The twenty-sixth meeting of the Animals Committee (AC26) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened from 15-20 March 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. AC26 was followed by the Joint Meeting of the AC and Plants Committee (PC), which took place in Dublin, Ireland, from 22-24 March 2012.
It had been several years since the CITES scientific committees have had the opportunity to meet for any length of time in tandem, and with preparations for the 62nd meeting of the Standing Committee (SC62) in July and the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16) in Thailand in 2013 gaining momentum, the committees were under pressure to complete their mandate from CoP15 and provide essential advice to the Convention’s decision-making body. The more than 200 participants attending the meetings over the course of two and a half weeks was an indication of parties’ interest in the scientific committees’ deliberations. The Committees completed their work with collegial collaboration and while some of the more contentious issues provided some lengthy and complex debates, the AC/PC delegates left Dublin with some accomplishments under their belts and some work to do to ensure that CITES’ scientific processes continue to provide a strong foundation for the Convention.
During AC26, participants adopted recommendations on: the Review of Significant Trade (RST) in specimens of Appendix-II species; the Periodic Review of animal species included in the CITES Appendices; the reports from Caspian Sea range states on the evaluation of sturgeon stock assessment and Total Allowable Catch (TAC) determination methodology; the implementation of Resolution Conf. 12.6 (Rev. CoP15) on conservation and management of sharks; and the report of the WG on sea cucumbers.
The specific recommendations adopted by AC26, several of which specifically deal with corals, will be the subject of additional near-future MASNA blog entries, so stay tuned.