IFAW Helps Save Tigers at CITES!
The International Fund for Animal Welfare's Lynn Levine is on the ground at CITES in the Hague...she filed this story about the situation in committee with tigers yesterday...
I popped into Committee 2 to get a sense of what was going on, and for the five or so minutes that I was sitting there, the proceedings were actually quite entertaining! ( Who'd have thought?).
The draft decision from yesterday was still undergoing some final tweaks to the wording. The EU had proposed that only tiger range state parties be named in the document, instead of "parties" as was written. The EU was apparently concerned that the decision would negatively affect their use of tigers in circuses.
Meanwhile, the Chinese delegation tried to narrow the scope of the decision by having it apply only to "international" trade but this was voted down; the US delegate totally rocked when he asked the Chair to read back the paragraph after the vote to ensure that this "international" designation had not been inadvertently kept in. It was really great to see the US taking such a strong position in support of the wishes of the other tiger range states, including India, Cambodia and Nepal.
The Chinese objected to the final vote, suggesting that perhaps with so many empty seats, there maybe was not a quorum, but the Chair directed him to look around the (obviously full) room.
It all happened so fast, several of us observers were unsure as to what had actually happened. Apparently, it's not over until everyone has left the room (preventing anyone from objecting to the vote and calling for a do-over).
What a great day for tigers and for all of the IFAW team and coalition members that worked together to make this happen!