France is preparing to host 74th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Lyon, with the support of the Metropole, and ensuring safe sanitary conditions for the participants.

France to host 74th meeting of the Standing Committee of CITES in Lyon

16th December 2021 - The upcoming 74th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee will take place in the Metropolis of Lyon (France) and bring together members and observers to review strategic, policy and species-specific matters affecting the implementation of the Convention in preparation for the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP19) to take place in November 2022 in Panama.

Amongst many others matters that require careful consideration, the CITES Standing Committee will discuss the following issues:

  • A possible new resolution on CITES and international forest policies;
  • the potential role of CITES in reducing the risk of future zoonotic disease emergence associated with international wildlife trade;
  • engagement of indigenous peoples and local communities and livelihoods in matters related to conservation and sustainable use of wild fauna and flora;
  • compliance and enforcement matters related to Malagasy ebonies, palisanders and rosewoods, and totoaba fish; and
  • reports on jaguars, eels, seahorses, marine turtles, rosewoods, west African vultures, pangolins, sharks and rays.

As a result of the restrictions put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in 2020, the 73rd meeting of the Standing Committee, the 31st meeting of the Animals Committee and the 25th meeting of the Plants Committee were all postponed and took place in a fully online setting in May and June 2021. Thanks to this generous offer from the Metropolis of Lyon in France, the deliberations of the 74th meeting of the Standing Committee are planned to take place from 7-11 March 2022, the first in-person CITES meeting to be held since the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in August 2019. In the same year where a Global Biodiversity Framework is expected to be adopted by UN Member States, the Standing Committee deliberations will underline the commitment of CITES Parties to contribute to its success by regulating international trade in wild animals and plants so that it is sustainable, legal and traceable. With the invaluable support of both the French Government and the Metropolis of Lyon, the proceedings will serve to underscore the political will of CITES to achieve the joint biodiversity objective to live in harmony with nature. 

France will take all the measures required to ensure the safety of the participants in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.  France and the CITES Secretariat signed the Host Country Agreement on 15 December 2021 paving the way forward for an in-person meeting in the atypical venue of a hippodrome in Lyon, the culinary capital of France. The President of the Metropolis of Lyon, Mr. Bruno Bernard said: “We are very glad to host the 74th meeting of CITES, as conservation of wild fauna and flora is a key policy of the Metropolis”, a sentiment echoed by Ms. Bérangère ABBA, Secrétaire d'Etat à la biodiversité (France) who stated: “CITES is one of the most effective international conventions for protecting global biodiversity by combating wildlife trafficking. For this reason I am very happy that France is hosting the meeting of its Standing Committee in the Metropolis of Lyon in March 2022. Once again, after having organized the World Conservation Congress in Marseille with the IUCN, France sets up the scene to advance the protection of biodiversity globally. We cannot act alone on a phenomenon of this magnitude.“ 

Standing Committee Chair Carolina Caceres said: “I am grateful to the Secretariat, Parties and observers for remaining steadfast in their commitments to the Convention despite the challenges we have faced. The past year was a reminder of the urgent need to reform our relationship with nature and to conserve the species and ecosystems upon which our own well-being depends. Though we are pleased that we can once again plan to hold our discussions face to face, the Standing Committee and the Secretariat are conscious of the continuing difficulties caused by the pandemic around the world. Full and meaningful participation is of critical importance and we have high hopes to hold this meeting in person as planned.”

Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said: “We are truly grateful to the French Government for their generous offer to host the 74th meeting of the Standing Committee, and for supporting the return of in-person meetings at this crucial time. This meeting will be the first major milestone of a momentous year for the Convention, as we look ahead to the upcoming CoP19 meeting in Panama. It is our duty, that of Parties and the Secretariat, to ensure we can continue reinforcing CITES to address the major challenges of biodiversity loss and species conservation through the important work of the Standing Committee. The Secretariat will do its utmost to support Standing Committee members on the matters that awaits them in their fulfillment of these key mandates.”

The Standing Committee steers the work and performance of the Convention in the periods between the meetings of the Conference of the Parties, providing policy and operational guidance to the Secretariat and overseeing its budget. It also coordinates and oversees, where required, the work of other committees and working groups, carries out tasks given to it by the Conference of the Parties, and drafts resolutions for consideration by the Conference of the Parties at their next meeting.

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
CITES Secretariat: Sofie H. Flensborg, [email protected], +41229178464