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CITES extends legal controls on high-value timber at the request of Nicaragua and Russian Federation

New trade rules will also apply to 13 species of animals from Pakistan.

The Governments of Nicaragua, the Russian Federation and Pakistan have requested the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to list sixteen new species in CITES Appendix III, including high-value timber species, mammals and birds.

The listing of the tree species Mongolian oak (Quercus mongolica) and Manchurian ash (Fraxinus mandshurica) by the Russian Federation and the Yucatan rosewood (Dalbergia tucurensis) and thirteen species of animals by Pakistan in CITES Appendix III means that all cross-border shipments now have to be authorized by the issuance of a document certifying the legal origin of the products covered by the listing.

Russian Federation requested the inclusion in CITES of two tree species Mongolian oak and Manchurian ash. The illegal logging and uncontrolled trade of these two valuable hardwood species in the Far East Primorsky and Khabarovsky Provinces is leading to the degradation of forests in the range of the Amur tiger.  Oak is a key source of food for animals such as the wild boar, which in turn are prey for the Amur tiger and Far Eastern leopard. Ash is often found in floodplain forests, which are key habitats both for big cats and their prey. This new measure could therefore provide multiple benefits.

Nicaragua has requested the help of CITES Parties to control the trade in the Yucatan rosewood (Dalbergia tucurensis) a species from Central America used in the timber industry. This wood closely resemble to other ‘dalbergias’ that are already protected under CITES. The fact that the species appear visually similar render trade controls very difficult to Customs officers. This species is moderately hard, tough, and strong with orange-colored heart-wood with more or less pronounced violet striping that becomes brown or purplish upon exposure.

Commenting on the entry into effect of these measures, CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon said: “the voluntary decisions of the Governments of Nicaragua, Pakistan and the Russian Federation, show that range States are increasingly recognizing the value of CITES in controlling international trade in high-value timber at the both ends of the value chain. Appendix III listings are key to helping importing countries verify that such trade is legal and traceable”.

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