2020-05-25 09:56 来源:澎湃新闻·澎湃号·政务


编者按/Linda 翻译/洪珮嘉 审/绿会反盗猎工作组 责编/Angel

IUCN Commission on Environmental Law
世界自然保护联盟世界环境法委员会(IUCN WCEL)
Webinar Series – 18 May 2020
网络会议 2020年5月18日

A fresh look at Global wildlife trade law: can CITES help prevent pandemics?

Is CITES enough or do we need more?

John E Scanlon AO

Thank you for that generous introduction Sheila and thank you also to the World Commission on Environmental Law, its Chair and Deputy Chair, for bringing us all together today.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us in a devastating way of the interconnected nature of things, most particularly between economies, the environment, human and wildlife health and welfare. Our international laws, programmes and funds do not yet reflect this reality, which is also largely the case at the national level.

IUCN Commissions have been the drivers of innovation within the IUCN family, and now is a critical time for fresh thinking on what needs to be done to avert the next pandemic. This timely webinar is focused on the role of the law in achieving this objective.


Colleagues, the most likely explanation for COVID-19 is that the virus jumped from bats to humans, perhaps via another animal such as a pangolin, at a wet market in Wuhan but no firm conclusions can yet be drawn.
各位,新冠病毒肺炎的来源可能是在武汉的一个wet market,病毒从蝙蝠转移到人身上,或是通过其他动物,比如通过一只穿山甲,转移到人身上,但是目前还没有任何证据表明这一猜想的真实性。

However, the links between wildlife and previous epidemics and pandemics are known, such as HIV-AIDS, Ebola, MERS, SARS and more, as is the advice of public health officials and scientists on the risk posed by wildlife-related zoonotic diseases, as well as the conditions that make spillover from animals to humans more likely.

The risks are real, and the stakes are high.


The title of today’s webinar ‘Can CITES help prevent the next pandemic?’ is a tougher question than it appears at first sight. Given its existing mandate, CITES role in preventing the next pandemic is, to be frank, relatively limited in my view, and perhaps we also need to reverse the question and ask, ‘Could CITES trade expose us to the next pandemic?’

The answer to both questions requires an understanding of how CITES works and, having seen the participant list, perhaps not everyone online shares the same understanding of CITES. Let me outline some key aspects of the Convention in very general terms.

CITES is an international legally binding agreement adopted in 1973 that sets rules for international trade in wildlife. Under CITES wildlife means animals (marine and terrestrial) and plants. It regulates international trade to ensure such trade is not detrimental to the survival of the species. It does not deal with domestic trade, markets or consumption, or poaching. It is about the cross-border movement of wildlife.

CITES currently regulates international trade in over 36,000 species of wild animals and plants. The nature of the various trade measures utilized by CITES to regulate this trade depends primarily upon the biological status of the species.

Commercial trade in some wild caught specimens is prohibited under CITES and in other specimens it is allowed but is strictly regulated through a permit system to avoid overexploitation. There is illegal trade associated with both prohibited and regulated trade.

CITES does not encourage or discourage trade – it regulates trade when it does take place. States determine whether to trade or not and they may impose stricter domestic measures, meaning they can regulate wildlife trade more strictly than CITES requires, should they choose to do so.

From a public health perspective, we are not concerned with trade in the 30,000 plants species under CITES, including for timber, like certain rosewood species, fragrance and medicines, like agarwood and African Cherry bark, and flowers, like orchids and snowdrops.

Further, of the 6,000 CITES-listed animal species only a limited number are of interest from a public health perspective, mainly terrestrial mammals, and birds, possibly amphibians, and reptiles. The cetaceans, corals, fish, insects, sharks, rays, shellfish and more, all have their issues, but not from a public health perspective from what I can ascertain.


The value and effectiveness of CITES depends upon which lens you view it from.

While it has its flaws, and continual improvement is needed, when viewed through the lens of avoiding over-exploitation of listed species the Convention has been quite effective. This is its core mandate, which CITES Parties have steadfastly adhered to.

The same cannot be said when the Convention is viewed through the lens of public health. CITES does not address public health issues. The same observation can be made in relation to animal health, and alien invasive species, which again do not feature in CITES decision making.

This is not an accident, the 183 Parties to CITES have been quite consistent in keeping the focus of the Convention on the biological aspects of wildlife trade to avoid overexploitation.
这不是偶然疏漏, 而是CITES公约的183个缔约方始终一致坚持将该公约的重点放在野生动物贸易的生物性的方面,以避免资源过度利用。

However, can this rather narrow focus be sustained in a post COVID-19 world, one that is now acutely aware of the massive damage that zoonotic pandemics can do to economies and societies across every continent, along with the call by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to take a ‘One Health’ approach, namely to bring public health, animal health, plant health and the environment closer together.

CITES is not embedded into the public health or animal health discourse. As Secretary-General, I tried to connect with these issues in 2016 when I signed a cooperation agreement with the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE). Yet, while cooperation agreements between Secretariats are useful and offer an entry point for deeper discourse, they cannot change core mandates.


