CITES CoP 16 Closes with Renewed Commitment to Halt Species’ Decline and Wildlife Crime
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The sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP 16) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) adopted 55 new listing proposals, saw the first global meeting of wildlife enforcement networks and adopted measures to address wildlife crime.

15 March 2013: The sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP 16) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) adopted 55 new listing proposals, saw the first global meeting of wildlife enforcement networks and adopted measures to address wildlife crime.

CITES CoP 16, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, brought together more than 2,000 participants from 170 countries, including more than 200 non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations. Delegates at the meeting adopted new listing proposals including on, inter alia, sharks, manta rays, turtles and timber. Nine proposals were rejected (Caspian snowcock, Tibetan snowcock, saltwater crocodile, Siamese crocodile, South American freshwater stingray, Rosette river stingray, blood pheasant and 2 species of freshwater turtles). Three proposals were withdrawn: Southern white rhino; and two on African elephants. Three were not considered: Indochinese box turtle; Ryukyu black-breasted leaf Turtle; and Annam leaf turtle.

The CoP also adopted measures to address wildlife crime and established Wildlife Incident Support Teams (WISTs) to be dispatched at the request of a country following serious poaching incidents.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the International Consortium to Combat Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) convened several events on transboundary wildlife crime. John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES, praised the level of international cooperation in this regard, emphasizing that these international commitments will now be translated into national action, with the CITES Standing Committee reviewing progress between now and CoP 17 in 2016.

CoP 16 was marked by a general effort towards consensus, with member States declaring 3 March as World Wildlife Day. At the conclusion of the meeting, many delegates commented that they were “very happy” with the outcomes, with some remarking that CoP 16 had been the most successful CoP in CITES’ 40 years, particularly for marine species. The next CoP will be held in South Africa in 2016. [IISD RS Coverage of CITES CoP16] [CITES Press Release] [UNEP Press Release]


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