITES Nomenclature Committee. This request 
is not limited to species occurring in the United States. Any Party may 
submit proposals concerning animal or plant species occurring in the 
wild anywhere in the world. We encourage the submission of information 
on species for possible inclusion in the Appendices if these species 
are subject to international trade that may be detrimental to the 
survival of the species. We also encourage you to keep in mind the U.S. 
approach to CoP14, described above in this notice, when determining 
which species the United States should propose for possible inclusion 
in the Appendices.
    Complete proposals are not being requested at this time, but are 
always welcome. Rather, we are asking you to submit convincing 
information describing: (1) The status of the species, especially trend 
information; (2) conservation and management programs for the species, 
including the effectiveness of enforcement efforts; and (3) the level 
of domestic as well as international trade in the species, especially 
trend information. You may also provide any other relevant information. 
References are appreciated.
    The term ``species'' is defined in CITES as ``any species, sub-
species, or geographically separate population thereof.'' Each species 
for which trade is controlled under CITES is included in one of three 
Appendices, either as a separate listing or incorporated within the 
listing of a higher taxon. The basic standards for inclusion of species 
in the Appendices are contained in Article II of CITES. Appendix I 
includes species threatened with extinction that are or may be affected 
by trade. Appendix II includes species that, although not necessarily 
now threatened with extinction, may become so unless trade in them is 
strictly controlled. Appendix II also lists species that must be 
subject to regulation in order that trade in other CITES-listed species 
may be brought under effective control. Such listings frequently are 
necessary because of difficulty inspectors have at ports of entry or 
exit in distinguishing specimens of currently or potentially threatened 
species from other species. As Appendix III only includes species that 
any Parties list unilaterally, we are not seeking input on possible 
U.S. Appendix-III listings with this notice, and we will not consider 
or respond to comments received concerning Appendix-III listings.
    CITES specifies that international trade in any readily 
recognizable parts or derivatives of animals listed in Appendices I or 
II, or plants listed in Appendix I, is subject to the same conditions 
that apply to trade in the whole organisms. With certain standard 
exclusions formally approved by the Parties, the same applies to the 
readily recognizable parts and derivatives of

[[Page 3321]]

most plant species listed in Appendix II. Parts and derivatives usually 
not included (i.e., not regulated) for Appendix-II plants are: seeds, 
spores, pollen (including pollinia), and seedlings or tissue cultures 
obtained in vitro and transported in sterile containers. You may refer 
to 50 CFR 23.23(d); and the October 6, 1995, Federal Register (60 FR 
52450) and February 22, 1996, Federal Register (61 FR 6793) for further 
exceptions and limitations.
    In 1994, the CITES Parties adopted criteria for inclusion of 
species in Appendices I and II, which were revised at CoP13 (in 
Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP13)) in October 2004. These criteria 
apply to all listing proposals and are available from the CITES 
Secretariat's Web site at http://www.cites.org, or upon request from 
the Division of Scientific Authority at the above address. Resolution 
Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP13) also provides a format for complete proposals.

What Information Should Be Submitted?

    In response to this notice, to provide us with information and 
recommendations on species subject to international trade for possible 
proposals to amend the Appendices, please include as much of the 
following information as possible in your submission:
    (1) Scientific name and common name;
    (2) Population size estimates (including references if available);
    (3) Population trend information;
    (4) Threats to the species (other than trade);
    (5) Level/trend of international trade (as specific as possible but 
without a request for new searches of our records);
    (6) Level/trend in total take from the wild (as specific as 
reasonable); and
    (7) Short summary statement clearly presenting the rationale for 
inclusion in or removal or transfer from one of the Appendices, 
including which of the criteria in Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP13) 
are met.
    If you wish to submit more complete proposals for us to consider, 
please consult Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP13) for the format for 
proposals and a detailed explanation of each of the categories. 
Proposals to transfer a species from Appendix I to Appendix II, or to 
remove a species from Appendix II, must also be in accordance with the 
precautionary measures described in Annex 4 of Resolution Conf. 9.24 
(Rev. CoP13). If you have information on species that are potential 
candidates for CITES proposals, we encourage you to contact the 
Division of Scientific Authority.

What Will We Do With the Information We Receive?

