Summary of the First Day of the CITES CoP19

The nineteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP19) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) convened in Nov. 14 in Panama City, Panama.

Over the next two weeks, it will make decisions that will affect the future of more than 600 species of animals and plants and put in place regulations that will shape the international trade in wildlife globally.

As an observer to the CITES Convention, the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) delegation is attending the event in Panama and bringing real-time information.

CITES Secretary General, Ivonne Higuero said at the opening ceremony, “We are at a crossroads and the stakes are high. The decisions you take here will determine not just what kind of world we leave our children and grandchildren, but the world that we are going to live in in the months and years to come.”

Sonja Leighton-Kone, the Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, warned that in the past we have been living with, “an unsustainable extractive mindset, a mindset that fails to understand just how fundamental nature’s rich diversity is to our way of life.”

Panama’s Vice President, H.E. José Gabriel Carrizo said, “We are very well aware of how important it is to protect the biodiversity that we have. Panama is forming strategic alliances to do what we can to protect the planet and CITES definitely has a role to play in this.”

The business of the first day was to elect the Chair for the conference and that job went to Panama’s Minister of Environment, H.E. Milciades Concepción, as the representative of the host country. Dr Vin Fleming and Dr Rhedyn Ollerenshaw were elected as Chairs of Committee I and Committee II respectively.

In the opening ceremony of the plenary,traditional dancers swooped and swirled around each other, raising hats and swishing skirts in welcome.

China CITES Management Authority(CCMA) held its side event with the title of “China’s best practices in combating illegal wildlife trade”. The side event introduced the activities of Chinese government, NGOs and the public to combat illegal wildlife trade after CoP 18, discussed effective measures to combat illegal wildlife trade with other countries, and provided reference and replicable cases for relevant countries to carry out future work.

Original Chinese Article:


Checked by Sara


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