CITES SC 62 Opens in Geneva

Sixty-second meeting of the CITES Standing Committee dais23 July 2012: On the opening day of the 62nd meeting of the Standing Committee (SC 62) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which is taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, the Committee addressed: structure and length of future meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP); arrangements for COP 16; improving transparency of voting at COP meetings; and implementation of CITES Strategic Vision 2008-13.

Speaking on 23 July, SC Chair Øystein Størkersen (Norway) emphasized: continued challenges concerning national legislation, enforcement and the dramatic increase in elephant and rhino poaching; the global support for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and that CITES has an important role to play.

John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES, highlighted that getting CITES-related projects through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is no longer an aspiration, but a reality, with the GEF Council having approved a project to strengthen law enforcement capacity in South Africa's protected area system through forensic-based technologies focused on the rhino.

The Committee's discussions covered, inter alia, cooperation with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC).

During the week, the Committee will discuss: elephant issues, including increased illegal killing of elephants and ivory smuggling; a decision-making mechanism for a process on trade in ivory; causes for rising demand in rhino horn; tiger conservation initiatives; and illegal trade in great apes. [Statement of SC Chair] [Statement of CITES Secretary-General] [CITES Press Release] [IISD RS Coverage of SC 62]