Message for the next World Wildlife Conference - CITES CoP18

Ivonne Higuero, CITES Secretary-General

The 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will take place at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 23 May to 3 June 2019. This will be the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES in South Asia since CoP3 held in New Delhi, India way back in 1981.

All of us at the CITES Secretariat are very much looking forward to this important meeting of the Convention and it is our pleasure to work with the Government of Sri Lanka during this preparatory period. I wish to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Government of Sri Lanka for their generous support and commitment to hosting this meeting.

The agenda for the meeting will cover a great number of CITES issues for discussion by the Parties under the headings of strategic matters, implementation and interpretation matters, species specific matters and proposals for amending the CITES Appendices. These discussions will have a significant impact on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, especially when viewed in the context of the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the preparations for the post 2020 biodiversity framework.

Sri Lanka is privileged with great natural beauty, abundant wildlife and rich land and marine biodiversity in its extensive protected area system. This is the second time for a meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES to take place in an island country. It promises to be the perfect setting for the critical global discussions on the conservation and sustainable use of wild animals and plants under CITES for both people and the planet.  We sincerely hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you in Colombo next May and supporting all stakeholders to achieve progress in meeting global biodiversity commitments.

Ayubowan!

See you in Sri Lanka!