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WCC 2016 Res 013 - Progress Report

General information
IUCN Constituencies implementing this Resolution
IUCN Members: 
Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries & The Environment ( DEA ) / South Africa
Endangered Wildlife Trust ( EWT ) / South Africa
Wildlands Conservation Trust ( WCT ) / South Africa
IUCN Commissions: 
IUCN Secretariat: 
Indicate which actions have been carried out to implement this Resolution : 
Convene stakeholders/Networking
Policy influencing/advocacy
Describe the results/achievements of the actions taken: 
Actions taken to date and results/achievements (as reported by IUCN members in South Africa):
- lobbying of the SA Govt. and engagement with the Govt by IUCN members in South Africa to try and implement the Resolution
- inspections by SA govt of captive-breeding facilities in three provinces in the country to try and get a better insight to the types of operations and their scale
- request made to government Scientific Authority to come up with a standardised definition for "canned hunting"

What challenges/obstacles have been encountered in the implementation of this Resolution and how were they overcome : 
- The SA government strongly prescribes to the principles of sustainable use. They increasingly feel their national policies are being "dictated" by other countries and that emotions rather than science are driving biodiversity conservation decisions, including those taken at the IUCN World Conservation Congress where this Resolution and another contentious one (007 on domestic ivory markets) were passed. Some IUCN members feel that the dissatisfaction by the SA government over how these Resolutions were voted on and handled may be behind some of the unwillingness of the government to advance further on the implementation of this resolution.

- The Resolution was problematic from the outset. There was insufficient engagement with the SA government (Department of Environmental Affairs) ahead of passing the resolution. Realizing the Motion had flaws the proponents tried to withdraw it at the last minute.

- The South African Government strongly objected to the Motion and subsequent Resolution in the grounds that it is not implementable under the current legal provisions in the country. The government also noted that the lion captive breeding industry has successfully taken legal action against the Department in the past on this particular issue. The Department will not be able to legally substantiate the benefits of banning the hunting of captive bred lion in South Africa. Also the government felt the motion was largely based on ethics of hunting of these lions and the Department cannot regulate ethics because it does not have the legal mandate to do so. The Department stressed the importance of looking into scientific evidence on relationship between hunting of wild lions in South Africa and the hunting of captive bred lions. The Department is also concerned that the captive hunting industry is the biggest income generator in the South African trophy hunting as of statistics from 2014, and therefore banning the industry might result in substantial job losses.

- South Africa voted "No" on the motion that led to this Resolution because it is not implementable under the current legal provisions in the country. Recognising this, South Africa and the proponents subsequently discussed the motion's intent and consensus was reached on a revised motion. However, due to Rule 62 the motion could not be amended as the matter was voted and adopted online. In terms of the revised motion, South Africa and the proponents agreed to work together, through the IUCN South African National Committee mechanism to review existing legislative provisions and to draft, enact and implement new legislation by 2020 and giving reasonable time frames to:
• Develop and implement norms and standards, supported by the South African Scientific Authority, that define the conditions under which the hunting of Lions is regarded as “canned hunting” and to legally prohibit the hunting of lions under these conditions.
• Restrict captive breeding of lions to registered zoos or registered facilities that demonstrate a clear conservation benefit.
• Develop norms and standards for the management of captive-bred lions in South Africa that address welfare, biodiversity and utilisation aspects (including new emerging uses such as harvesting of lion for the bone and meat trade), taking into account Threatened or Protected Species (ToPS) regulations, legislation and IUCN guidelines governing this activity.
• Ensure compliance with, and enforcement of, all relevant legislation.

- The Resolution is very weak in that it does not define what is meant by key concepts such as "captive-bred" lions. What is the defined threshold between "wild" and "captive-bred"? What is meant by "enclosed areas".

On the request made to the South African Scientific Authority (to develop and implement norms and standards that define the conditions under which the hunting of Lions is regarded as “canned hunting”) the Authority has informed that they do not see this this as a priority activity.

- The South African Professional Hunters Association is split on the issue of canned hunting. This is making it difficult to engage on constructive dialogue with the industry.

- The implementation of the Resolution is further complicated by the legislative environment in South Africa where some decisions and authority for the relevant actions reside at the Central Government and some at the Provincial Government level. The different provinces use different definitions for key technical concepts and have different capacities to act. At times there is confusion who is responsible - the Central or Provincial government.

- There is disagreement as to whether banning the "captive bred" facilities will actually make the situation worse for the concerned lions welfare as the private owners may choose to stop caring for the animals

- Related to the above, the implementation of this resolution is also linked to issues related to lion bone trade and the ongoing discussions regarding setting of a quota for South Africa for lion bone (made possible through the CITES Appendix II listing). There are some concerns that in response to the pressure on this issue the industry may start withdrawing from keeping lions on their properties, "euthanise" the lions and sell the lion bone illegally. There is some concern from knowledgeable members including IUCN Commission experts that a ban of this industry may lead to an increase in illegal trade adversely affecting WILD lions in South Africa and elsewhere.

Briefly describe what future actions are needed for the implementation of this Resolution: 
IUCN SA members have prioritized the following:
- Focus on the RSA DEA to separate the hunting of captive bred lions from other sustainable use issues - rhino / elephant, and encourage them to adopt a leadership role around adopting and enforcing benchmark ethical hunting practices
Are these actions planned for yet: 
Status of implementation
Status of implementation for this Resolution: 
Initiated: first stages of implementation