(Amman, Jordan – 20 September 2022) In preparation for the upcoming CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Conference of Parties (CoP), which will be held in Panama from 14 to 25 November 2022, the focal points of CITES in the Middle East and North Africa will be gathering at a pre-CITES workshop in Amman, Jordan from 20 to 22 September 2022 to discuss and unify decisions and recommendations concerning the protection of species in the region.
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) is implementing the workshop under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Alia Bint Al Hussein and in cooperation with the HRH Alia Foundation, Shark Conservation Fund and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. Moreover, IFAW is excited to have the UNEP also participating in this workshop to facilitate building relations and partnerships between the concerned stakeholders and governmental agencies, to support the decisions agreed on, and provide expertise on ways to accomplish the goals set during this workshop, in the governmental framework.
“The CoP is of great importance to IFAW as it is the place where governments jointly determine trade regulations that can have great impacts in securing a sustainable future for many species,” says Elsayed Mohamed, IFAW’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Director. “Therefore, this workshop is crucial for our region to debate proposals and prepare regional recommendations on measures to improve the effectiveness of the Convention to protect wildlife both in the region and globally.”
Many proposals to include species in the CITES appendices will be discussed during this workshop. These will include sea cucumbers, Helmethead geckos, and glass frogs—a unique group of species currently classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Endangered that require protection due to their growing popularity in trade.
Furthermore, a proposal from Panama to include the requiem shark family, which includes 54 species, in the CITES appendices will be presented and debated as many of the sharks become endangered due to the unmanaged trade of fins. Dr. Akram Eissa Darwich, Programs Manager at IFAW MENA, states: “Governments are realizing that the international trade driving global shark declines must now be fully and sustainably managed.” He continues, “this proposal will ensure that shark populations, coastal or pelagic, have a future.”
Meetings of the Conference of the Parties are important events as they are attended not only by CITES Parties but also by observers, including representatives of multilateral agreements and non-governmental organizations involved in conservation or trade.
The CoP19 marks the 19th time that Parties have gathered since the Convention entered into force in 1975.
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