CITES SC66 Opens, Focuses on Illegal Wildlife Trade

cites11 January 2016: The sixty-sixth meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES SC66) has opened in Geneva, Switzerland. Chair Øystein Størkersen, Norway, emphasized the busy agenda and highlighted some of CITES' successes as well as key international developments: stronger alliances with other organizations; UN General Assembly resolution 69/314 on tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife; and the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon welcomed participants to SC66, and welcomed the European Union (EU) as a new party to the Convention. He highlighted increased international support and financing for CITES, such as the new Global Environment Facility (GEF)-supported Global Partnership on Wildlife Conservation and Crime Prevention for Sustainable Development. He drew attention to various activities undertaken in synergy with other organizations and thanked Israel and Georgia for hosting the Animals and Plants Committee meetings, respectively.

CITES SC66 is convening from 11-15 January. Participants will consider: reports of the intersessional working groups on Asian Big Cats, rhinoceros, pangolins and cheetahs; elephants, including a proposal by Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Kenya on the decision-making mechanism for authorizing ivory trade, and the report of the intersessional working group on the review of Resolution Conf. 10.9 on Consideration of proposals for the transfer of African elephant populations from Appendix I to Appendix II; the implementation of the CITES Strategic Vision: 2008-2020; reports of the Secretariat and Madagascar on ebonies and rosewoods and palisanders; reports on sharks and rays; and review of significant trade, including reports of the Animals and Plants Committees on evaluation. [IISD RS Coverage of SC66] [CITES Press Release, 11 January] [Opening Remarks, SC66 Chairmain] [Opening Remarks, CITES Secretary-General]