While the world has been focussing on CoP 27 United Nations Climate Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, there is another, related and equally important CoP meeting happening in Panama for the next 10 days – the CITES CoP Conference.

‘CoP’ meeting is the most important meeting in the context of CITES, as Parties take on a significant body of tasks, including the following:

  • Reviewing progress in the conservation of species included in the Appendices;
  • Debating proposals to amend the lists of species in Appendices I and II;
  • Discussing documents and reports from Parties, the Standing Committee, the Animals Committee, the Plants Committee, or the Secretariat;
  • Recommending measures to improve the effectiveness of the Convention, including the drafting and adoption of Resolutions and Decisions to be implemented by all Parties, the Standing Committee, the Scientific Committees and the Secretariat;

Meetings of the Conference of the Parties are attended not only by CITES Parties but also by observers, including representatives of multilateral and non-governmental organizations involved in conservation or trade.

‘CoP 19’ will mark the 19th time that Parties have gathered since the Convention entered into force in 1975.

Some items of interest

  • Thursday 17th November:
    Scaling up efforts to address pangolin trafficking in Africa

    A side event with delegates from Gabon, Government of Kenya, Nigeria Customs, Fauna & Flora International and the IUCN SSC Pangolin SG

  • Tuesday 15th November:
    Coopération internationale pour l’analyse des grandes saisies d’ivoire et de pangolins – l’expérience du laboratoire de génétique du Gabon [International cooperation for the analysis of large seizures of ivory and pangolins – the experience of the genetics laboratory of Gabon]
    A side event held by the Goverment of Gabon
  • Monday 21st November:
    Participation of Local Communities in the Management of Protected Areas and Biodiversity Economy: A South Africa’s People and Parks, Wildlife and Bioprospecting Economy Programmes Implementation
    A side event hosted by the South African Department of Forestry Fisheries and the Environment
  • Tuesday 22 November:
    Creating a coordinated approach to combat wildlife crime linked to the internet
    A side event hosted by Costa Rica and IFAW

There are many interesting subjects under discussion. To see the entire list, click here


To visit the Cites Website, click here

To download documents from the agenda, click here

To live stream the sessions of this conference, click here.

Committee 2 deals with implementation matters, including species-specific matters. From Tuesday 15th onwards, you can livestream either Committee 1 or Committee 2.Live streaming starts at around 14h00 in South Africa (Panama is several hours behind us)

Wildlife trafficking on the internet

There are a few items on the agenda focusing on combating the role played by the internet in connecting traffickers to potential clients. To illustrate this very serious point, here is an article that appeared in the South China Morning Post today. It exposes some of the social media channels used to sell animals and their parts

On a ‘Buy and Sell Wildlife’ Facebook page, a broker proudly shows off photos featuring kilos of two-inch scales from the pangolin – a mammal whose skin and scales have made it one of the world’s most trafficked creatures.

We hope you can attend some of these discussion, albeit virtually, and if you feel strongly about the issues on hand, take action by supporting local conservation efforts to stop the illegal trade in wildlife.