Home > CoP17

17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) of the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

24 September - 5 October 2016 | Johannesburg, South Africa

Summary Highlights, 24 September - 4 October 2016

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Web CoverageAbout | 24 Sep | 25 Sep | 26 Sep | 27 Sep | 28 Sep | 29 Sep | 2 Oct | 3 Oct | 4 Oct | Summary
CITES CoP17

Karen Gaynor, Chair, Committee I; John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES; CoP Chair
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa;
Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, South Africa; and
Jonathan Barzdo, Chair, Committee II, join hands to celebrate the closure of CITES CoP17

.

Highlights for Tuesday, 4 October 2016

IISD Reporting Services - CITES CoP17

CITES CoP17 delegates reconvened in Plenary to adopt all documents and proposals, with some Parties’ attempts to reopen discussions on Peregrine falcon and African grey parrot defeated. The meeting was gaveled to a close at 6:11 PM.

The sound of the gavel in plenary was reminiscent of the opening ceremony, when delegates drummed in unison and wild enthusiasm, setting the rhythm for the largest CoP to date. Thanks to a highly organized Secretariat, the expert leadership of Committee Chairs, the tireless efforts of drafting and in-session working groups, and the collaborative spirit of Parties, delegates reached consensus on most agenda items and debated on the others in a respectful manner. If this is indeed John Scanlon’s last CITES CoP in the role of Secretary-General, as rumor has it, he will be leaving on a high note.

"Although we were all drumming in a slightly different way," Scanlon noted in the closing ceremony, "we were all drumming to the same beat. That was the spirit of this meeting."

ENB SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS: The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of CoP17 is available in HTML and PDF.

+ Visit the web coverage for Tuesday, 4 October 2016


A South African singer performs at the closing ceremony


Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, South Africa, thanks delegates for attending the meeting

A glass rhino statue is given in thanks to Committee members


Delegates give a standing ovation to John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES, for his work at CITES CoP17


CoP Chair Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa, closes CoP17


Highlights for Monday, 3 October 2016

CITES CoP17 approached the finish line with the Committees wrapping up their work. Proposals to downlist and uplist populations of African elephants were defeated in Committee I, as was the proposal to permit a limited and regulated trade in white rhino horn. Committee II adopted a core budget increase of 0.24% and two additional posts.

+ Download the daily report for Monday, 2 October 2016, in English (in HTML or PDF format), French (in HTML or PDF format)
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View of the plenary during Committee I


Karen Gaynor, Chair, Committee I

Maxi Pia Louis, Namibian Association of
CBNRM Support Organisation (NASCO)


Maurice Isaacs, Bahamas

José Manuel Mateo Féliz,
Dominican Republic

Abdulla Naseer, Maldives


Delegates vote on whether all elephant species should be uplisted to Appendix I


Highlights for Sunday, 2 October 2016

After a much appreciated two-day break, during which several working groups met to hammer out differences, CITES CoP17 Committees reconvened on Sunday. Committee I voted by secret ballot for the uplisting of the African Grey Parrot. Committee II adopted draft decisions on NIAPs and trade in elephant specimens. Committee I reconvened at night for an evening session.

+ Download the daily report for Sunday, 2 October 2016, in English (in HTML or PDF format), French (in HTML or PDF format)
+ Visit the web coverage for Sunday, 2 October 2016


CITES Secretariat family photo


Sangay, Bhutan

Ratna Kusuma Sari, Indonesia


Daniel Kachelriess, CITES Secretariat

Ju Dae-young, Republic of Korea

Clarissa Nina, Brazil



Highlights for Thursday, 29 September 2016

As CITES CoP17 Committees moved through agenda items, several working and drafting groups reported back to the Committees with finalized drafts of decisions and resolutions. Committee I continued consideration of proposal listings, agreeing to all proposals on rosewoods. Meanwhile Committee II looked at illegal trade in cheetah, pangolin trade, rhino and Asian Big Cats, adopting some decisions and deferring others to working groups.

+ Download the daily report for Thursday, 29 September 2016, in English (in HTML or PDF format), French (in HTML or PDF format)
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Duangduen Sripotar, Thailand


Bekolo Bekolo, Cameroon

Josef Schmuck, Documentation Center
for Species Protection

SK Khanduri, India


View of the plenary in Committee II




Highlights for Wednesday, 28 September 2016

CITES CoP17 Committees quickly moved through many agenda issues. Committee I agreed to list several species under Appendix I, including all pangolin species. The African lion proposal was deferred to a working group. Committee II agreed to the first dedicated decision on fighting wildlife cybercrime as well as a resolution to combating corruption.

