Thursday, February 28, 2008

Whales past and future

The documents prepared for next week's intersessional meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) on the future of the international whale conservation regime have just been published.

These include the reports of the New York (IWC-M08-INFO2) and Tokyo (IWC-M08-INFO9) symposia we've organized on behalf of Pew in April 07 and January 08 respectively.

It also includes the responses to a Call for Input the facilitators of the meeting sent to the member States (IWC-M08-4). Out of 78 member States, 10 have responded.

All the other documents had already been published elsewhere, with the exception of a short declaration of the West African States member of the IWC adopted at a mysterious "symposium" apparently held in Rabat on 11 and 12 February (IWC-M08-INFO8).

According to the document, the countries present in Rabat were Benin, Cameroun, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Gambie, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania and Togo. But I have good reasons to believe that at least one other country was also present.

In their declaration these African States emphasize whales as a threat to their food security. This voracious-whales-eating-up-all-the-fish story sounds a bit like a broken record...

I will be attending next week's IWC meeting in London. The illustration I used for this post [which I found on the IWC website] suggests that the IWC is a bit lost. Winds blowing in opposite directions are preventing it from progressing. In this context, no-one can say for sure whether we can put it on a good track.

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