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17 November, 2022: In response to the voting results on 17th of November in Committee I, of the 19th Conference of the Parties (CoP19) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on the proposals to amend of Appendix II to include: Dipteryx spp., Handroanthus spp, Roseodendron spp. and Tabebuia spp. and Afzelia spp.
Votes at CITES regulating trees, a step in the right direction but delaying implementation of these decisions could still pose a threat to them
WWF welcomes the positive votes today by CITES member states, with notable majorities, to include three of the list of tree species proposals to Appendix II;
- Dipteryx spp. (cumaru in Latin America),
- Handroanthus spp, Roseodendron spp. and Tabebuia spp. (Ipé or trumpet trees) spp. (Latin American ipé or trumpet trees), and
- Afzelia spp. (African pod mahoganies)
However, amendments to the proposals delaying the implementation of both Cumarú and Ipe proposals for 24 months could open up a loophole to further deplete and generate stockpiles of these precious timbers.
Commonly known as cumaru in Latin America, Dipteryx spp. tree species are extremely slow-growing. The wood has a dense and hard consistency, and is in great demand for heavy duty uses, such as flooring. Selective logging of cumarú affects the habitats of nesting parrots and many other wild species, and leads to wider habitat degradation
“The amendment that includes the delayed implementation of these proposals opens up a window for countries to accelerate logging and trade in dwindling stocks and could further reduce already declining populations of these important and highly commercially valuable tree species”, said Dr. Margaret Kinnaird, Wildlife Practice Leader, WWF International.
The other two tree species voted today to be listed on Appendix II are Handroanthus, Roseodendron and Tabebuia (lapacho or ipé, or trumpet trees in Latin America), well known for their mass flowering patterns. These trees have suffered from very high deforestation rates in the last three decades (FAO 2020). Although its listing implementation is also delayed for 24 months, Tabebuia has higher replacement rates and grows faster than cumaru and could therefore recuperate.
Afzelia (African pod mahoganies), which are slow growing trees that reach heights of 18-35 m, and are categorized as globally Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List, were voted for inclusion in Appendix II without any amendment.
The results obtained during voting sessions in CITES today will be formally endorsed during the plenary on November 24 and 25.
Note for the Editors:
Trade in species in Appendix II is regulated by a permitting system and needs evidence that the international trade is legal, sustainable, and not detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild. Amendment to Appendices I and II can normally be made only at CoP meetings by two-thirds majority vote.
For more information, please contact:
Marsden Momanyi: firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: +254 719784872
Monica Echeverria: Monica.Echeverria@wwfus.org / Tel: +1 (202)378 33 96 (English and Spanish)