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Cablegate: Estonia Disagrees with U.S. On Status of Lynx; Supports

VZCZCXRO1424
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTL #0056 0291259
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291259Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0385
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0011

UNCLAS TALLINN 000056

SIPDIS
COPENHAGEN FOR ESTH OFFICE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KSCA AORC UNEP EN
SUBJECT: ESTONIA DISAGREES WITH U.S. ON STATUS OF LYNX; SUPPORTS
OTHER CITES' PRIORITIES

REF: STATE 6668

1. Econ Specialist delivered REFTEL points to Kadri Alasi, Chief
Expert of the Nature Conservation Department of the Ministry of the
Environment and Jaan Salulaid, U.S. Desk Officer in the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. Alasi informed that she will represent Estonia at
the March 13-25 Conference of the Parties for the Convention of
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CITES). Kadri Alasi's contact information is: e-mail
kadri.alasi@envir.ee , Tel: +372 626
2882. Tiit Maran, the Head of CITES Scientific Authority of Estonia
(e-mail: t.maran@tallinnlv.ee , Tel:
+372 694 3318) will also attend COP 15.

2. Alasi stated that Estonia will support U.S. proposals on sharks
and corals at CITES COP 15. However, Estonia does not support the
U.S. proposal to transfer polar bears from CITES Appendix II to
Appendix I, because international trade is not the main reason for
decreasing population of polar bears and thus does not meet the
CITES Appendix I criteria. Alasi said polar bears are completely
dependent on sea ice and destruction of their habitat caused by
climate change poses the main threat to their population. Therefore
Estonia holds the position that transferring polar bears from
Appendix I to Appendix II does not help to solve the problem.

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3. Further, Alasi said, Estonia does not support removal of any
wild cat species from CITES Appendixes even though it would not
cause a major problem in Estonia as the pelts of the Lynx rufus
(indigenous to Estonia) are not popular items on the local market.
However, Estonia shares the concern of other countries that removal
of one species from the Appendix may cause problems with
identification and law enforcement for similar species. She stated
that the Lynx rufus was included into the CITES Appendix due to its
similarity in appearance with other endangered species. Alasi added
that several countries have reported that despite the
identification guide, their law enforcement is unable to
distinguish between products made of different lynx pelts.
Therefore, Estonia does not support deletion of the Lynx rufus from
Appendix II.

4. Estonia supports the U.S. and China's co-sponsored discussion
document on the conservation and trade management of snakes.
POLT

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