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citescop19 01 citescop19 02The CITES Management and Scientific Authorities with the representatives from the national government agencies and non-government organizations convened on 28-30 September 2022 (left photo) and 10-12 October 2022 (right photo) in preparation to the 19th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CITES (CoP19) that set to be held from the 14-25 of November in Panama City, Panama. Photo courtesy of BMB WRD.

Quezon City, Philippines – The Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Management Authority for terrestrial species of the Philippines, spearheads the conduct of Inter Agency Workshops held on 28-30 September 2022 and 10-12 October 2022 in preparation to the 19th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CITES (CoP19) that set to be held from 14 to 25 of November in Panama City, Panama.

The workshops were attended by the representatives from the CITES Management and Scientific Authorities -- Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), National Museum of the Philippines (NMP), and UPLB-Institute of Biological Sciences and representatives from the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), Division 2 - Environment and Climate Change, Office of United Nations and International Organization of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA-UNIO), Crocodylus Porosus Philippines, Inc. (CPPI), Haribon Foundation, Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines (MWWP), Save Philippine Seas, World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and Philippine Center for Terrestrial and Aquatic Research.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is an international agreement between governments which aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species. The parties of CITES collectively referred as the Conference of the Parties (CoP19), convene every two to three years to review and come up with the consensus on the regulation of trade of endangered wild animal and plant species. The said conference will serve as an avenue of the Parties to review the member countries’ progress in the conservation of species, consider the proposals on the amendment of species listing, and recommend measures to make provisions for a more improved and effective CITES regulation implementation.

Recognizing the country’s representation to the said conference, the workshops intend to craft the Philippines’ positions and statements on the: a) eighty-eight (88) agenda items with CITES Decisions and/or Resolutions, and b.) fifty-two (52) proposals to amend the CITES listing of wildlife species.

BMB Director Natividad Y. Bernardino in her welcome remarks delivered by Atty. Theresa Tenazas, emphasized that outputs of the said workshops “will essentially contribute to advance our positions to the discussions of the various issues and concerns on international trade, conservation, and protection of wildlife relevant in our country.”

Moreso, Philippines participation to the upcoming CITES CoP19 will look forward for the approval of the proposal titled “Transfer of the Philippine population of Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in Palawan Islands, from Appendix I to Appendix II, with a zero export quota for wild specimens, in accordance with Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP17)”. The said proposal was developed in collaboration with the Crocodylus Porosus Philippines, Inc. (CPPI) and in consultation with other CITES Management Authorities (CMAs) and CITES Scientific Authorities (CSAs).