CITES and ITTO Secretariat video conference meeting

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CITES and ITTO Secretariat video conference meeting

CITES Secretariat and the ITTO Secretariat organized a video conference meeting on 18 October 2019. Nine colleagues from both teams participated.

ITTO was represented by Mr. Gerhard Dieterle (Executive Director at ITTO), Mr. Osamu Hashiramoto (Director of Division of Forest Management, ITTO), Mr. Steven Johnson (Director of Division of Trade and Industry) and Ms. Kanako Ishii (Programme Assistant, Division of Operations). CITES was represented by Ms. Ivonne Higuero (Secretary-General, CITES), Mr. Thomas De Meulenaer (Chief of Scientific Services), Ms. Maria Isabel Camarena Osorno (Scientific Support Officer), Ms. Milena Sosa Schmidt (Coordinator of the CTSP) and Mr. Atila Seke (Tree Species Programme Assistant).

The focus of the meeting was discussing ways on how to further improve the cooperation between two organizations and identifying common goals. The European Union continues to request that ITTO is more involved in technical activities and not only in logistical ones with CITES. Both parties agreed to jointly produce a technical report on agarwood matters, as requested at the CITES Tree Species Programme Regional Meeting for Asia (25-29 June 2018, Yogjakarta, Indonesia), and to create together outreach materials, for better visibility and promotion, like professional video clips of the work done under the CITES Tree Species Programme.

Mr. Dieterle explained that ITTO is going through a restructuring phase and that it will have three main lines of work in the future: 1- Working on the legal and sustainable trade flows; 2- Conservation and biodiversity in productive forest areas; and 3- Landscape restoration and livelihoods. All these three lines of work are closely related to the work of CITES. ITTO also reported having had a meeting with the World Customs Organization (WCO) that would be also interested in collaborating in the work to promote legal timber trade.

CITES confirmed its participation at the 55th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (2-7 December, Lomé, Togo) and will present to Council a report on CITES activities with an update on the CTSP activities. During the same week of the Council of ITTO and in the margins of that meeting, the ITTO team will help CITES to organize the 5th meeting of the CITES Tree Species Programme Advisory Committee.

Both parties concluded that continuing working together in the future will bring the best results in protecting endangered tree species and contributing to promote globally the sustainable use of forests.