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Law to halt endangered species trading

posted on 25/05/2002: 2415 views

The Federal Environmental Agency (FEA) has prepared a federal draft law on trading in endangered species in response to the terms laid down by the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), to get a ban lifted. The ban was slapped on the UAE for not making sufficient efforts to combat trade in endangered species. The law, which is considered the first ever in GCC states, is the third and final step of a three-step normalisation process required by the Cites to totally lift the ban. The two other steps, which the UAE has already fulfilled, are introduction of a domestic registry for live falcons used for non-commercial purposes, such as hunting, and training of a staff to implement the convention.

The law includes three annexes, each of which specifies the number of endangered species that are either affected, or will be affected by international trading in endangered species, or lays down stringent measures to control trading in them. According to the draft law, the FEA is the authorised body tasked to implement the law in Abu Dhabi emirate, while the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is assigned to implement the law in other emirates. The Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA) has been assigned to carry out studies on endangered species.

The law states that an administrative authority responsible for supervising the implementation of its provisions has to be set up. It will also carry out other tasks assigned by the cabinet. The body is further authorised to issue permits to individuals and agencies trading in such species, to establish contacts with the Cites secretariat and member countries, to keep registers and certificate forms that regulate trading in endangered species and to prepare reports on the legal and administrative measures taken. ERWDA is to advise the administrative authority on the species included in the annexes, whether they are suitable for trading. It shall also provide advice on havens for certain species and determine the annual quota for trading.

The law states conditions to be adhered to while trading in endangered species included in the attached annexes. It states that any application for export of any endangered species shall be approved by the ERWDA, the scientific authority. The administrative authority shall ensure that export is done according to Cites rules and the export permit is valid. The law stipulates that import permits shall have to meet the following requirements: It must be approved by the scientific authority, and the species must not be used for trade. If endangered species are required to be re-exported, a permit shall be obtained from the administrative authority. Each independent consignment must have a separate permit.

The permit must not be transferred from one individual to another, and export and re-export certificates are valid for six months from the date of issue. All import permits are valid for one year from the date of issue. The administrative authority may ask applicants to provide any other information which it sees important. It also has the right to withdraw or amend any permit. The law does not apply to any transiting consignment, or any consignment kept with customs and to be re-exported, or any species owned by anyone before the implementation of these provisions. Provisions do not also apply to personal ownership. All animals brought up in captivity for commercial purposes must be treated according to Cites provisions. Anyone who wishes to keep an endangered species for trade must register his name with the administrative authority. The law-enforcing officer has the authority to implement provisions and report offences. The draft law will soon be submitted to Cabinet for approval. (The Gulf News)


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