CITES and CBNRM: Proceedings of an international symposium on “The relevance of CBNRM to the conservation and sustainable use of CITES-listed species in exporting countries”
CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) provides a global regulatory system of permits and certificates for transboundary trade for over 34.000 species of animals and plants on its Appendices, including their parts and derivatives. However, many conservation experts consider the single-issue of CITES to be insufficient to effectively address the conservation of its listed species. That it lacks an explicit mechanism to address the social consequences of trade and listings is considered to be its most serious shortcoming.
A symposium on community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) for the conservation of CITES-listed species was organized by the Austrian Ministry of the Environment and the European Commission in Vienna, Austria, in May 2010. Its aim was to provide the necessary knowledge base for a broad policy discussion within the European Union on the relevance of local conservation programmes for CITES to achieve the goals as set out in its current Strategic Vision 2008-2013 (Res. Conf. 14.2). Supported by the CITES Secretariat, UNEP-WCMC, UNEP-CMS, CBD, IUCN-SSC, WWF, TRAFFIC, FAO, IIED and CIC, case study presentations came from Africa, Central Asia and South America, with four working groups addressing a range of issues including characteristics of successful CBNRM programmes; income generation and conservation implications of CITES species listings for CBNRM; impacts of trade restrictions; and the relevance to CBNRM of international biodiversity goals, policies and initiatives. The symposium conclusions should be helpful in identifying options to enhance the CITES Strategic Vision post-2013, particularly the effectiveness of Goal 1 (“Ensure compliance with and implementation and enforcement of the Convention”). It also identifies important links between CITES and other relevant MEAs and provides an opportunity to enhance international policy coherence regarding local communities as important stakeholders and conservation partners.