Risks to public health through wildlife-related zoonotic diseases can come from unregulated, regulated, and illegal wildlife trade.

When looked at through a public health lens, the current system is inadequate for regulating wildlife trade, markets and consumption that could pose a risk to public health.

Left as it is our system is not going to prevent the next pandemic. It could, in fact, be raising our potential exposure to zoonotic diseases that can spill over from wild animals to people.

Profound changes are needed. Let me explain why.

CITES regulates trade in listed species. The listing of a species is based upon trade and biological criteria. It does not include the risks to public health, or animal health, of wildlife trade. For example, horseshoe bats, a likely source of the COVID-19 pandemic are not listed, along with many other bat species, which are known to harbour multiple viruses.

When trade is regulated the CITES Management Authority considers whether the traded species have been legally obtained and whether the scientific non-detrimental finding says that the trade will not be detrimental to the survival of the species. If the answer to both is yes, the trade will be permitted. Under the Convention, the Authority is not obliged to consider the public health risks of the trade, nor the risks to animal health, or for that matter or whether the species may become invasive.

These shortcomings have recently been highlighted in an excellent article by Dr Jonathan Kolby.
乔纳森·科尔比博士(Jonathan Kolby)近期发表了一篇优秀的文章,文中重点提及CITES的这些缺陷。

In addition, CITES does not regulate the way the wildlife is harvested, handled, or stored in the source State, or how it is handled, stored, sold or consumed in the destination State. Captive breeding facilities, which now account for close to 60% of trade in animals, are not assessed by CITES on public health grounds.

Yet all of these activities can pose a risk factor for the emergence of zoonotic diseases.


On illegal wildlife trade, in the absence of any alternative, for the eight years that I served CITES, we worked with Parties and many stakeholders, to use the Convention to crank up the fight against illegal wildlife trade. We stretched the mandate of the Convention, and in doing so we had some good success. Here CITES can and must continue to make an important contribution through the ICCWC (International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime).

But CITES has its limitations. It only applies to 36,000 of the world’s 8 million species, and to the cross-border movement of specimens. It does not require illegal trade to be criminalized, nor does it apply to poaching. It creates management and scientific authorities, but not enforcement authorities, and it is not a natural forum for police or other enforcement officials.

Our inability to be able to turn the corner with ending wildlife crime is best illustrated by the record levels of illegal trade in pangolins over the past two years, which coincided with them being given the highest level of protection under the Convention. Pangolins are also a possible intermediate host of COVID-19.


So, what are we to do?

We must finally grasp the nettle with wildlife crime, recognise the massive impacts wildlife crime has on economies, ecosystems, public and animal health, security, and local people.

With the benefit of the IPBES Global Assessment, we must look beyond CITES listed species and use the law to help countries stop the theft of all their wildlife, plants and animals, terrestrial and marine, not just those species that are on the brink of extinction.

CITES was never designed to deal with wildlife crime. It is time to embed combating serious wildlife crimes where it belongs. We must embed it into the international criminal law framework, which can be done via a Protocol to the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, as has been done for other serious crimes.

As regards wildlife trade and related laws, they must be part of a ‘One Health’ approach. As I see it, there are three options at international level to build public health into wildlife trade laws, which could also be expanded to include animal health. We can:

 - amend CITES to include public health criteria for listing species, possibly via a new Appendix, create a new Committee on Public Heath, and oblige Management Authorities to take account of public health issues before issuing any certificate or permit.

- create a new Protocol under the Convention on Biological Diversity, as has been done for Living Modified Organisms and Access and Benefit Sharing.

- create a new Agreement under the World Health Organisation, as has been done for Tobacco Control, which recognises the serious public health consequences of tobacco.

My initial preference was to look to CITES, given its exiting mandate to regulate trade, as well as its well-established governance and permitting processes. It is, however, a big step for CITES to shift its focus after close to 50 years and if it does not find favour we also have other good options, which may even offer greater scope as they start afresh.

It is of course, ultimately a matter for States.


What is essential is that we not lose sight of the critical need to bring the world of wildlife trade, markets and consumption together with the world of public health, and animal health, which we must do if we are to avert the next wildlife-related pandemic.

At the present time, States are doing this by taking stricter domestic measures to ban wildlife trade, markets and consumption, as we have seen in China, Vietnam, Gabon and Bolivia. We could also envisage resolutions coming from various bodies on these issues, including the UN General Assembly, the World Health Assembly and more.

However, to succeed not just now, but into the future, we need to elevate these actions into a global forum, through a new or an amended convention, where open and transparent, scientifically based decisions can be taken in the collective interest, to ensure we do all we can to effectively mitigate the risk, while avoiding unintended consequences.

So, back to the question that was posed to me, is CITES enough or do we need more? We clearly need more, and if we manage to take these sorts of actions, I believe we will be best placed to avert the next wildlife-related pandemic.

But if we do not act boldly now to institutionalise the changes that are needed to laws, as well as related funding and programmes, I fear we may find ourselves back in the same place in the not too distant future.

Thank you, Sheila, and back to you.






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