The relationship between CITES, FAO and related agreements: legal issues

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular. No. 1062

The relationship between CITES, FAO and related agreements: legal issues


by
Erik Franckx
Research Professor
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Department of International and European Law
Centre for International Law
Brussels, Belgium



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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2011


ABSTRACT

Franckx, E.
The relationship between CITES, FAO and related agreements: legal issues.
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular. No. 1062. Rome, FAO. 2011. 63p.

Overexploitation of fisheries has led to significant action on the international level to better govern and protect living marine resources. Among the actions taken were the adoption and implementation of various fisheries-related binding and non-binding international instruments for conservation and management of living marine resources, including initiatives to address the issue of overfishing. The modest results achieved so far suggest the need for an examination of other non-fisheries instruments to determine their utility for the conservation and management of fisheries resources. One of the non-fisheries international instruments, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) warrants particularly close scrutiny. The inevitable overlap of CITES, whose primary initial focus clearly did not concern marine species, and a number of FAO legal instruments has generated a series of international legal issues. This article addresses two such issues: 1) the legal relationship between CITES and other relevant international agreements, and 2) the competence of CITES with respect to commercially-exploited aquatic species. The analysis demonstrates that the relationships between CITES and other agreements are not uniform, but vary with the circumstances. In particular, the conflict clauses which govern interactions between treaties are crucial for determining whether CITES takes precedence, or subjects itself to another treaty. In more general terms, however, the law is far from settled in this regard and parties continually debate the proper course to take. Nonetheless, continued dedication to cooperation can eventually resolve these entangling interactions and allow for progress in the use of these agreements as protection against overfishing. In this context, FAO has and will continue to play a significant role in the conservation and management of living marine resources as well as in the application of CITES.



Table of Contents


I. INTRODUCTION


II. INTRODUCTION TO THE FUNCTIONING OF CITES


III. THE EMERGENCE OF ISSUES ARISING FROM THE CITES AND FAO RELATIONSHIP


IV. “INTRODUCTION FROM THE SEA”: THE CONVENTIONAL FRAMEWORK OF CITES

 

A. The Convention itself

 

B. Resolutions adopted by the Conference of the Parties


V. “INTRODUCTION FROM THE SEA” DE LEGE LATA

 

A. The term “introduction”

 

B. The term “from the sea”


VI. “INTRODUCTION FROM THE SEA” DE LEGE FERENDA


VII. APPLICATION OF SUCCESSIVE TREATIES RELATING TO THE SAME SUBJECT MATTER

 

A. The law of treaties

 

B. LOSC

 

C. CITES and other relevant international instruments relative to fisheries management


VIII. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION: CITES AND ITS RELATION TO OTHER TREATIES

 

A. Listing

 

B. Cooperation with FAO and RFMOs


IX. CONCLUSIONS




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The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of FAO.


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