CITES welcomes G7 Environment Ministers Communiqué in the lead up to CITES CoP 17 in South Africa

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PRESS RELEASE

CITES welcomes G7 Environment Ministers Communiqué in the
lead up to CITES CoP17 in South Africa

 
Geneva, 16 May 2016: In its Communiqué released on 15 May 2016 after meeting for two days in Toyama, Japan, G7 Environment Ministers have reaffirmed that sustainable use of wildlife, including the legal commercial trade of wildlife may be beneficial to biodiversity conservation by engaging local communities, and in this context have reaffirmed their commitment to effective implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). 
 
G7 Environment Ministers also stated that illegal trade in wildlife remains a major threat to the survival of certain species of wildlife, and has adverse impacts not only on conservation but also on the social and economic issues, including the loss of natural and cultural heritage, mainly in range states. Ministers stressed the importance of taking and supporting action to combat illegal trade in protected species of wild fauna and flora, including administrative, legislative and other measures, in line with previous commitments to the UN General Assembly, the First UN Environment Assembly, and at the London and Kasane Conferences on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, each of which recognize the legal framework and important role of CITES and the need to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Convention.
 
In addition, G7 Environment Ministers expressed their determination to combat illegal logging and associated trade and to support the use of legally harvested and sustainably produced timber.
 
“We warmly welcome this Communiqué in the lead up to CITES CoP 17, which includes significant agenda items that address the sustainable use of wildlife, tackling illicit wildlife trafficking, engaging with local communities and bringing many new species, including timber species, under CITES trade controls” said John E. Scanlon CITES Secretary-General. 
 
Extracts from Communiqué:
 
Sustainable use of wildlife
 
28. As economic instruments complement other approaches, we reaffirm that sustainable use including the legal commercial trade of wildlife may be beneficial to biodiversity conservation by engaging local communities. In this context, we reaffirm our commitment to effective implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
 
Tackling illegal trade in wildlife
 
29. The illegal trade in wildlife remains a major threat to the survival of certain species of wildlife, and has adverse impacts not only on conservation but also on the social and economic issues, including the loss of our natural and cultural heritage, mainly in range states. Hence we stress the importance of taking and supporting action to combat illegal trade in protected species of wild fauna and flora, including administrative, legislative and other measures, in line with previous commitments to the UN General Assembly, the First UN Environment Assembly, and at the London and Kasane Conferences on the Illegal Wildlife Trade as well as last year’s Summit. We also take note of the efforts at other high level conferences to fight against illegal trade in wildlife.
 
Tackling illegal logging
 
30. Recognizing that illegal logging and associated trade contribute to environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, and deforestation, we are determined to take appropriate measures to improve forest governance, combat illegal logging and associated trade and to support the use of legally harvested and sustainably produced timber, as an important part of the international efforts to halt deforestation and forest degradation, and to conserve biodiversity.”
 
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Note to editors: For more information, contact Liu Yuan at +41 22 917 8130 or yuan.liu@cites.org

About CITES

With 182 Parties, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) remains one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of trade. Thousands of species are internationally traded and used by people in their daily lives for food, health care, housing, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics or fashion.

CITES regulates international trade in over 35,000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, to ensure their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment. The CITES permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable.

CITES was signed in Washington D.C. on 3 March 1973 and entered into force on 1 July 1975.

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