Friday, March 08, 2013

CITES COP16 African Manatee Consensus‏

On Wednesday at the CITES Conference of Parties (COP16) in Bangkok, Thailand, the range states reached a consensus to uplist the African manatee to CITES Appendix I. This is actually a bit surprising given the lack of population and illegal trade data that exists for African manatees, but I think it speaks well of the interest of countries around the world wishing to protect our favorite species! If interested, you can read a blog post written by a colleague from Species Survival Network, who is attending the meeting. The consensus will not be official until after the COP16 plenary meeting next week, but it should encounter little difficulty being adopted since there has already been a consensus. I hope this status change will translate into actual protection on the ground for manatees in Africa, and not just become another rule that is never enforced. I don't mean to be a pessimist, but there are already so many laws meant to protect African manatees, yet almost no enforcement anywhere in Africa. I also hope this new CITES designation will also raise awareness about the species around the world, since most people I encounter don't even know there are manatees in Africa. There's been some good reporting from the CITES COP16, see the following links:

Born Free Foundation
The Guardian
National Geographic

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Laws are always easier than enforcement and the latter falls short far too often. Still worth trying and some progress is always better than none.