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Delegates adopted 46 proposals to increase or decrease controls on international trade in wildlife and wildlife products, bringing many species of sharks, lizards, turtles, fish, birds, frogs, and plants under the Convention’s control to ensure the sustainability of these species in the wild while allowing their international trade.
Delegates successfully completed a challenging agenda of 89 items, 117 documents, and 5,000 pages, encompassing issues from big cats conservation, to tree species, to fish, sharks and rays, marine turtles, seahorses, Tibetan antelopes, and saiga antelope, preparing the way for the next Conference of the Parties in Panama in November.
The CITES Standing Committee agreed to give input to the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, work on the African Carnivores Initiative, and conduct a risk analysis for future meetings amid the pandemic.
COP18 highlighted the increasing pressures on CITES as an instrument to counter the rising scale of biodiversity loss, as parties struggled to address stresses other than trade on wildlife populations, including habitat loss, disease outbreaks, and human-wildlife conflict. These are issues CITES is not designed to regulate but must consider when considering what “sustainable use” of endangered species means.
The seventieth meeting of the Standing Committee (SC70) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened from 1-5 October 2018 in Sochi, Russian Federation. Over 700 participants from national governments, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations attended the meeting
Delegates considered 90 agenda items and 62 species-listing proposals submitted by 64 countries. Some of the resolutions and decisions adopted concern: actions to combat wildlife trafficking; demand reduction strategies to combat illegal trade in CITES-listed species; provisions on international trade in hunting trophies of species listed in Appendix I or II aimed at enabling better controls of the sustainable and legal origin of those specimens; and more
The Committee addressed a long agenda, including, among others: livelihoods, captive breeding, and species trade and conservation, with discussions focusing on elephants and National Ivory Action Plans, rhinos, Asian big cats, saiga antelope, great apes, pangolins, sharks and rays, sturgeons and paddlefish, ebony and rosewoods and African teak.