CITES Secretary-General's remarks at the Regional Project to Manage, Monitor and Control Wild Fauna and Flora Species Endangered by Trade (KfW Project), Brasilia, Brazil

Inception Workshop

Brasilia, Brazil, 25 to 26 April 2017

Remarks by John E. Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General


Secretary General, Ambassador María Jacqueline Mendoza Ortega

Excellencies, Distinguished Participants, colleagues

I would like to express my deep gratitude to you for extending an invitation to the CITES Secretariat to address this important meeting.

CITES regulates international trade in over 36,000 species of animals and plants, both terrestrial and aquatic, including all parts and derivatives.

CITES and the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) have benefitted from long-standing collaboration to help ensure that any international trade in CITES-listed species in the Amazon Region is legal, sustainable and traceable.

Such a regional trade in wildlife takes many forms and includes international trade in a great variety of species such as peccary and caiman skins, orchids and timber, fish and amphibians, among many others. Well regulated trade can provide very real benefits for indigenous peoples and local communities, who are also the people who are most harmed by illegal and unsustainable trade.

The protection of wildlife from poaching and smuggling can also secure the wildlife resources that form the basis of nature based tourism experiences, which, when done properly can generate significant local jobs and income. It is a focus of attention for us this year, with 2017 being the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

The collaboration established under the past ACTO CITES e-permitting project, and the success it engendered, is reflective of our joint efforts. Such collaboration has been possible because of the vision that ACTO Member Countries articulated through its Amazon Strategic Cooperation Agenda and its topic on the conservation, protection and sustainable use of renewable natural resources.

The CITES Secretariat has followed closely the development and implementation of the Regional project to manage, monitor and control wild fauna and flora species endangered by trade (KfW Project) and is strongly supportive of its overarching objective to Contribute to conserving Amazonian biodiversity, particularly CITES-listed species. Threatened species that are not listed in CITES can also benefit from the activities under the Project and the guidance provided thought CITES.

Moreover, the focus of the Project on increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of management, monitoring and control of wild plant and animal species threatened by trade in ACTO Member Countries will provide the tools and mechanisms to legally and sustainably use the rich and unique biodiversity of the region.

The Project’s provision of resources to build or improve infrastructure related to information systems, harmonization of national e-permitting systems and the implementation of traceability systems very much reflects the desire of ACTO Member Countries to target illegal wildlife trade, protect livelihoods and conserve the region´s flora and fauna for future generations.

This work fully supports the outcomes of last year´s 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES held in Johannesburg, South Africa where many ACTO Member Countries, in their role as CITES Parties, provided crucial support for the adoption and revisions of many Decisions and Resolutions of direct relevance to the Amazon Region and the KfW Project.

With regard to the KfW Project, I note in particular Decisions and Resolutions adopted on enforcement, livelihoods, non-detriment findings, identification, electronic systems and information technologies and traceability, among many others.

This meeting provides a wonderful opportunity where ACTO Member Countries can bring the vision expressed through the objectives found in the KfW Project and the ACTO Strategic Agenda together to help make the Amazon region a leader in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Thank you again for inviting me to present to your meeting. I wish you every success and look forward to our continued close and fruitful collaboration.