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CITES CoP17 Concludes on the Side of Wildlife and Science

“Science and wildlife conservation prevailed at CITES CoP17.” - Susan Lieberman, WCS VP of International Policy

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CITES CoP17 Concludes on the Side of Wildlife and Science
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - (Oct. 4 2016) - The following statement was issued by the Wildlife Conservation Society as CITES CoP17 concluded.

 

Said Wildlife Conservation Society VP of International Policy Susan Lieberman:

 

“Science and wildlife conservation prevailed at CITES CoP17. The decisions made by the gathering countries were based on the best available scientific information. Further, we were encouraged that governments fully embraced the precautionary principle by making decisions in the best interest of the species in the wild. After attending 11 CoPs, I strongly believe this was among the most successful CoP ever for wildlife.

 

“We particularly want to highlight and appreciate the science-based decisions on the following:

 

  • The transfer of all 8 pangolin species, 4 found in Africa and 4 found in Asia, to Appendix I;
  • The transfer of the African grey parrot, heavily sought after for the pet trade, to Appendix I;
  • The inclusion of all 9 species of devil rays, the 3 thresher shark species, and the silky shark in CITES Appendix II, resulting in international trade restrictions to ensure their exports are sustainable and legal;
  • The adoption of key resolutions and decisions dealing with closure of domestic elephant ivory markets; illegal trade in rhino horn; National Ivory Action Plans; the Decision Making Mechanism on elephant proposals; corruption; the critically endangered helmeted hornbill; illegal trade in cheetahs; sharks and rays; tortoises and freshwater turtles; and so much more.

“The WCS recommendations throughout the CoP were all based on science.

 

“WCS looks forward to continuing to work closely with Party governments, the Secretariat, and our IGO and NGO partners, to help ensure that the decisions governments made at this CoP are implemented effectively.

 

“WCS commits to continuing to scale up our efforts to combat the scourge of wildlife trafficking across the globe—from our on-the-ground work in the field in more than 60 countries; to working to assist governments in anti-trafficking, intelligence gathering and analysis, and enhancing enforcement; to working to reduce demand, based on sound scientific approaches; to working at the global policy level. 

 

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For WCS positions at CITES, go to wcs.org/cites

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.orghttp://www.facebook.com/TheWCShttp://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia  Follow: @thewcs. 

 

CITES
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.CITES regulates international trade in over 35,000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, ensuring their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment. The  CITES permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable. CITES was signed in Washington D.C. on 3 March 1973. The 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17) will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 24 September to 5 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Center. South Africa offered to host CoP17 at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Bangkok, March 2013), which was accepted by acclamation. Following discussions with the South African authorities and the finalization of an open bid process, the host city was announced through a joint media release on 19 June, 2015.