The CITES Tree Species Programme at the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES

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The CITES Tree Species Programme at the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES

August 19, 2019

The Secretariat presented document CoP18 Doc. 16 on the CITES Tree Species Programme during the CITES Eighteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Geneva (CoP18, Geneva, 17-28 August 2019). The report outlined the progress made with the CITES Tree Species Programme and thanking the European Union and the United States of America for their support and financial contribution to the programme.

All interventions from donors, potential donors and other State parties were supportive and positive. Delegates expressed their gratefulness to European Union for funding the CITES Tree Species Programme through the European commission. The work of the three Regional Coordinators was highly praised and delegates made a call for the continuation of this type of programme in the future.

The European Union supported continued partnership with the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), noting it was a major donor to the programme.

Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Species Survival Network and Forest-Based Solutions supported the draft decisions in Annex 1 to document CoP18 Doc. 16, and expressed appreciation for the programme positive impact on improving CITES implementation in relation to trade in tree species listed in CITES. Argentina, Benin, Cameroon and Senegal, however, noted that delays in the distribution of funds had resulted in implementation issues.

Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malaysia, Senegal, Uganda, and the United Republic of Tanzania expressed their desire for the programme to be extended beyond 2020, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania calling for expansion of assessments and data-collection under the programme, and Côte d’Ivoire noting wide interest in participating in the programme.

ITTO stressed its commitment to continuing to work with the CITES Secretariat and Parties and joined calls for extension of the programme. It highlighted the partnership between CITES and ITTO notably over the last 15 years and described it as a ‘shiny example of interagency collaboration It emphasized its desire for Parties to report their trade in Appendix II-listed tree species to the Secretariat at appropriate levels, to make these more meaningful for conservation purposes.

The Secretary-General expressed gratitude to the European Union for its support, to beneficiary Parties for their commitment and in-kind contributions to the Programme, and to her Secretariat colleagues.

The draft decisions in Annex 1 to document CoP18 Doc. 16 were agreed by the Conference of the Parties by consensus.

During the CITES Eighteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, the CITES Tree Species Programme also organized an Advisory Committee meeting where 32 experts from 18 countries were brought together on 18 August 2019. One day later, on 19 August 2019, more than 100 participants gathered to participate in the CITES Tree Species Programme Side event. Opening remarks were given by the CITES Secretary-General, Ms. Ivonne Higuero and, by the Head of the European Union delegation, Mr. Jorge Rodriguez-Romero.

The European Union congratulated the CITES Secretariat for their successful efforts in launching the programme since 2017 and invited other Parties to financially contribute to the programme in order to make it even more ambitious and supportive of producing countries’ efforts.

The CITES Secretary-General thanked the European Union for funding the CITES Tree Species Programme.

Photo credit: Kanako Ishi
CITES Secretary-General, Ms. Ivonne Higuero and Head of the European Union delegation, Mr. Jorge Rodriguez-Romero giving opening remarks.

Photo Credit: Mr. Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz
The Regional Coordinator for Asia (fourth from left in the photo) with members of the Malaysian Delegation at CITES CoP-18

Photo by Milena Sosa Schmidt
Meeting with Guatemala and Nicaragua on the tri-national project entitled Generation of capacities and technical management guidelines to prepare non-detriment findings oriented to Dalbergia species in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua

Photo Credit: Jean-Lagarde Betti
Meeting with Kenya and Tanzania on the Tri-national project entitled Conservation and Sustainable Management of Osyris lanceolata, for Economic Development in East Africa (Kenya-Tanzania-Uganda)

Photo by CITES Secretariat
CITES flag on Mont Blanc bridge in Geneva