The 74th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES SC74) opened in Lyon, France, on Monday, 7 March 2022. It was the first time the CITES bodies came together since the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world and travel to a halt.

Ivonne Higuero, CITES Secretary-General, emphasized that the meeting is taking place during a period with a strong focus on environmental matters, citing the UN Environmental Assembly adopting a resolution to end plastic pollution and forge an international legally binding agreement by 2024. Barbara Pompili, Minister of Ecological Transition, France, and Jean-Patrick Le Duc, head of the French delegation, on behalf of Bérangère Abba, Ministry of Ecological Transition, France, both highlighted that parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and stakeholders will meet the week after this meeting of the Standing Committee (SC74) to discuss the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

SC Chair Carolina Caceres (Canada) stressed that protecting the natural heritage is a Herculean feat, as is ensuring that trade does not harm it, and proceeded to guide the participants through a jam-packed agenda.

 Throughout the day, participant discussed, among other matters:

  • administrative and financial issues;
  • access to funding through the new Global Environment Facility Wildlife Conservation for Development Integrated Programme;
  • arrangements for the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP), dubbed the “CoP of the Americas”;
  • the CITES Strategic Vision 2021-2030, with the mapping of the CITES Strategic Vision 2021-2030 objectives against the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals; and
  • the role of CITES in reducing risk of future zoonotic disease emergence associated with international wildlife trade.

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