New CITES collaboration engages industry partners and global investors

Updated on 12 January 2021

For use of the media only;
not an official document.

Innovative financing to help expand capacity of countries to combat poaching
and illegal wildlife trade and promote sustainable use


CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon and President
of Innovative Finance, Robert Filipp

Geneva, 9 February 2012 - The Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), John E. Scanlon, and the President of Innovative Finance, Robert Filipp today announced a creative collaboration to develop a portfolio of innovative financing activities involving industry partners and the financial sector.

The collaboration includes marketing partnerships that will generate new revenue streams for conservation projects to protect the African elephant, the rhino and other species. It also includes a technology investment fund that aims to enhance the enforcement capacity of countries – for example through DNA analysis laboratories that use forensic science to support wildlife crime investigations and the development of modern traceability systems.

Mr Scanlon said: “The illegal trade in wildlife is estimated by some to be worth up to 10 billion dollars annually and is pushing many species towards extinction. It robs local people of livelihoods and countries of their natural and cultural heritage. Given the current economic and financial crisis, we need more than ever to be creative in how we raise fresh money to support transparent, accountable and effective conservation projects. It is on the ground that we have made a difference for almost 40 years and we need to continue to do so.”

With 175 Parties, CITES remains one of the world’s most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation through the regulation of international trade in wild fauna and flora. CITES regulates commercial and non commercial trade in about 35,000 species of animals and plants, including 350 tree species.

Innovative Finance is a Swiss foundation dedicated to financial innovation for social impact. It undertakes activities in equities, fixed income and alternative assets that generate market-based returns and sustainable revenue streams for development and social infrastructure. See for further information.

For further information, please contact:

CITES: Juan Carlos Vasquez
[email protected]
Tel. +41 22 917 8156

Innovative Finance: Leonard Lerer
[email protected]
+33 6 22 36 09 82


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