China: implications of recent CITES decisions examined
Chengdu, China, 28th October 2016—More than 60 participants from government, Chinese and US enforcement agencies, NGOs, academia and businesses attended an international workshop on illegal wildlife trade in China this week.
Participants reviewed the implications of decisions taken at the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) held earlier this month in Johannesburg, South Africa, in particular one to phase out domestic ivory markets, a commitment already made by both China and the US although the former have yet to announce their timetable for doing so.
“Tackling illegal wildlife trade was one of the main topics at CoP17, where it was clear there had been progress in enhancing collaboration between source, transit and consumer nations in addressing this issue,” said Jiang Zhigang, Executive Director of China’s CITES Scientific Authority (CITES SA). “This workshop should help improve the implementation of CITES measures within China’s complex wildlife trade arena, bringing benefits through improved enforcement and conservation actions.”
WWF and TRAFFIC presented key findings of a study carried out examining the feasibility of implementing a domestic ivory trade ban in China.
Now the decision has been taken, we encourage the Chinese government to implement the ivory ban as quickly as possible
Dr Yannick Kuehl, Regional Director for TRAFFIC in East Asia
“WWF and TRAFFIC are fully committed to supporting the Chinese government’s decision to implement the ban and have already scaled up our public engagement efforts to support it. We stand by ready to provide assistance within China and through our international communications networks.”
In July 2016, the US enacted its ivory ban commitment through new federal regulations that eliminate nearly all domestic ivory trade. Around the same time, China committed to announcing the timeline of its ban by the end of 2016.
Another key topic under discussion was innovative approaches towards demand reduction. At CITES CoP17, a Resolution was passed requiring Parties to develop well-targeted and evidence-based strategies to change consumer behaviour and reduce demand for illegal wildlife products.
Experts spoke about the use of social marketing techniques focusing on targeted consumer segments.
The workshop was co-hosted by TRAFFIC, WWF, China’s CITES SA and the China Wildlife Conservation Association(CWCA).
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