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Cablegate: Cites Cop15 Outreach On U.S. Species Proposals

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DEPT FOR OES/PCI SPERLING and GERDIN, OES/ENRC GAMBLE,
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAID AMGT ET KPAO ECON TBIO AEGR ETRD PGOV

SUBJECT: CITES COP15 OUTREACH ON U.S. SPECIES PROPOSALS

REF: STATE 00006668

1. (U) Regional Environment Officer (REO) and Regional
Environment Assistant (REA) delivered referenced demarche to
Dr. Kifle Argaw, Director of the Ethiopia Wildlife
Conservation Authority (EWCA), and Dr. Ludwig Sieg, Chief
Technical Advisor on GTZ-GEF EWCA capacity building project on
Thursday, February 4, 2010. Both expressed appreciation for
the detailed background regarding the U.S. proposals to CITES
CoP 15.

2. (U) Dr. Kifle noted that Ethiopia's position is still under
formulation, but that traditionally Ethiopia generally does
not take a position on issues that do not impact the country.
It is therefore likely that Ethiopia will ultimately take a
neutral (abstention) or CITES position regarding the shark,
coral, polar bear and bobcat proposals. Dr. Sieg, a German
national with extensive background in CITES work as a
consultant, mentioned as an aside that it his understanding
that Germany support the two proposals to list six shark
species in Appendix II.

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3. (U) Dr. Kifle took the opportunity of the REO and REA
visit to expand upon Ethiopia's position on Elephants which
matches the Elephant Coalition CITES Appendix proposal. With
a population of approximately 1,000 elephants residing on
Ethiopian territory, and additional migratory populations
crossing borders with Sudan, Ethiopia sees this as their
primary focus at CoP 15 in Qatar. Dr. Kifle emphasized that
Ethiopia supports the 9 year moratorium on ivory sales and
does not wish to see this opened for discussion. If it is
opened, Ethiopia supports the Kenya-backed Proposal 6.

#YATES

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