Championing wildlife at global biological diversity convention

Select ministers of environment, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism led a session to establish a framework for the Convention’s negotiations.Yesterday, after an opening ceremony held by the Mexican government, the 13th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD CoP13) officially started in Cancun, Mexico.

CBD is a United Nations multilateral treaty confirmed by 196 countries that gather every two years to discuss major threats to biological diversity as well as to develop strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

Prior to this opening, from December 2 to 3, select ministers of environment, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism from countries party to the Convention—known as the High Level Segment (HLS)–gathered under the theme “Mainstreaming Biodiversity for Wellbeing,” to set up the framework of the Convention’s negotiations under a document called the “Cancun Declaration On Mainstreaming the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity for Well-Being”.

It is encouraging to see governments taking a multi-sectoral approach to promote sustainable practices within different economic sectors to reduce threats to biodiversity and promote its conservation and sustainable use.

IFAW will be present during the Convention, to share with the Parties our concerns and recommendations on several of the issues addressed in the convention such as: tourism, fisheries, biodiversity and climate change, biodiversity and human health, ecologically or biologically significant marine areas, invasive alien species, risks associated with trade in invasive alien species sold via e-commerce, biological control of invasive species and sustainable wildlife management.

CBD also offers us unique opportunities to learn from and share our work with government and NGO colleagues from around the world.  We will host –in collaboration with our partners- three events during the Convention:

  •  December 8: Effective Partnerships for Youth Engagement in Biodiversity Conservation: the Youth Forum for People and Wildlife.
  • December 14: Wild Animal Welfare, Conservation and Human Wellbeing: New Synergies to Enhance Biodiversity and Sustainable Development.
  • December 16: Effective Government-NGO Collaborations: Changing Public Attitudes and Behaviors to Support CBD Objectives.

We look forward to sharing more about each of these events in the coming days.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Jimmiel Mandima at IFAW
Deputy Vice President of Conservation
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime