Statements made by Mr John E. Scanlon, Secretary-General of CITES
CITES Asian Snake Trade Workshop, 12 April 2011, Guangzhou, China
It is a great pleasure to be here in Guangzhou, China to open this major international workshop. I am also delighted that this event is coinciding with the 30th anniversary of China becoming Party to the Convention on International Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which entered into force in this country on 8 April 1981.
The importance the Chinese Government attaches to CITES was admirably demonstrated by the celebrations that took place in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing at the end of last week. That prestigious building - one of China’s great landmarks - saw an impressive gathering, including Minister Jia Zhibang, State Forestry Administration, together with representatives of 31 Ministries and Departments. read more
Celebration of the 30th anniversary of the entry into force of CITES to China, the Great Hall of the People, 8 April 2011, Beijing, China
It is a great pleasure for me to join you today in this magnificent building – the most prestigious venue in China – to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in China. I am particularly delighted to be here today as this is the best possible timing for my first visit to China in my capacity as the Secretary-General of CITES. read more
30th meeting of the World Customs Organization’s Enforcement Committee, 21 March 2011, Brussels, Belgium
It was with considerable pleasure that I accepted the kind invitation to address this Committee, as it begins its deliberations on a very wide range of enforcement-related issues. This is my first visit to the headquarters of the World Customs Organization since assuming the post of Secretary-General last May and I hope it will be the first of many.
Last year, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, commonly known as CITES or the Washington Convention, celebrated 35 years since it entered into force. read more
29th session FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI), Rome, Italy, 1 February 2011
I am particularly delighted to be here to personally reinforce the importance of the relationship between CITES and FAO so early in my tenure. This partnership is essential to the effective implementation of the Convention in relation to commercially-exploited aquatic species, and for maximum coordination of conservation measures taken by each organization. In particular, I would like to highlight some of the good work we are doing together, as well as few areas where we could do more.
One of the recent positive aspects of our collaboration has been the CITES Secretariat’s consultation with the FAO Secretariat in preparing a discussion document on cooperation with FAO for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES. In that document, it was noted that “FAO is a historical partner for CITES, dating back to the adoption of the Convention in 1973”. read more
Illegal Tiger Trade session of the International Tiger Forum, St Petersburg, Russian Federation, 22 November 2010
Almost every part of a tiger has a value in the ‘black markets’ of illegal trade in wildlife. Its skin, bones, whiskers, collar bones, feet, claws, teeth, penis and tail have all been used for a variety of purposes. Illegal trade in tiger meat for human consumption appears to have increased in recent years. There is almost no end to the variety of ways in which those who trade in this animal can profit. Trade in live tigers, although very limited, also occasionally occurs, primarily for private collections of exotic species or as a status symbol.
Despite the best efforts of tiger range States, including the establishment of more and more protected areas, where one would have hoped tigers would be safe, the decline of this species in the wild seems almost unstoppable. read more
17th Special Meeting of ICCAT, 19 Novermber 2010, Paris, France
This is the first time that a Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known as CITES, or the Washington Convention, addresses the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. My intervention follows the active and constructive participation of your Chair, Mr Fábio Hazin, at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, held in Doha in March this year. Mr Hazin’s participation was much appreciated by both the Parties and the Secretariat and I am pleased to be able to make a reciprocal contribution by joining you today.
Most of you will already know that CITES is a legally-binding global agreement with 175 States-Parties, including all ICCAT members except Angola, which is currently in the process of acceding to the Convention, as are several other States. The Convention was adopted in 1973 and entered into force in 1975. read more
Geneva Environment Network briefing on the Outcomes of the Nagoya Biodiversity Summit, 10 November 2010, Geneva, Switzerland
Let me start by extending my sincere congratulations to the Government of Japan, through Minister Mizushima, for achieving a successful outcome in Nagoya. The diplomatic effort put into the meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) – both before and during the CoP - coupled with announcements of additional financial commitments, was critical.
