The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora ~ 17th Conference of the Parties

WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society received official approval on May 12, 2016 from the Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to attend CoP17 as an Observer. Lisa Ann Salamat, Esq. our CEO and Philip J. Nyhus, Ph.D. Colby College, our wildcat biology consultant, will be attending CoP17 on behalf of WCCLAS.

The 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to CITES will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 24, 2016 to October 5, 2016.



The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, (CITES), is a global treaty that protects species from becoming endangered or extinct because of international trade. The treaty covers more than 35,000 species of wild plants and animals. With 181 member countries and the European Union (called “Parties”), CITES also provides the necessary framework for global cooperation to combat wildlife trafficking.

Every two to three years, a meeting of the Conference of the Parties is held to review, discuss, and negotiate changes in the implementation of CITES, including changes in protections for certain species. Additional information on CoP17, including the agenda and working program, are available via the CITES Secretariat.


USFWS International Affairs

U.S. submissions for inclusion on CoP17 agenda:
Actions to Combat Wildlife Trafficking
Demand Reduction Strategies to Combat Illegal Trade in CITES-listed Species
Empowering the Next Generation: CITES & Youth Engagement–Report of the Youth Forum on People and Wildlife
International trade in live Appendix-II animals to appropriate and acceptable destinations
Annotations for species listed in the CITES Appendices
Review of precious corals in international trade
U.S. CITES Implementation Report (for the period 1 January 2013 to 30 June 2015)

Further information on U.S. submissions and co-sponsorships for other proposals to amend the CITES Appendices is available via USFWS International Affairs


WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society

What is the role of an Observer?
Observers at a CoP may attend all plenary and committee sessions, and comment in these sessions on any of the issues. However, they are not permitted to vote on proposals. The U.S. Government’s delegation provides daily briefings at each CoP for U.S. observers (both national and international NGOs based in the United States).

We will be posting daily updates on CoP17 via audio and video posts from Johannesburg!

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