CITES Meeting Addresses Cooperation with Other Multilateral Environmental Agreements and Organizations
In January, the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened member countries, non-governmental organizations, and other participants in Geneva for its 66th meeting.
Among the topics discussed in the 6-day event was CITES’ cooperation with other multilateral environmental agreements and organizations, in particular those with biodiversity mandates. According to Document 16.2 on “Options to Strengthen Cooperation, Collaboration and Synergies Between CITES and the other Biodiversity-related Conventions,” CITES has engaged with several organizations, such as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service (IPBES), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
One example is a series of joint workshops that CITES and the CBD will hold this year in order to “catalyze a coordinated approach among the Secretariats of biodiversity- related conventions, especially CITES and the CBD, which would in turn encourage coordinated implementation of biodiversity-related conventions at the national level.” Another initiative is the creation of a joint staff post between CITES and the CMS to assist in the implementation of their program of work.
The same document recommends that the Standing Committee provides “guidance to the Secretariat on how much effort it should devote to such synergies processes.” Interestingly, the IISD reports, “The US said synergies are most effectively leveraged at the national level and did not support joint reporting among conventions,” whereas Australia and Egypt supported “more streamlined reporting across biodiversity-related conventions.”