Charting the way forward for improved CITES-CBD synergy


Charting the way forward for improved CITES-CBD synergy

Effective collaboration between the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) took a step forward today with the release of proceedings from an international workshop on synergies between the two Conventions.

The proceedings document the results of four days of discussion and deliberation among experts from over 20 countries and a variety of disciplines, who met on the Isle of Vilm, Germany from 20-24 April. They identify numerous opportunities for achieving greater synergy in CITES and CBD implementation at the national and international levels, and include background papers on a variety of related issues.

"Given the challenge of the 2010 target to substantially reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss, it is obvious that more needs to be done both at national and international levels to enhance synergy and coherence among the biodiversity conventions,” noted CBD Executive Secretary Hamdallah Zedan. “Against this background, the initiative of the organizers and sponsors of the Vilm workshop is very welcome and most timely," he added.

Workshop participants paid specific attention to the issues of sustainable use of wildlife resources, access and benefit sharing, and linking site-based, thematic and species-based approaches to achieving biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. Changes desired within each of these areas were identified, methods and mechanisms to achieve those changes suggested, and possible constraints to achieving such changes noted. Other areas covered during the workshop included links to the WSSD 2010 target on biodiversity loss, the CBD Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, and alien invasive species.

CITES Secretary-General Willem Wijnstekers noted that “The results of the Vilm workshop should help Parties make better use of the different tools available in each convention to solve major biodiversity problems that are common to both.”

The workshop report has been tabled for consideration during October’s CITES meeting in Bangkok, and will be brought to the attention of participants in the next meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), tentatively set for February 2005, also in Bangkok.

“The workshop outcomes show numerous ways forward for enhanced CITES-CBD collaboration” added Teresa Mulliken of TRAFFIC International, Chair of the Workshop Steering Committee. “The challenge now is to bring the recommendations to the attention of CITES and CBD Parties, NGOs and IGOs concerned with conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits related to the trade in wild species. CITES CoP 13 and SBSTTA 10 provide excellent opportunities to do just that.”

The workshop and subsequent communication of the workshop outputs would not have been possible without the generous support of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The organisation of the workshop also benefited greatly from the contributions of the CITES and CBD Secretariats, Flora & Fauna International, IUCN – The World Conservation Union, ResourceAfrica and TRAFFIC.

To download an electronic copy of the workshop proceedings click here.

Requests for printed copies of the proceedings should be directed Martina Finger, Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (martina.finger@bfn-vilm.de).

For additional information contact Teresa Mulliken, TRAFFIC International (teresa.mulliken@trafficint.org).