    One important function of the CITES Scientific Authority of each 
Party country is the monitoring of international trade in plant and 
animal species, and ongoing scientific assessments of the impact of 
that trade on species. For native U.S. species listed in Appendix I and 
II, we monitor trade and export permits we authorize, so that we can 
prevent over-utilization and restrict exports if necessary. We also 
work closely with our States, to ensure that species are correctly 
listed in the CITES Appendices (or not listed, if a listing is not 
warranted). We actively seek information about U.S. and foreign species 
subject to international trade. The information submitted will help us 
monitor trade and its impact, as well as help us decide if we should 
submit or co-sponsor a proposal to amend the CITES Appendices. However, 
there may be species that qualify for CITES listing but for which we 
decide not to submit a proposal to CoP14. Our decision will be based on 
a number of factors, including scientific and trade information, 
whether or not the species is native to the United States, and for 
foreign species, whether or not a proposal is supported or co-sponsored 
by at least one range country for the species. These factors and others 
are included in the U.S. approach to CoP14, described above in this 
notice. We intend to carefully consider all factors of the U.S. 
approach when deciding which species the United States should propose 
for possible inclusion in the Appendices.
    We will consult range countries for foreign species, and for 
species we share with other countries, subsequent to receiving and 
analyzing the information provided by the public.

Request for Information and Recommendations on Resolutions, Decisions, 
and Agenda Items

    Although we have not yet received formal notice of the provisional 
agenda for CoP14, we invite your input on possible agenda items that 
the United States could recommend for inclusion, or on possible 
resolutions and/or decisions of the Conference of the Parties that the 
United States could submit for consideration. Copies of the agenda and 
the results of the last meeting of the Conference of the Parties 
(CoP13) in Bangkok, Thailand, in October 2004, as well as copies of all 
resolutions and decisions of the Conference of the Parties currently in 
effect, are available from the CITES Secretariat's Web site (http://
www.cites.org/) or the Division of Management Authority at the above 
address. Copies of a list of species proposals adopted at CoP13 are 
also available from the Division of Scientific Authority at the above 
address.

Observers

    Article XI, paragraph 7 of CITES provides: ``Any body or agency 
technically qualified in protection, conservation or management of wild 
fauna and flora, in the following categories, which has informed the 
Secretariat of its desire to be represented at meetings of the 
Conference by observers, shall be admitted unless at least one-third of 
the Parties present object:
    (a) International agencies or bodies, either governmental or non-
governmental, and national governmental agencies and bodies; and
    (b) National non-governmental agencies or bodies which have been 
approved for this purpose by the State in which they are located.
    Once admitted, these observers shall have the right to participate 
but not to vote.''
    National agencies or organizations within the United States must 
obtain our approval to participate in CoP14, whereas international 
agencies or organizations must obtain approval directly from the CITES 
Secretariat. We will publish information in a future Federal Register 
notice on how to request approved observer status. A fact sheet on the 
process is posted on our Web site at: http://www.fws.gov/international/
pdf/ob.pdf.

Future Actions

    The next regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP14) 
is tentatively scheduled to be held June 3-15, 2007, in The Hague, 
Netherlands. We have developed a tentative U.S. schedule to prepare for 
that meeting. The United States must submit any proposals to amend 
Appendix I or II, or any draft resolutions, decisions, and/or agenda 
items for discussion at CoP14, to the CITES Secretariat 150 days prior 
to the start of the meeting. In order to accommodate this deadline, we 
plan to publish a Federal Register notice approximately 10 months prior 
to CoP14 announcing tentative species proposals, draft resolutions, 
draft decisions, and agenda items to be submitted by the United States, 
and to solicit further information and comments on them.
    Approximately 9 months prior to CoP14, we will tentatively hold a 
public

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meeting to allow for additional public input. Approximately 4 months 
prior to CoP14, we will post on our Web site an announcement of the 
species proposals, draft resolutions, draft decisions, and agenda items 
submitted by the United States to the CITES Secretariat for 
consideration at CoP14. The deadline for submission of the proposals, 
draft resolutions, draft decisions, and agenda items to the Secretariat 
will be 150 days prior to the start of the meeting (tentatively early 
January 2007).
    Through a series of additional notices and Web site postings in 
advance of CoP14, we will inform you about preliminary negotiating 
positions on resolutions, decisions, and amendments to the Appendices 
proposed by other Parties for consideration at CoP14, and about how to 
obtain observer status from us. We will also publish announcements of 
public meetings tentatively to be held approximately 9 months prior to 
CoP14, and approximately 2 months prior to CoP14, to receive public 
input on our positions regarding CoP14 issues.
    Author: The primary authors of this notice are Frank Kohn and 
Clifton Horton, Division of Management Authority; under the authority 
of the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.).

    Dated: December 21, 2005.
Marshall Jones,
Director, Fish and Wildlife Service.
(Notice: Request for information and recommendations on species 
proposals, resolutions, decisions, and agenda items for 
consideration at the fourteenth regular meeting of the Conference of 
the Parties to CITES; U.S. approach for the meeting of the 
Conference of the Parties.)

[FR Doc. E6-594 Filed 1-19-06; 8:45 am]
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