CITES, Voting, and Reservations: A Delicate Balance

Voting under CITES has, overall, been a strength of the Convention, both at CoPs and in its committees, including when considering compliance and implementation issues. Yet there is a sense amongst some that a vote is the choice of first resort, with the highest priority being to grow the list of species. CITES may find it beneficial to take a fresh look at how proposals are prepared and considered, including on consultations at national level, especially with Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and at the international level, both prior to submitting a proposal and during the CoP itself, as well as considering how proposals can address implementation issues.