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UAE to host consultative meeting on trade in falcons for falconry

posted on 16/05/2004: 1963 views

The UAE is to host the Consultative meeting on trade in falcons for falconry being organized by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat at the Beach Rotana Hotel & Towers in Abu Dhabi, from May 16 to 19. The aim of the consultative meeting is to identify the main problems in controlling the trade in falcons for falconry (political, administrative, technical, scientific, enforcement) and to propose practical solutions to these problems, opportunity for an improved international understanding of the trade-related problems facing falcon conservation, according to a press release from ERWDA.

For many years there has been concern about illegal and unsustainable trade in falcons for falconry. All species of falcons are included in the CITES and the Secretariat of the Convention has, over many years, received information on continuing illegal trade. There is however also a significant legitimate trade in falcons for falconry, which is met partly from wild-taken birds and partly from captive-bred birds, mostly of just a small number of species. It is evident however that there is a need to address a number of problems in controlling the international trade in falcons for falconry.

The first is that there is a continuing large trade, including illegal trade, from a number of range States resulting in a decrease in some populations of certain species used for falconry.

The second is that a number of States where there are large numbers of falconers who take their birds across international borders to practice their sport, would like to find ways to facilitate these movements within a legal framework.

The third is that some of the States into whose territory falconers enter in order to hunt are concerned that the controls on the trade are not adequate and are worried about the potential effects on some of the species hunted (such as houbara bustard). Finally, there are some concerns that the level of control of captive-breeding operations for falcons in some countries is not adequate and that some operations are used to launder wild-taken birds.

The meeting will be attended by the main exporting states of the main species used for falconry, the main states where there are commercial captive-breeding operations for these species, the main importing states, and the main states to which birds are re-exported for the purpose of hunting. Advisers and observers from some national non-governmental organizations that have considerable knowledge of the trade in falcons as a result of their work, or individual experts in this subject will also attend the meeting.

The General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council and three international non-governmental organizations (Birdlife International, the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey and TRAFFIC) have been invited to participate in the meeting. During the discussions over the four days, the participants will be encouraged to express their concerns and share their opinions regarding any issue or problem related to the international trade in falcons for falconry.

The meeting is an opportunity for an exchange of information and of views on falcon trade amongst interested states and invited experts. It is therefore hoped and expected that one result will be an improved understanding of the trade and of the problems faced by range states, by states where there are falconers, by states where there are breeding operations, and by states to which falconers go to practise their sport.

It is expected that there will also be an improved understanding of falconry and of the problems faced by falconers and by those who breed falcons professionally. A report on the discussions and the recommendations emerging from the meeting will be prepared for distribution to the participants and for dissemination to the Parties to CITES and international organizations. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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