CITES Secretariat welcomes 2018 London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade

Updated on 12 January 2021

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CITES Secretariat welcomes 2018 London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade


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London, United Kingdom, 12 October 2018 – The 2018 London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade, hosted by the Government of the United Kingdom, brought together global leaders from over 80 countries, and multiple other key role players, in London, from 11-12 October, and concluded with a renewed global commitment to fight the multi-billion-dollar illegal trade in wildlife.   

The 2018 Conference built upon the momentum generated by previous conferences on illegal trade in wildlife, held in London (2014), Kasane (2015), and Hanoi (2016), and contributed to secure increased political support at the highest levels for combating wildlife crime. No one country, region or agency can tackle illegal trade in wildlife alone, and strong collective action across source, transit and destination states is essential. This was also a strong focus of the Conference, which encouraged building coalitions with new partners, to scale up the response to illegal trade in wildlife. Approaches and strategies to reducing demand for illegal wildlife products also received significant attention during the two-day event.

David Morgan, Officer-in-Charge of the CITES Secretariat, said “CITES provides the fundamental legal framework for the regulation of international trade in 36,000 species of animals and plants, including their parts and derivatives, to ensure that this trade is legal, sustainable and traceable. Whilst legal, sustainable and traceable trade can have great benefits for the livelihoods of people and the conservation of many species, illegal trade in wildlife is highly destructive, and often associated with devastating economic, social and environmental impacts. We welcome the 2018 London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade and the further momentum it creates to address this serious and urgent matter”.

“The CITES Secretariat is committed to providing the best support possible to its Parties, to help them effectively comply with their obligations under the Convention. The CITES Secretariat will also continue to actively pursue the effective implementation of the Decisions and Resolutions agreed and adopted by its governing bodies, the CITES Conference of the Parties and the CITES Standing Committee, particularly in relation to actions to address illegal trade in wildlife”, added Morgan

The work of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) was also showcased at the 2018 London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade. ICCWC is a powerful collaboration between the CITES Secretariat, INTERPOL, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Bank and the World Customs Organization. The Consortium works to strengthen and support criminal justice systems, by mobilizing the technical support, tools and services needed to fight wildlife crime. ICCWC is able to continue to expand its delivery of well-targeted activities in response to growing demand from Parties requesting support from the Consortium, thanks to generous support from the European Union, France, Germany, Monaco, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, for the implementation of the ICCWC Strategic Programme 2016-2020.

The 70th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee, where concrete measures to achieve full compliance with international wildlife trade regulations and to address wildlife crime were agreed, was concluded successfully in Sochi, Russia, just one week prior to the 2018 London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade.

See also:

Declaration: London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade 2018

- Commitments – 2018 London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade,

Note to editors:

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With 183 Parties, 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 36,000 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.Learn more about CITES by visiting or connecting to: