The 77th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee illustrated the importance of collaboration with other MEAs, including the Convention on Migratory Species and the World Organization on Animal Health.
SC77’s recommendations cover, inter alia, 11 agenda items on Article XIII compliance cases, the establishment of the CITES Global Youth Network, and stockpiling timber.
The Standing Committee (SC) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) adopted recommendations on consideration of possible future interaction between CITES and the new agreement on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
It also illustrated the importance of collaboration with other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), including the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the World Organization on Animal Health (WOAH).
This year, the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting notes, CITES is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its signing in 1973. Having grown to 184 parties in the past five decades, the Convention regulates international trade in more than 40,900 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, and “has successfully helped detain criminals, curtail the trafficking in listed species, regulate the legal trade, and contribute to bringing back species from the brink of extinction, such as the markhor and vicuña.”
According to ENB, the 77th meeting of the CITES SC (SC77) had little time to celebrate as delegates had 71 agenda items to cover, “with over 101 related documents spanning some 2,701 pages.” The SC Chair and the Secretariat had to make quick decisions about “noting” 17 documents and deferring their consideration to SC78. As a result, the Secretariat allocated an additional sixth day to the SC78 schedule.
The ENB analysis of the meeting notes that “compliance discussions took up a fair part of the week.” Highlighting the Convention’s “multifaceted approach to compliance,” ENB explains that “at parties’ invitation, the Secretariat can conduct in-country missions to assess compliance matters, including through visits to breeding facilities and customs control agencies.” The SC can then recommend trade suspensions against non-compliant parties. “While it remains up to parties to implement these suspensions, such a provision stands out amid an MEA landscape that often relies on collective assessments of progress and only reputational repercussions,” ENB observes.
SC77’s recommendations cover, inter alia:
- 11 agenda items on Article XIII compliance cases;
- the establishment of the CITES Global Youth Network;
- seizure reporting on big cats;
- monitoring elephant poaching; and
- stockpiling timber.
The 77th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 6-10 November 2023. [ENB Coverage on CITES SC77] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Adoption of High Seas Treaty]