ITTO–CITES cooperation on tree species listings should continue, says Executive Director

1 March 2024

Field work conducted in Peru for inventories of mahogany. Photo: L. Rios/CANDES

1 March 2024: Cooperation between ITTO and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has greatly assisted countries in implementing CITES listings of tropical tree species and should be continued, ITTO Executive Director Sheam Satkuru said during the 6th session of the United Nations Environment Assembly.

Ms Satkuru was speaking at a side-event convened by CITES to explore linkages between sustainable forest management and CITES provisions at the national level, participating in the event remotely from ITTO headquarters in Yokohama, Japan.

“ITTO and CITES have a long history of working productively together, dating back to the early 1990s,” said Ms Satkuru. “Discussions on listing mahogany in Appendix II started then and our collaborative work has been essential in supporting tropical countries to implement not only listings of mahogany but also neo-tropical species.”

In her presentation, Ms Satkuru highlighted the achievements of the ITTO–CITES Program for Implementing CITES Listings of Tropical Tree Species (2007–2016) and its successor, the CITES Tree Species Programme (2017–2022). Among these were the development of resource inventories; the development of cost-effective regulatory systems for endangered or threatened tree species; the development of guidelines and case studies on non-detriment findings and establishment of export quotas; the undertaking of non-detriment findings; the convening of regional meetings; and extensive capacity building in participating countries in the tropics.

“Our member countries have repeatedly praised the effectiveness and efficiency of ITTO’s collaborative work with CITES, and they recognize it as an essential component of efforts to ensure the legality and sustainability of trade in CITES-listed tropical timber species,” said Ms Satkuru.

“As more tree species are added to the CITES lists, the need for this work will only grow. ITTO looks forward to continuing its fruitful collaboration with CITES into the future, with the kind support of donors.”

More information on the side-event is available here.

Related SDGs

Field work under the ITTO–CITES longstanding collaboration has provided extensive capacity building for implementing the regulations under CITES’ Appendices in the tropics, which aims to ensure legal and sustainable international trade.
Addressing biodiversity loss can contribute to climate change mitigation and enhanced livelihoods, objectives which are at the core of both ITTO and CITES.

ITTO and CITES have a long-standing partnership to assist countries in implementing the growing number of timber species listings under the CITES Appendices.