Implementation and Enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in the South Pacific Region: Management and Scientific Authorities
AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to investigate implementation of the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the South Pacific Region with particular emphasis on the establishment and administration of CITES Management and Scientific Authorities (MAs and SAs respectively). The paper will outline the purpose and general provisions of CITES looking in more detail at the establishment, roles and functions of MAs and SAs. It will look at the problems South Pacific countries may encounter when endeavouring to implement CITES and will explore options for countries to establish and administer MAs and SAs and in other ways implement the Convention in a regional cooperative manner to decrease the administrative and financial burdens on individual countries. The paper will focus on legal matters, as it is not within its scope to give justice to all the related issues. Problems in implementing CITES in the Region include: Vast distances between island nations and the related communication problems; The differing legal and political frameworks that exist in the Region; A general lack of expertise in environmental law and related issues; Problems with enforcement; and A lack of institutional and financial capacity. One way in which some of these obstacles may be overcome is the formation of regional CITES bodies to enhance cooperation and information sharing. Options for establishment of joint bodies such as MAs and SAs may include: the use of an existing regional structure such as the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) or the Pacific Islands Forum (previously the South Pacific Forum) to act as one or both of the Authorities; outsourcing the administrative functions of Authorities; or having a central coordinating body to facilitate information flow and resource sharing. The paper will also look briefly at the capacity building processes currently being implemented by the CITES Secretariat to encourage and facilitate the ratification of CITES by developing States. A series of recommendations will be developed so as to provide advice to Australia on ways in which it can further its role in assisting South Pacific nations to fully implement and enforce CITES.
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