CITES Animals Committee discusses wildlife protection, conservation, and international trade
In August, the Animals Committee (AC) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened for its 28th meeting (AC28) in Tel Aviv, Israel. Over 200 participants from national governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations attended the meeting. This was the first time the European Union – the first regional organization to join CITES – attended the Committee as a full member.
The Animals Committee was established as part of the convention’s institutional arrangements in 1987, with the purpose of addressing the existing gap in biological and other specialized knowledge regarding species of animals that are or might become subject to CITES trade controls. The committee provides technical support to the decision-making about these species.
The committee discussed different issues including extinction status and threats, the periodic review of the species in Appendices I and II, the evaluation of the Review of Significant Trade, different systems of conservation management, and proposals of possible listings to be considered at the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) in September 2016. Participants also discussed reports related to the Convention’s efforts to cooperate with other biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), the provision of capacity building, CITES compliance and enforcement, the definition and implementation of trade controls, and species nomenclature.
Participants advanced in many issues related to conservation and international trade. However, some aspects still need to be addressed at the 27th Meeting of the Plants Committee in October, and all recommendations will be considered at the 66th meeting of the Standing Committee that will take place in preparation for COP17.
CITES is one of the conventions included in the Environmental Conventions Initiative developed by the Center for Governance and Sustainability at UMass Boston. This research project aims to assess the implementation of global environmental agreements and to create a policy space that supports the improvement of countries’ performance towards the fulfillment of their environmental goals.