Greenland is a member of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), an international convention for the control of trade in wild animals and plants across national frontiers. It is the object that only sustainable trade to be permitted, i.e. no more should be removed from populations of wild animals and plants than they can sustain. This is regulated either by requiring special trade permits, or by totally banning trade in certain animal and plant species and parts thereof (skin, teeth, feathers, etc.).
Lists I, II and III
Depending on degree of endangerment, species are assigned to Lists I, II or III. International trade in species on List I is completely banned, and for List-II species, a positive declaration of sustainability is required, before CITES import or export permits can be issued (permits can be granted on request by the Ministry of Domestic Affairs, Environment and Nature).
Of the Greenlandic species of trade interest, the great whales (minus minke whale in Westgreenland) are on List I, while minke whale in Westgreenland, polar bear and narwhal are on List II, and the walrus on List III (the EU considers walrus a List-II species, however).
CITES authority in Greenland
In Greenland, the scientific CITES authority is Pinngortitaleriffik/The Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, and, consequently, this is where CITES declarations of sustainability are prepared. The declarations are based on a Conservative Approach, and, if possible, on international advising on sustainable hunting. Among other things, this means that the animals should be allowed the benefit of uncertainties in our knowledge.
CITES-Non Detriment Finding documents
2011 CITES – NDF Walrus
2009 CITES – NDF Narwhal
2007 CITES – NDF Beluga
2007 CITES – NDF Walrus
2005 CITES – NDF Narwhal