ITTO at the 22nd CITES Plants Committee meeting: Protecting high-value tropical trees/timber species

28 October 2015

A trained local forest officer measures the diameter of a mahogany tree in Madre de Dios, Peru. Photo: Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina

Leading experts from across the globe met in Tbilisi, Georgia, from 19 to 23 October 2015 for the 22nd meeting of the Plants Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Over 160 delegates attended the meeting, including observers from parties, intergovernmental bodies, non-governmental organizations and private businesses.

Top on the agenda was the conservation status and exploitation levels of several high-value timber and tropical hardwood species, such as African teak, rosewoods and ebonies, as well as other economically valuable non-timber forest products such as African cherry, agarwood and sandalwood (which studies and activities for their conservation and sustainable use are currently being supported under the ITTO-CITES Programme for implementing Listings of Tropical Timber Species). The agenda also included timber identification guidelines, and reviews of the conservation status and trade in species of aloe and cacti. Furthermore, the Committee considered options for reporting on trade in artificially propagated plants; guidance on making non-detriment findings for tree species and perennial plants; and the cooperation with other biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements, such as ITTO.

ITTO actively participated in the meeting, contributing to the discussions on the many agenda items related to tropical trees/timber and informing the Plants Committee of progress in implementation of the ITTO-CITES Programme for Implementing CITES Listings of Tropical Tree Species.