I write to you on the final day of deliberations at the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which has deliberated in Bangkok for two weeks on some of the most important wildlife conservation issues of our time.
And for those same two weeks the Born Free team has fought to address the rhino and elephant poaching crises, the intensive captive breeding of tigers, commercial logging of endangered tree species, the unsustainable fisheries that consume tens of millions of sharks each year, and so much more.
I am pleased to report that we have won success after success in these hard-fought debates. Vietnam, a major rhino horn consumer, was taken to task and urged to reduce demand; the West African manatee received the Treaty’s strongest protection with the support of almost all of the species’ range States; the African Elephant Action Plan, a blueprint for the species’ survival across the continent was reaffirmed and mechanisms for allowing new ivory trade were postponed; renewed calls to act on big cat conservation – lions, tigers, and cheetah – were sounded loudly; and commercially-fished shark and tree species were added to the CITES list of protected species for the first time.
A resounding success indeed!
So to the Born Free team, the Species Survival Network team, the team of dedicated government delegates who supported our positions where it matters most, and to you, who supported us every step of the way, I say thank you.
For the animals,
Watch a clip of Will’s address http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p68VTDXUQ2k