CITES CoP19: Bold steps needed to tackle the illegal and unsustainable trade in wildlife

Global conservation policy makers are meeting in Panama City (Panama) from November 14 – 25 on the 19th Conference of the Parties (CoP19) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Conference, the first held in Latin America in 20 years, provides an opportunity for governments to take a series of bold steps to tackle the illegal and unsustainable trade in wildlife and help reverse trends driving the loss of global biodiversity.

Over the course of the two-week summit, member states will consider more than 170 documents addressing the global trade in wildlife. This year’s meeting is a make-or-break moment for several threatened species, with proposals to review the regulations on trees, sharks and rays, tigers, marine turtles, medicinal plants, rosewoods, and other timber species. There are many new species being proposed for addition to the CITES lists governing their trade – including a number of trees, sharks, sea cucumbers and the medicinal plant, Rhodiola, or golden root. 

The SWiPE (Successful Wildlife Crime Prosecution in Europe) project team will be closely monitoring the developments from CoP19, as the regulation of European wildlife species and products is also on the agenda, with working documents related to the trade on European eel and sturgeon caviar. According to the SWiPE national reports, European countries are often transit or destination countries for a large amount of trafficked wildlife products.

More information on CITES CoP19:

Press Release from WWF International

Recommendations and analysis by TRAFFIC on priority wildlife trade issues at CoP19: read here

LIVE from Panama: watch the streaming from CoP19