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73rd Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee

5–7 May 2021 | Online

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – CITES

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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.

Final report

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73rd Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee

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Leopard
Photo courtesy of USNR/ACBK/CADI

For the first time in its history, the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES SC73) convened online. The meeting was originally scheduled for October 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Standing Committee provides policy guidance to the Secretariat on the implementation of the Convention, oversees the management of the Secretariat’s budget, and coordinates the work of the other committees and working groups. The work of SC73 will feed into the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, which is expected to convene in 2022.

The meeting took place daily from 12:30 – 3:30 pm CET (GMT+2) on the KUDO platform with interpretation in English, French and Spanish. It was streamed live in all three languages on the CITES YouTube Channel.

Among many issues, SC73 considered:

  • The Animals and Plants Committees’ reports on the ambitious intersessional work programmes developed following the postponement of their originally scheduled meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • the draft Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) - CITES Joint Work Programme 2021-2025;
  • the draft Programme of Work for the Joint CITES-CMS African Carnivores Initiative;
  • implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of the Convention;
  • the draft terms of reference and a modus operandi for the CITES Big Cat Task Force;
  • a report by Madagascar on its implementation of Resolution Conf. 11.9 (Rev. CoP18) on Conservation of and trade in tortoises and freshwater turtles; and
  • a risk analysis for future meetings of the Standing Committee and three different scenarios for the 74th meeting of the Standing Committee.

The Standing Committee also decided to establish an intersessional working group to consider what role, if any, CITES could play in reducing the risk of future zoonotic disease emergence associated with the international wildlife trade, including to provide a summary of views on the current contribution of CITES to identifying and mitigating zoonotic disease risk; and how CITES could further support an integrated approach to animal, human and environmental health; and contribute to global efforts to reduce the risk of future zoonotic disease emergence associated with wildlife trade.

Earth Negotiations Bulletin provided daily digital reporting, and a summary and analysis of SC73.

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