Cablegate: Hmg and Oes/Etc Conduct London Cawt Briefing

DE RUEHLO #6843 2641609
P 211609Z SEP 06




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Summary. HMG's Department for Food, Environment and
Rural Affairs (Defra) hosted a briefing on the Coalition
Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT) on September 19 in
London. Representatives from the South African, Brazilian,
Czech, German and Canadian embassies attended along with a
representative from the International Fund for Animal Welfare
(IFAW). Hilary Thompson of Defra and Christine Dawson of
OES/ETC briefed attendees on CAWT's progress to date and the
next steps as it prepares for a ministerial launch in
January. Attendees centered their questions on CAWT's
structure, the role of developing and developed countries
within CAWT, and the language in the draft statement. End

2. Defra hosted a CAWT briefing for representatives from
interested embassies and non-governmental organizations on
September 19 in London. Janet Kotze, South African High
Commission, Marketa Trivkova, Czech Embassy, Martin Kremer,
German Embassy, Elizabeth Reid, Canadian High Commission, and
Maria Angelica Ikeda, Brazilian Embassy, and Raul Matamoros
from IFAW attended the briefing. Also present was Hilary
Thompson, Trevor Salmon, Jane Withey and Nick Williams from
Defra, Christine Dawson and David Grier from OES/ETC, and
Jason Hahn, Embassy London ESToff. The briefing followed two
days of meetings between Defra and OES officials on CAWT.
The briefing opened with a brief explanation of CAWT's
purpose from Hilary Thompson and then a description of CAWT's
history and origins from Christine Dawson. Dawson and
Thompson laid out a CAWT's schedule of meetings with a
working officials' meeting on November 20 and 21 which will
discuss both CITES and CAWT and a ministerial launch event
for CAWT in the first week of January 2007. Attendees were
also invited to review and pose questions on the draft
statement which details CAWT's goals and the points to which
CAWT's partners agree.

3. A number of questions were posed on CAWT's proposed
structure including whether it would have a secretariat and
the status of NGOs within CAWT. Dawson gave examples of
other partnerships the U.S. has participated in including the
International Coral Reef Initiative and the Congo Basin
Forest Partnership as partnerships which do not require
permanent secretariats but offer a vehicle for international
cooperation on environmental issues. Dawson and Thompson
both stated that the role of NGO's within CAWT would be an
issue for all members to decide. Dawson and Thompson also
clarified that CAWT was concerned only with animals and not
with plants. Some participants were confused as wildlife in
British English includes both plants and animals.

4. Brazil's representative spoke at length on Brazil's
efforts to fight illegal wildlife trafficking especially
trafficking by organized criminals. She asked if CAWT would
address biopiracy and expressed concern that the language in
the draft statement was more emphatic on stopping illegal
exports than on reducing consumer demand for those exports.
The South African representative echoed these concerns and
stated it was important CAWT be a true partnership between
developing and developed countries and not developed
countries instructing developing countries on what they
should do. The South African representative also expressed
concern that CAWT, without focus from its partners, could
take on too many priorities without enough resources to meet
those priorities. She cited the example of the Commonwealth,
which according to her, has a multiplicity of priorities
without corresponding resources and commitments from member
states to meet those priorities.

5. A number of representatives asked if changes could still
be made to the draft statement and asked about the process
for submitting proposed changes. Dawson and Thompson
responded that changes were still possible and the draft
statement would be submitted to governments for their review
before it was adopted at the ministerial meeting in January.

6. OES/ETC did not clear on this cable.

Visit London's Classified Website: cfm

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