CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
Decisions taken during CITES CoP18 in Geneva will have a real and immediate effect on the legislation, regulation, and operating practices across the globe for international trade in species listed on the CITES Appendices. The CoP18 decisions will also have direct impacts on biodiversity, people’s livelihoods, and national economies.
At its 70th meeting in October 2018, the CITES Standing Committee considered:
- the “introduction from the sea” of sei whales;
- the suspension of commercial trade in Siamese rosewood, including finished products, from Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR);
- suspension of trade in African grey parrots and pangolin from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); and
- suspension of commercial trade in rosewood.
CoP18 will consider 107 agenda items and 57 species listings proposals, including proposals to add additional sharks, rays and timber species. The proposals on sharks and rays, jointly submitted by over 50 countries, highlight unprecedented support to list these marine species in CITES.
CoP18 will also address contentious issues such as trade in elephants and their ivory as well as rhino horn, with proposals to further restrict commercial trade, and counter-proposals intending to remove trade restrictions. The listing proposals include songbirds, amphibians, sharks and rays, marine ornamental fish, and rosewood timber species that are deemed to be affected by trade.
Furthermore CoP18 will consider a proposal on the establishment of a database for the storage and management of illegal trade data collected through CITES annual illegal trade reports.
Further information on the agenda is available on the official website of CITES.