Geneva, 2 January 2017 – If you are crossing today a customs check point at the airport or an international port be aware that new trade regulations for over 500 species of animals and plants are just entering into force. They were adopted 90 days ago in Johannesburg, South Africa at the 17thmeeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17). As the New Year starts, the 183 Parties to CITES (182 countries plus the European Union) - the international treaty that regulates global trade in wildlife - will harmoniously apply these controls to their citizens and businesses with the aim of protecting our irreplaceable wild fauna and flora.
CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon said “CITES CoP17 was a game changer for the world’s wildlife, with international trade in 500 more species brought under CITES controls, including high value marine and timber species. CITES also adopted a vast array of bold and powerful decisions addressing critical areas of work, such as curbing corruption and cyber-crime, and developing well-targeted strategies to reduce demand for illegal wildlife. These far-reaching outcomes of CoP17 will impact on wildlife and ecosystems, as well as on people and economies. We are all now focused on the implementation of these decisions for which we need equally bold concrete actions.
The amended list of protected species, called Appendices, is legally binding and will now be built into the national laws and practices of governments around the world to give them the required legal force. In the meantime, the nearly 400 resolutions and decisions adopted at CoP17, a number of which have ground-breaking potential, are to be implemented on the front line from today.
CITES Parties adopted 51 proposals to change the listing status of over 500 species of wild animals and plants under CITES Appendices, 39 resolutions (revised or new) and 351 decisions. Ensuring legal, sustainable and traceable trade in CITES-listed species is essential for their long-term conservation.