CITES E-Permitting Meeting Highlights Role in Sustainable Development

CITES14 May 2012: Asian countries recently discussed the development and use of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora's (CITES) e-permitting systems, and e-permitting's role in promoting legal, sustainable and traceable international trade in CITES-listed species.The meeting was held in Guangzhou, China, from 9-11 May 2012, and jointly organized by the CITES Secretariat and the Government of China and supported financially by China and the European Commission (EC). Asian countries, along with Brazil and Namibia, the UN Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Chair of the CITES e-permitting working group discussed the use of South-South collaboration and the positive impacts of CITES e-permitting systems on the provision of up-to-the-minute data for scientific findings and reviewing levels of trade.

Participants recommended bilateral and regional projects to assist Parties in planning and developing e-permitting systems, including a project between Brazil, Namibia and China on using new e-permitting technologies to ensure legal, sustainable and traceable trade.

CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon noted that the meeting exemplified South-South cooperation, and highlighted the collaboration between CITES and WCO, describing it as a first for a multilateral environmental agreement (MEA). Scanlon also emphasized that a sustainable future is being discussed in the context of the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), and that initiatives like the e-permitting systems help build the essential foundations for environmental sustainability and sustainable development. [CITES Press Release, 14 May] [CITES Press Release, 9 May]