ITTO Executive Director lauds strong partnership with CITES on World Wildlife Day

3 March 2024

3 March 2024: On the occasion of World Wildlife Day 2024, ITTO Executive Director Sheam Satkuru asserted the critical need for the conservation of threatened tropical tree species and highlighted the strong collaborative partnership between ITTO and CITES in her message to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

World Wildlife Day is held each March to celebrate the contributions of wild animals and plants to our lives and to planetary health.

“ITTO and CITES have collaborated for more than two decades, assisting countries’ implementation of CITES-listed tropical tree species, implementing wide-ranging programmes supported by donors led by the European Union and the United States of America,” stated Ms Satkuru.

ITTO works directly with its member countries to conserve wildlife and biodiversity in tropical forests through sustainable forest management. Among other things, this work involves developing policy guidance at the international level and funding projects to assist members in adapting such policies to local circumstances and piloting them in their forests.

“The joint work between ITTO and CITES has focused on improving the management of iconic CITES-listed tropical tree species, such as afrormosia, bigleaf mahogany, ramin, and the ebonies and rosewoods, strengthening the forests and trade governance of these species,” added Ms Satkuru.

Most recently, ITTO has funded sample collections and DNA/stable isotope analyses to allow the geo-location of products from the Appendix II-listed species afrormosia, African cherry, cumaru and ipe, with the listings of the latter two species coming into force at the end of 2024.

“The technologies and databases produced under these projects are a concrete digital innovation contributing to the 2024 World Wildlife Day theme, ‘Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation’,” Ms Satkuru said.

“The strengthened management and conservation of threatened or endangered tropical tree species is an excellent example of how international organizations and the global community can come together to ensure that iconic tree species continue to provide their myriad benefits to humanity and also perform their crucial ecological roles,” she said.

Watch Ms Satkuru’s message here.

Related SDGs

ITTO’s recent work on DNA/stable isotope collection and analysis allows the geo-location of products derived from CITES Appendix II-listed species. An innovation that improves the management and monitoring of the sustainability of the species.

The use of geolocation based on DNA/stable isotope analysis build capacities that improve stakeholder’s understanding of CITES regulations.

ITTO works with its member countries and partners to conserve wildlife and biodiversity in tropical forests through sustainable forest management.

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