Secretary-General's statements

Eighteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES Closing remarks of CITES Secretary-General, Ivonne Higuero Geneva (Switzerland), 28 August 2019 Chair, Alternate Chair, Chairs of Committees I and II, esteemed delegates, dear colleagues, It was a remarkable experience for me to be here at my first CITES COP as Secretary-General.  We had an enormous agenda at COP18, and there is so much I could say about what we have accomplished. But in the interest of time, I would like to highlight just several broad accomplishments that I believe will help to shape our work over the years to come.  
Eighteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES Closing remarks of CITES Secretary-General, Ivonne Higuero Geneva (Switzerland), 28 August 2019 Chair, Alternate Chair, Chairs of Committees I and II, esteemed delegates, dear colleagues, It was a remarkable experience for me to be here at my first CITES COP as Secretary-General.  We had an enormous agenda at COP18, and there is so much I could say about what we have accomplished. But in the interest of time, I would like to highlight just several broad accomplishments that I believe will help to shape our work over the years to come.  
World Ranger Day 2020 Message from CITES Secretary-General, Ivonne Higuero 31 July 2020 On World Ranger Day 2020, let us show our support for those who guard our planet’s wildlife and biodiversity. World Ranger Day is a day to honor the extraordinary work, courage and dedication of those who are on the front lines of conservation efforts in our valuable ecosystems and in the struggle against wildlife crime. We are fortunate to be able to rely on these courageous women and men who heed the call of nature and serve as the guardians of rainforests, reserves or national parks in every corner of the planet, under any climate or circumstance.
We share our planet with millions of species of wild animals and plants. We drink the same water as they do, enjoy (or survive) the same weather, and breathe the same air. Every year on World Environment Day, we acknowledge the need to protect our natural environment for the benefit of humankind. But let us at the same time also remember how our actions affect other species and the ecosystems that they create. Wildlife faces many threats. According to the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, which was released last month, the main direct drivers of species extinction are (in descending order) changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms (including hunting, fishing and logging), climate change, pollution and invasive alien species. To ensure the survival of wild animals and plants we must reduce the impact of each of these hazards.
We share our planet with millions of species of wild animals and plants. We drink the same water as they do, enjoy (or survive) the same weather, and breathe the same air. Every year on World Environment Day, we acknowledge the need to protect our natural environment for the benefit of humankind. But let us at the same time also remember how our actions affect other species and the ecosystems that they create. Wildlife faces many threats. According to the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, which was released last month, the main direct drivers of species extinction are (in descending order) changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms (including hunting, fishing and logging), climate change, pollution and invasive alien species. To ensure the survival of wild animals and plants we must reduce the impact of each of these hazards.
Seventh session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-7) (delivered by CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero on behalf of BLG members) UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France, 29 April 2019   Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention on Wetlands) International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)
Seventh session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-7) (delivered by CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero on behalf of BLG members) UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France, 29 April 2019   Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention on Wetlands) International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)
The Secretariat regrets to announce that the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18), originally scheduled to take place from 23 May to 3 June in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as well as the associated 71st and 72nd meetings of the Standing Committee, are being postponed. This decision has been taken out of respect for the victims of the recent attacks and the recognition by the Standing Committee, the Secretariat and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security of the time needed for the Government of Sri Lanka to address the current situation in the country.
The Secretariat regrets to announce that the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18), originally scheduled to take place from 23 May to 3 June in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as well as the associated 71st and 72nd meetings of the Standing Committee, are being postponed. This decision has been taken out of respect for the victims of the recent attacks and the recognition by the Standing Committee, the Secretariat and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security of the time needed for the Government of Sri Lanka to address the current situation in the country.
The Secretariat expresses its heartfelt condolences to the people of Sri Lanka for the loss of lives and many injuries following the bomb blasts that struck churches and hotels today.     The Secretariat is in contact with the Sri Lankan Government and is monitoring the situation closely.   The security implications for CoP18 are being evaluated. Further information will be provided as soon as possible and in the meantime the Secretariat thanks Parties and observers for their patience and understanding. The Secretariat is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of the conference and all participants.   Ivonne Higuero CITES Secretary-General 21 April 2019