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Cablegate: Demarche Delivered: U.S. Cites Proposals

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SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: U.S. CITES PROPOSALS

1. (SBU) Summary. Econoff delivered reftel demarche to
representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (MFA),
Environment, and the INCODER - the Ministry of Agriculture's
fisheries management agency on January 29. Colombia will support
the U.S. proposals on sharks but it has not finalized its positions
on the other U.S. CITES proposals. A Colombian interagency meeting
on CITES is scheduled to take place in mid-February. Colombia has
not yet finalized its

delegation list but the group will be lead by the Director of
Ecosystems at the Ministry of Environment. Post will report any
updates on Colombia's position septel. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Econoff delivered reftel demarche in a meeting with
representatives from the MFA, advisors with the Ministry of
Environment and the Director and staff of INCODER on January 29.
GOC officials remarked that their internal meetings on CITES may
take place the week of February 8, and therefore were not able to
offer official responses to U.S. CITES proposals. Econoff left
talking points taken from reftel with the officials and will report
Colombia's updated

positions septel. Their initial reactions to U.S. CITES proposals
are below:

GOC WILL SUPPORT U.S. SHARK PROPOSALS

--------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Colombia will support the U.S.-Palau proposals to list
the six shark species in reftel in Appendix II. The GOC notes that
it recently released its first informational study under the
National Shark Action Plan and also hopes to launch a fisheries
observer program with technical assistance from NOAA that will help
enforce shark management.

POSITION ON CORALS, POLAR BEARS, BOBCATS AND SNAKES NOT FINALIZED

--------------------------------------------- ---------------------

4. (SBU) Corals: Officials at the meeting were not sure that the
red and pink corals in reftel were indigenous to Colombian waters.
However, they noted that Colombia has a National Coral Plan in
place that protect coral reefs, and that most of the country's
coral reefs are located in Colombian national parks or protected
areas.

5. (SBU) Polar Bears: The GOC officials thanked Econoff for the
additional information on trade of polar bear skins and parts,
noting that previous information on the proposal had mostly focused
on the reduction of the bears' habitat.

6. (SBU) Bobcats and Snakes: Officials from the Ministry of
Environment raised one concern regarding the deletion of the bobcat
from Appendix II, which is that the skin of the Leopardus tigrinus,
a feline found in Colombia, is a look-alike of the Lynx rufus when
the tail is removed. Econoff noted that the United States has
developed a draft on-line identification guide to address some of
these "look-alike" issues and passed along the web address for the
guide to

interested GOC officials. GOC officials took note of the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service's offer to fund a workshop on snake
conservation management.

DELEGATION HEAD IS DIRECTOR OF ECOSYSTEMS AT MINISTRY OF
ENVIRONMENT

--------------------------------------------- ----------------------
--

7. (SBU) The GOC officials indicated that Colombia will send
Xiomara Sanclemente, the Director of Ecosystems at the Ministry of
Environment, to be the head of the Colombian delegation to CITES
COP 15. The makeup of the rest of the delegation is still under
discussion, but other members may include representatives from the
Ministry of Agriculture, INCODER, the Institute for Coastal and
Marine Research (INVEMAR), and members of the scientific community
from the Von

Humbolt Institute, a Colombian scientific organization.
BROWNFIELD

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