CITES Secretary-General, Ivonne Higuero message for Ramsar CoP14

Updated on 22 November 2022

CITES Secretary-General, Ivonne Higuero's message to the Ramsar Wetlands Convention's CoP14

More than a third of the world’s wetlands have been lost since 1970 and the rate has been accelerating annually since the year 2000. These are some of the richest and most productive ecosystems in the world – comparable to coral reefs and rainforests.

Wetlands teem with wildlife, some species are found nowhere else. A simple acknowledgement of the value to humans of this biodiversity and an acceptance of the importance of protecting and restoring wetland ecosystems, would be a huge contribution to the Global Biodiversity Framework we expect to be agreed later this year.

This is one of the reasons that CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands have had such a close relationship over the years. We liaise and work with each other constantly because we know that it serves each of our interests, yet it’s more than that. If we continue to lose wetlands and wildlife species at our current rate, we’re courting disaster. If we restore our wetlands and conserve our wildlife we know that we are making a significant contribution to our own health and to building a different relationship with nature that will sustain us for the future.