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Cablegate: Demarche Delivered: U.S. Proposals for Cites

VZCZCXRO7394
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHWD #0116/01 0361118
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051116Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0182
INFO SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 WINDHOEK 000116

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
OES/ENRC FOR LLOYD GAMBLE, AF/S FOR PHAEDRA GWYN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV FWS WA KSCA AORC UNEP
SUBJECT: Demarche Delivered: U.S. Proposals for CITES

REF: REF A) 10 STATE 6668; REF B) 09 STATE 125262

1. (U) SUMMARY. Emboff met with representatives from the
Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and the Ministry of
Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), who will be delegates to the
upcoming Conference of the Parties (COP-15) for the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CITES) in Doha, Qatar. Per demarche instructions (Ref A), talking
points were delivered and feedback specifically solicited on U.S.
proposals regarding sharks, bobcats, and the international snake
trade. Government representatives expressed no direct opposition to
U.S. proposals for COP-15, but also pledged no direct support.
However, Namibia expressed support for Zambia's proposal to move
elephants from Appendix I to Appendix II, and opposition to
Monaco's proposal to list Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in Appendix I. End
Summary.

2. (U) On February 1, Emboff met with Louisa Mupetami
(Director, Directorate of Scientific Services) and Elly Hamunyela
(Chief Conservation Scientist, Office of Wildlife Trade and Permit
Control) of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET). Both
confirmed that they would be attending COP-15, noting that the
final list of delegates would not be finalized for several weeks.
Mupetami stated that the Permanent Secretary would lead the
delegation and the Minsiter would also attend. She noted, however,
that a new permanent secretary and minister could be named in March
as a result of Namibia's recent presidential elections. On February
3, Emboff met with Dr. Moses Maurihungirire, Director of Resource
Management, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), who
also confirmed he will be a delegate to COP-15. Responses to
specific U.S. proposals follow.

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

SNAKE TRADE EVALUATION

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

3. (U) Hamunyela commented that the joint U.S./China proposal
for evaluating the sustainability of the Asian snake trade is
"harmless," in that it imposes no restrictions on Namibia and is
not expected to encroach upon any of the country's direct
interests. Mupetami agreed, adding that she could foresee no reason
to oppose it.

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

BOBCAT/ELEPHANT DOWNGRADES

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

4. (U) Similarly, Hamunyela and Mupetami saw no reason to
oppose the deletion of the Bobcat (Lynx rufus) from Appendix II of
CITES, in light of the fact that fur trade in the species is
well-managed and the increasing population is not under serious
threat.

5. (U) Following this same logic, Mupetami further asserted
that proper management of trade in certain African animal species
is justification for changes in the CITES listing for those species
as well. Specifically, she expressed support for a Zambian proposal
to downgrade elephant species from Appendix I to Appendix II, and
opposition to a Kenyan proposal for a 20 year "moratorium" on any
new proposals related to these species.

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

SHARK SPECIES ADDITIONS

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

WINDHOEK 00000116 002 OF 002


6. (U) Dr. Maurihungirire stated that he had not read the
details of the joint U.S./Palau proposals, but that Namibia would
not support them "blindly." He stated that, in general, the MFMR
withholds support for proposals that add new species to the CITES
list when the proposals have not been evaluated and endorsed by the
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). FAO endorsement would
not ensure Namibia's support, but he indicated that an endorsement
would garner "more positive consideration." Taking notice of the
six shark species included in the U.S. proposals, Maurihungirire
noted that only one - the Dusky Shark (Carcharinus obscurus) - "may
exist" in Southern African waters, but noted the species had no
commercial significance. In light of this, he felt the proposal
could be opened for discussion, contingent upon FAO support.

7. (SBU) During the meeting, Maurihungirire asserted his
government's opposition to the proposal from Monaco for listing
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in Appendix I. He noted that the bluefin is
not commercially important for Namibia, but is harvested as
bycatch. His government's concern is that a CITES listing of the
species may seriously impede fishing operations in the southwest
Atlantic.

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

COMMENT

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

8. (U) Emboff noted no strong opposition to any U.S. proposals,
and no direct Namibian interests conflict with the U.S. proposals.
In both meetings, GRN officials suggested follow up in a few weeks
to further discuss proposals submitted for the CITES meeting. To
date, Namibia has not officially sponsored or submitted any
proposals for COP-15.
MATHIEU

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