sanctions (of appropriately limited scope and duration) that predate adoption of the WTO, such sanctions are not mandated by any specific provision of CITES. While this issue has never been specifically addressed by a complaint to the WTO, there is a fairly strong contention that unilateral acts by states to restrict trade of other states could be successfully challenged in a WTO proceeding. This important issue has not yet been settled and most likely will not be until such time as an actual dispute arises and is decided within the WTO structure.
In April, officials of Taiwan broke up an ivory smuggling operation and seized 1,200 kilograms of ivory, including 51 whole elephant tusks. In September, a joint operation between the British police and the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals uncovered a cache of 105 white and black rhino horns, with a value of over $2.8 million. Jail sentences for illegal wildlife trading are increasing. In the United Kingdom, a Dutch wildlife dealer, Mr. Nicholas Peters, received a two-year prison term for smuggling skins and skulls of listed species. In Hong Kong, a man was sentenced to 15 months in prison for the sale of illegal wildlife items such as Asiatic Black Bear paws and pangolins. China continues to take a hard line in protecting the panda. In September, two men were sentenced to death for possession of two giant panda pelts. In the United States, Mr. Tony Silva pleaded guilty to charges related to the smuggling of upwards of $1.5 million worth of hyacinth macaws and other rare birds. He received a sentence of 82 months in jail.
In 1996, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the US Humane Society offered South Africa payments over several years that will total over $2.5 million for the purchase of land for elephant habitat and for research on elephants. The terms of the agreement are reported to include a perpetuity agreement by the government not to cull elephants from certain areas and an informal agreement not to support the downlisting of elephants to Appendix II at the 1997 COP. While the exchange of program funds for political support is not unheard of between states, it is unusual when suggested by NGOS.
David S. Favre
The Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas (Compliance Agreement) approved by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)