“Closed doors” policy at IWC meeting is unacceptable - WWF



Posted on 21 June 2010  | 
Humpback whale.
Humpback whale (Megaloptera novanglie).
© Fundación YubartaEnlarge
WWF statement concerning the decision to start negotiations of the International Whaling Commission behind closed doors, excluding members of the civil society and media:

Wendy Elliott, Species Manager at WWF International:

“The unprecedented decision to start discussions at this year’s IWC behind closed doors is fundamentally unacceptable. The issues discussed at the IWC are of enormous public interest.

We already had two years of closed doors negotiations leading up to this point, and now is the moment to open up a transparent and honest discussion. This could be the most important meeting for the IWC since the moratorium was agreed to in 1982 and the decision to exclude the civil society and media is a scandal.”.

“Governments here are making decisions about a polarizing international issue and this must be done at an open forum.”

“Whale watching is an industry that generates more than 2 billion USD per year. Livelihoods of thousands of people around the world depend on whale watching and the decisions made here are critical for them.”

The 62 annual meeting of the 88 members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) opened today to discuss a new proposal put forward by the IWC Chair as currently drafted would allow commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean for the first time in almost 25 years.

The IWC has been at a standstill for several years now with countries whaling outside the IWC’s control. The proposal put forward by the IWC Chair is an attempt to make a deal that will break the deadlock between pro-whaling and pro-conservation nations and reduce the number of whales killed each year. WWF wants to the IWC to reach a fair compromise that will bring whaling back under the full control of the IWC.

However WWF cannot support the proposal put forward by the IWC Chair as long as it allows for whaling in the Southern Ocean, and whaling of threatened species. In addition, the proposal as currently drafted sets quotas based on politics, not science.
Humpback whale.
Humpback whale (Megaloptera novanglie).
© Fundación Yubarta Enlarge

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