Today, October 4, at the 17th Conference of the Parties in Johannesburg, CITES adopted a formal position on hunting trophies. The resolution recommends that countries fulfill certain standards and procedures – many of which have long been practiced by the hunting community – when deciding whether to issue export and import permits for hunting trophies of CITES-listed species. For example, hunting of some species “should produce conservation benefits” before trade is allowed. Even though some countries might try to use this provision to delay or prevent importation of certain species, the resolution provides balance by also recommending that importing countries thinking of blocking imports “consider the contribution of hunting to species conservation and socio-economic benefits, and its role in providing incentives for people to conserve wildlife.”
At CITES 182 countries, advised by their scientists, recognized the benefits that trophy hunting provides for species conservation and community livelihoods, acknowledging that countries are the best protectors of their own wildlife. They have agreed that attaching economic value to wildlife contributes to conservation and sustainable use of species. CITES Parties know that hunters are true conservationists.