Iraq Spotlight: A step towards CITES

c. IFAWThe Council of Representatives of Iraq has finished the second reading of a draft law to join the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The majority of council members during the 23rd session agreed there is a need to join CITES and protect wildlife in Iraq.

“Iraq is still not a member in CITES and we are very happy with this step forward,” said Dr. Elsayed Mohamed, IFAW Middle East and North Africa Regional Director. “IFAW is looking forward to seeing Iraq becoming a CITES member in the near future.”

IFAW’s office in Dubai is working closely with governmental parties in the Middle East and North Africa on how to implement CITES and Iraq is one of them. In the last few years, IFAW MENA has been in contact with the Iraq Ministry of Environment to encourage Iraq to join CITES. The efforts led to conducting and organizing a prevention of wildlife trafficking workshop in Al Sulimanya, Kurdistan January 15-19, 2012.   

The workshop covered many aspects of wildlife trafficking introduction to CITES, importance of CITES, common species in trade, how to issues permits, national legislations procedures and responsible agencies, encourage authorities to sign the convention and explain the benefits that Iraq shall be getting out of being a CITES member.

Iraq has one of the richest Arabian countries in wildlife and biodiversity but has been late to join CITES because of the unstable political life in recent decades.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jeffrey Flocken, Regional Director, North America
Regional Director, North America
Kelvin Alie, Programme Director, Wildlife Trade
Programme Director, Wildlife Trade
Campaigner, Germany
Campaigner, Germany
Tania McCrea-Steele, Global Wildlife Cybercrime Project Lead, IFAW UK
Global Wildlife Cybercrime Project Lead, IFAW UK
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy