WCS EU has issued the following statement from Dr. Janice Weatherley-Singh, Director, EU Strategic Relations:

“WCS EU congratulates the European Parliament for passing Resolution 2022/2681(RSP), on the EU strategic objectives for the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP19) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to be held in Panama from 14 to 25 November 2022.

“CITES CoP19 is a critical meeting where world governments will make decisions aimed at ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.

“We join the European Parliament in calling on the EU and all governments to put an end to all illegal and unsustainable trade. The European Union (EU) has a key role to play as it continues to be a major demand market, transit hub, and source for species trafficked at a global scale.

“The COVID-19 global pandemic serves as a reminder that the wildlife trade not only potentially threatens vulnerable species populations but also provides a significant pathway for pathogens previously contained in the wild to spill over to people and other animals, and to cause epidemics or pandemics, with disastrous societal and economic costs.

“We fully support the call from the European Parliament that CITES decisions should be based on scientific criteria aimed at the conservation of species and in particularly on the precautionary principle. We are, therefore, particularly concerned by the European Commission's draft positions on some of the proposals for freshwater turtles, that do not support conservation measures proposed by range countries for the species.

“Two weeks ago, the International Coalition of Concerned Turtle Scientists and Conservationists published a letter signed by 157 turtle scientists and experts from 46 countries urging the EU and other Parties to support the turtle Proposals submitted to CoP19.

“The EU must send a clear and consistent message that its positions are based on the best available scientific data and on the precautionary principle and err on the side of conservation and support the important reptile proposals submitted to the upcoming conference.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the EU and its Member States, and all CITES Parties to achieve a successful CITES CoP19, for the benefit of people and wildlife.”



The mission of WCS EU, based in Brussels, is to save wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, we draw upon the Wildlife Conservation Society’s field expertise and experience to identify, formulate, and articulate policy positions on issues such as wildlife trade and wildlife trafficking, integrating the conservation of wildlife and wild places into the European Union’s development aid programmes, and sharing this information with decision-makers. Visit: brussels.wcs.org. Twitter: @WCSBrussels. For more information: agoessens@wcs.org.