The diplomatic effort was obvious to many of us based here in Geneva through the various briefing sessions held by the Permanent Mission of Japan in the lead-up to the CoP, which helped to build a positive momentum in the lead-up to the Nagoya CoP.
There was also a broad community of interest in the CoP from within and outside of the United Nations (UN) system, which also helped build momentum. read more
79th Interpol General Assembly, 8 November 2010, Doha, Qatar
I last stood in this magnificent building in March of this year, when I was introduced to the 175 Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora - widely known as CITES or the Washington Convention. I had just been selected to become the new Secretary-General of CITES, following the retirement of my predecessor.
The Government of Qatar was hosting the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES and it did an outstanding job in organizing the event. Delegates to the CITES meeting thoroughly enjoyed the arrangements and the very warm hospitality offered by the Government and people of Qatar and I'm confident that INTERPOL's General Assembly will have similar positive experiences.
As you might imagine, it was a proud and privileged day for me to take up the position as head of one of the oldest, and I like to think the most successful, multi-lateral environmental agreements. Although not nearly as old as INTERPOL, CITES celebrated 35 years of regulating international wildlife trade earlier this year. I feel no less privileged today to have been invited to address this august body. I am apparently the first Secretary-General of CITES to speak at a General Assembly of INTERPOL and I am very grateful to Secretary General Noble for inviting me to participate. I am especially pleased to be able to talk to you shortly before you consider a draft Resolution from INTERPOL's General Secretariat on the subject of environmental crime. read more
Global Tiger Initiative side-event
at CBD CoP10,
28 October 2010, Nagoya, Japan
The subject of conservation of tigers is one that the CITES community has given a special focus to over many years. The CITES Secretariat has also been a very active player in the Global Tiger Initiative, since the President of the World Bank asked the Secretariat to take the lead in providing enforcement-related advice to the Initiative.
Many of the pressures that tigers currently face, such as loss of habitat, conflict with humans and their livestock, and a declining prey base, are being addressed by others. It is in the fields of regulating trade, or combating illegal trade, that the expertise of CITES has been called upon.
This event takes place during the Chinese Year of the Tiger, the International Year of Biodiversity and during this meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is an appropriate time and place to focus on the tiger as one of our planet’s flagship species. The well-being of the tiger reflects the health (or otherwise) of the forests and jungles in which it lives. Regrettably, the ever-declining numbers of tigers tell us that many of those habitats are similarly under pressure. read more
High-Level Segment of CBD COP 10, 28 October 2010, Nagoya, Japan
I have the honour of presenting an agreed joint statement on behalf of the Secretariats of four biodiversity-related conventions, namely the: Ramsar Convention, World Heritage Convention, CITES and CMS.
Each of the conventions I am speaking for today has a very specific mandate, and while they may be more targeted in scope than the CBD, they contribute towards achieving the same objectives of supporting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
They are longstanding, complementary and effective tools, designed to be highly operational and to make a difference on-the-ground – with each having between 114 and 187 Parties. And it is through these Conventions that the international community has: read more
Statement on concerns expressed about confiscated orangutans, 20 May 2010, Geneva
The Secretariat has recently received a number of emails
urging the return to Indonesia of 11 orangutans confiscated
by the CITES Management Authority of Thailand in February 2009.
In keeping with its responsibilities to promote enforcement
of the Convention and to assess and communicate relevant information,
the Secretariat contacted the Thai Management Authority about
these messages. The Thai Management Authority responded immediately,
stating that the animals had been well cared for since their
confiscation and that DNA analysis showed they were Bornean
orangutans. It advised the Secretariat that the Thai and Indonesian
authorities had been consulting about the possible return of
the animals - as both countries had arranged for the return
of a number of orangutans three years ago. The Thai Management
Authority further stated that it had written officially to
the CITES Management Authority of Indonesia earlier this month
to find out whether it would like the animals to be returned
at its expense – as provided under Article VIII of the
Convention. read more