CITES Scientific Advisory Bodies to resume meetings online in June

Animals and Plants Committees set to meet online.

Experts from the CITES scientific advisory bodies, representatives of Parties to CITES and observer organizations are set to attend the 31st meeting of the CITES Animals Committee and the 25th meeting of the CITES Plants Committee, which will take place online throughout the month of June.

This is the first time the Animals and Plants Committees are holding their formal meetings entirely online. Both gatherings were originally scheduled to take place in July 2020 but had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the Committees, Parties and observers are set to resume the work of the Convention’s principal advisory bodies, with the recent experience of the CITES Standing Committee’s first-ever online meeting showing the viability of the format in the context of the Convention.

In line with mandates given to the Committees at the eighteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, they will discuss the conservation and trade status of select species of wild fauna and flora and address a wide-ranging number of scientific and technical issues relating to trade in CITES-listed wildlife.

The Animals Committee will hold plenary sessions on Monday 31 May, Tuesday 1 June and Tuesday 22 June, with daily sessions between 12h30 and 15h30 (CET). Plants Committee members and observers will meet in plenary on Wednesday 2 June, Thursday 3 June, and Wednesday 23 June between 12h30 and 15h30 (CET).

Both Committees will also gather for joint sessions Friday 4 June and Monday 21 June, between 12h30 and 15h30 (CET).

Plenary and joint sessions will be broadcast live in English, Spanish and French and will be viewable by the public on the CITES YouTube Channels, using the links below.

Committee members will also be participating in closed in-session working group meetings from 5 to 18 June.

"The work of the Convention is valued because of the contributions of experts who provide up-to-date scientific data, which is why the resumption of the meetings of the Animals and Plants Committees has such strong significance. Contracting Parties need the specialized knowledge of their scientific advisory bodies to guide their decision-making," said CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero. "These experts who volunteer their time and effort must be recognized for their commitment, despite confronting pandemic challenges in their own lives, so that the requested advice is available for the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties next year."

Normally, the Animals and Plants Committees gather twice between each meeting of the Conference of the Parties, which takes places every 3 years. They bring together experts and scientists representing all major regions of the world, as recognized by the Convention.

The Committees provide scientific and other specialized advice to Parties, the Standing Committee, the Secretariat, and the Conference of the Parties, for which they also prepare recommendations and resolutions.