Enhancing Capacities to Assess National Wildlife Trade Policies in Support of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Project description

It is estimated that international wildlife trade is worth billions of dollars annually and includes hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens. As one of the oldest multilateral environmental agreements, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aims to ensure that international trade in these animals and plants does not threaten their survival. For many countries, wildlife trade policies have been developed in isolation from other government policies with limited coordination between relevant ministries and agencies. Yet there is increasing recognition that a coherent set of policy instruments is a prerequisite to achieving national trade, conservation and sustainable development objectives. Give this, CITES Member States have called for the review and assessment of national wildlife trade policies (COP Decisions 13.74 and 13.75).

In response to this mandate, the UNEP-UNCTAD Capacity Building Task Force on Trade, Environment and Development (CBTF), the CITES Secretariat, and the Graduate Institute of Development Studies (IUED) are undertaking a two-year initiative to enhance the capacities of developing countries to review, design and implement effective and sustainable national wildlife trade policies. This initiative is receiving financial support from the Geneva International Academic Network and the European Union.

The core of this initiative is the implementation of pilot country projects in four developing countries with balanced representation from all regions. As a first step, a Wildlife Trade Policy Assessment Framework will be developed, drawing on previous assessment methodologies developed by CITES and UNEP. National institutions in the pilot countries, working closely with relevant government ministries, will then select their preferred methodologies from the Framework, customize these to reflect particular national circumstances, and apply them in their review of national wildlife trade policies. Integrated national responses, including traditional regulatory policies and economic incentives will be developed to respond to the outcomes of the review.

IUED will undertake several studies concurrently with the implementation of the country projects to contribute to the development of national institutional capacity building and to evaluate the effectiveness of the initiative in achieving its goals. The outcomes from the country studies and the IUED research will be summarized in a Final Synthesis Report for wide dissemination.

Finally, an international meeting will be organized to disseminate results from the initiative and encourage the implementation of wildlife trade policy reviews in other countries.

  Date Location Title of CITES project events    
  22 April 2008 Geneva, Switzerland International Workshop on Wildlife Trade Policy Reviews More ...  
  19 June 2006 Geneva, Switzerland First International Advisory Group Meeting on the Wildlife Trade Policy Initiative More ...  

  Date Title of CITES project materials Author
  16 June 2009 Wildlife Trade Policy Reviews: Synthesis Report Secretariat
  21 November 2006 Report Secretariat
  26 June 2006 Session 4: Developing Policy Responses IUED-GREG
  26 June 2006 Session 3: Developing Review Focus and Methodology IUED-GREG
  26 June 2006 Session 2: Policy Appraisal IUED-GREG
  26 June 2006 Session 1: Overview of Wildlife Trade Policy Review Framework IUED-GREG
  23 June 2006 CITES mandate for wildlife trade policy reviews CITES
  23 June 2006 Overview of the Project Secretariat
  23 June 2006 Next Steps Secretariat
  23 June 2006 Brief Overview of the Project IUED-GREG
  24 March 2006 Enhancing National Capacities to Assess Wildlife Trade Policies in Support of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora UNEP

Project partners

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora):

IUED (l'Institut Universitaire d'Etudes du Développement de Genève: web site link

Project sponsors

GIAN - Geneva International Academic Network GIAN:

The European Union:


Telephone Fax Email    
  Benjamin Simmons
Coordinator UNEP
+41 (0)22 917 8361 +41 (0)22 917 8076    
  Marc Hufty
Coordinator GREG-IUED
+41 (22) 906 59 61 +41 (22) 906 59 47    
  Sandra Gagnon
Researcher GREG-IUED    
  Peter Bille Larsen
Researcher GREG-IUED    
  Marceil Yeater
Coordinator CITES
+41 (22) 917 8464 +41 (22) 797 3417    
  Juan Carlos Vasquez
Coordinator CITES
+41 (22) 917 8156 +41 (22) 797 3417