+ Download the daily report for Wednesday, 28 September 2016, in English (in HTML or PDF format), French (in HTML or PDF format)
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View of the dais during Committee I


Teona Karchava, Georgia

Nicolas Roncagliolo, Peru

Simon Stuart, IUCN


Juan Carlos Vasquez, CITES Legal Affairs and Compliance

Jonathan Barzdo, Chair, Committee II



Highlights for Tuesday, 27 September 2016

CITES CoP17 Committee I met all day, addressing timber, saiga, snake trade, helmeted hornbill and hunting trophies, among other issues. Committee II looked at some agenda items referred to it by the Plenary, as well as a proposal to establish a CoP committee of rural communities.

+ Download the daily report for Tuesday, 27 September 2016, in English (in HTML or PDF format), French (in HTML or PDF format)
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Delegates during plenary


Asghar Mobaraki, Iran

Vương Tiến Mạnh, Viet Nam

Abba Sonko, Senegal


Patrick Omondi, Kenya

Jonathan Barzdo, Chair, Committee II



Highlights for Monday, 26 September 2016

CITES CoP17 met throughout the day in Committees. Committee I addressed marine species issues, including sharks and rays, totoaba, queen conch, as well as ebonies, rosewoods and agarwoods. Meanwhile Committee II discussed a wide range of elephant-related agenda items. While many issues, like the closure of domestic ivory markets, were deferred to a working group, others, like the motions to either adopt or continue discussing a Decision-Making Mechanism for a process of trade in ivory were struck down during voting.

+ Download the daily report for Monday, 26 September 2016, in English (in HTML or PDF format), French (in HTML or PDF format)
+ Visit the web coverage for Monday, 26 September 2016



Antonio Palma Inostroza, Chile

Jürgen Friedrich, EU

Aisake Batibasaga, Fiji


Vanessa Dick, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Mathias Lörtscher, Switzerland


Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, South Africa


Highlights for Sunday, 25 September 2016

CITES CoP17 reconvened Sunday afternoon. After resolving the stalemate on the Rules of Procedure, participants split into two Committees to continue deliberations. Committee I addressed corals and eel, among other topics, while Committee II discussed budget issues, in particular how the Secretariat might meet the demands of the increasing interest and participation in CITES. Working groups met late into the evening, including a closed Asia group on National Ivory Action Plans and the Elephant Trade Information System and a trilateral meeting with Japan, China and the US on coral.

+ Download the daily report for Sunday, 25 September 2016, in English (in HTML or PDF format), French (in HTML or PDF format)
+ Visit the web coverage for Sunday, 25 September 2016


View of the dais during plenary


CoP Chair Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa

John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES


Øystein Størkersen, Chair,
Standing Committee

Wendy Jackson, New Zealand

Sabri Zain, TRAFFIC



Highlights for Saturday, 24 September 2016

The seventeenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) convened in the morning in Johannesburg, South Africa. South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma opened CoP17 and stated his country is taking action to address the illegal trade of wildlife as called for by the UN General Assembly and UN Environment Assembly. He stressed the importance of wildlife conservation to sustaining local communities and economic development through hunting and ecotourism. John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General, welcomed Angola, Iraq, EU, Tajikistan and Tonga as new parties to CITES.

In the afternoon, participants began tackling the long agenda, starting with the Rules of Procedure. Given ongoing disagreements, the CoP17 Chair proposed, and the CoP agreed, to establish an overnight working group to resolve the voting rights of a regional economic integration organization (REIO), and report back to Plenary on Sunday.

+ Download the daily report for Saturday, 24 September 2016, in English (in HTML or PDF format), French (in HTML or PDF format)
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Traditional drummers welcome delegates to the meeting


Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, South Africa

Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa


Erik Solheim, UN Environment Programme
(UNEP) Executive Director

Øystein Størkersen, Chair, Standing Committee


John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES


South African dancers perform at the opening ceremony, welcoming delegates to the meeting


Web CoverageAbout | 24 Sep | 25 Sep | 26 Sep | 27 Sep | 28 Sep | 29 Sep | 2 Oct | 3 Oct | 4 Oct | Summary

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the European Union, the Government of Switzerland (the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2016 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Wallonia, Québec, and the International Organization of La Francophonie/Institute for Sustainable Development of La Francophonie (IOF/IFDD).