Next week, SCI Foundation will participate in the 27th Meeting of the CITES Animals Committee (AC) Meeting in Veracruz, Mexico. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) established the Animals Committee in 1987, to fill gaps in biological and other specialized knowledge regarding species of animals and plants that are subject to CITES trade controls.
The Committee is comprised of members representing the six major geographical regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Central and South America and the Caribbean, and Oceania)thatprovide scientific and technical support to decision-making about threatened and endangered species.
Several important topics will be addressed at next week’s meeting. The “Review of Significant Trade” looks at trade volumes for all species protected by CITES. Trade includes live animals for purposes of pets, zoos, circuses (and more) and dead animals that have been made into various products used by humans.
Another important topic is what is called a “Periodic Review” of specific species. Every ten years of so, the biology and trade levels of certain species are reviewed to ensure they are properly protected by CITES regulations. The Periodic Review of the African lion, a three year study led by Namibia and Kenya, just concluded and will be reported at the Animals Committee. SCI Foundation Deputy Director of Conservation, Matt Eckert, will have the opportunity to provide science-based reasoning on how lions should be protected by CITES regulations.
Internationally, the information presented in the periodic review could impact the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to list the lion as an endangered species on the US Endangered Species Act. More importantly, it should clarify the FACTS on African lions and erase the misinformation intentionally being spread about the species by some organizations to influence public opinion and fundraising.
SCI Foundation will post updates from the meeting and follow up on the outcomes. Be sure to check in with us throughout next week to stay informed.
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