Global leaders vote to protect many wildlife species at Bangkok meeting

Dear Friends:

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

8 Responses to “Global leaders vote to protect many wildlife species at Bangkok meeting”

  1. Donna Mackenzie Says:

    Huge thanks to you as well Will, and everyone else at Born Free. Hope you’re all having a very well deserved few days off on return from CITES.

  2. gill gilbey Says:

    I.m confused,I know many good things have come out of the Bangkok meeting BUT I wait to see if any change will happen SOON!Without real sanctions on China and an SAS type force in places like Kenya and penalties to lock poachers up for a long time I think the widespread slaughter of elephants will continue.But I congratulate Bornfree and others on making some headway.How can there be any acceptance of an “ivory trade” this idea should be outlawed once and for all.The word ivory should be replaced with TUSK.

  3. virginia mckenna Says:

    I am so proud of you all and say a huge thank you on behalf of all those animals which, thanks to you, have a stronger chance to survive the dangers, the greed and indifference of so many people who seem to think of life only in terms of money. Virginia.

  4. Carol Smith Says:

    A big thanks for all your hard work and those of many others at CITES. Thanks too for your regular updates, blogs and videos that enabled us to follow the developments on an almost daily basis, much appreciated. Much good came out of this meeting, but I still worry about poaching of eles and rhinos.

  5. Catherine Clarke Says:

    It is fantastic news. We are winning the war bit by bit, but we must carry on fighting. Thank you to you and all at Born Free.

  6. Karen Botha Says:

    Will, thank you for your regular updates on the CITES proceedings and for explaining to us the in’s and out’s of an unnecessarily complicated system to protect the future for our kids ! Karen

  7. Julie Titcombe Says:

    I echo the woods of Gill Gilbey above. Until there is a 100% stop to the cruel activities of poachers and traders across the world especially Asian countries, I will not believe this horrific treatment of animals will stop until they are all able to live their lives as nature intended without the fear, threat, pain, trauma and emotional effect to their species has been eradicated once and for all. I just cannot bear to continue reading and seeing the continue barbaric treatment and beliefs of some jeopardising our wonderful natural world. Please lock up all concerned and police advanced deterents and punishment to those offenders. They are not only cruel to animals but also offending and traumatising the people that do actually care about our wildlife knowing what they have to offer and also knowing that they feel pain and distress.

  8. Chris Says:

    Congratulations with all the tangible results you achieved during the Bangkok meeting.

    Thank you for the role that you play in addressing the challenge and the cruelty of what we are up against despite the overwhelming obstacles ahead.