The Secretariat of the World Heritage Convention of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) signed a historic agreement on Monday June 26, 2023 in a new one aimed at ensuring the sustainability of trade in species of wild animals and plants found in areas of outstanding international importance inscribed on the World Heritage List of ‘UNESCO.
UNESCO World Heritage sites are among the most critical areas on the planet for, among other things, the in situ conservation of biodiversity. Up to 1/3 of the remaining elephants, tigers and pandas and at least 1 in 10 great apes, lions and rhinos are found in these sites. Many UNESCO World Heritage sites are therefore important for the species included in the CITES Appendices. Collaboration between the Secretariats and, at the national level, between the competent authorities is essential to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of these species and to combat illegal taking and associated illegal trade which threaten not only the species concerned, but also the outstanding universal value of the sites.
This important agreement adds a new dimension to the already strong collaboration between CITES and the World Heritage Convention. The strong complementarity between species-focused CITES and World Heritage-focused protection of their habitats in World Heritage sites and the intensification of our collaboration will make our efforts in these sites more effective for the benefit of biodiversity and people. living in and around these sites.,
UNESCO World Heritage sites protect more than 20,000 threatened species, many of which are affected by illegal or unsustainable wildlife trade. why we must work through the World Heritage Convention and CITES to protect our natural heritage for future generationsions inside
He was estimated that up to half of the animal species listed in the CITES Appendices are found in UNESCO World Heritage sites. In the case of the vaquita, a porpoise facing imminent extinction, the entire remaining population is found in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Mexico). UNESCO World Heritage sites are also home to significant biodiversity of plant species whose trade is regulated by CITES. These include the ebony, rosewood, and rosewood found in the Atsinanana rainforests UNESCO World Heritage Site (Madagascar).
The Secretariats have a long history of cooperation on the conservation of CITES-listed species at UNESCO World Heritage sites, meeting regularly as part of the Biodiversity Conventions Liaison Group.
Under the new Memorandum of Understanding signed online on Monday, the two Secretariats agreed to intensify their efforts to implement the 1972 World Heritage Convention and CITES, including by promoting in-country cooperation between parties. national stakeholders.
Ensuring the sustainability of the use of wild species is one of the main objectives of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework agreed under the Convention on Biological Diversity by countries in December 2022 to halt the loss of biodiversity and this MoU will also provide a basis for this framework to work together.
About the UNESCO World Heritage Convention
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. . This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972, which brings together in a single document the concepts of nature conservation and the preservation of cultural property. The Convention recognizes the way people interact with nature and the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two.
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Learn more: https://whc.unesco.org/
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed on March 3, 1973 and entered into force on July 1, 1975. With 184 Parties (183 countries + the European Union) , it remains one of the most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of international trade in over 40,900 species of wild animals and plants. CITES-listed species are used by people around the world in their daily lives for food, healthcare, furniture, housing, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics or fashion. CITES seeks to ensure that international trade in these species is sustainable, legal and traceable and contributes both to the livelihoods of the communities that live closest to them and to national economies for a healthy planet and people’s prosperity. in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
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Learn more: https://cites.org/eng