Friday, January 22, 2016

New tool launched to showcase the important role of local communities in sustainable management of CITES-listed species

A new handbook on CITES and livelihoods was launched today, jointly by the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the General Secretariat of theOrganization of American States (OAS).
The handbook aims to support the effective implementation of the Convention by enabling countries to assess the impacts of the CITES listings on the livelihoods of poor rural communities that live alongside wild plants and animals.  It targets CITES Management and Scientific Authorities, as well as local and municipal officials responsible for the implementation of national biodiversity-related regulatory framework, regional/international organizations, civil society organizations, and researchers that work on topics related to the links between people and the environment. This Handbook is the result of a collaborative effort involving experts, communities and institutions.
In welcoming the launch of the new handbook, CITES Secretary General John Scanlon said “Resolution 16.6 on CITES and Livelihoods adopted by CITES Parties in Bangkok in 2013, is a powerful expression of the Parties’ commitment to sustainable livelihoods for rural communities through the implementation of the Convention.  The handbook is an important tool that helps puts this commitment into practice and has links to the Sustainable Development Goals. ”
Claudia de Windt, Department of Sustainable Development, Organization of American States, added “the CITES and Livelihoods handbook demonstrates the intrinsic link to Sustainable Development Goal 15, where countries are encouraged to increase the capacity of local communities to pursue sustainable livelihood opportunities in order to enhance support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species”.
The new handbook, which is currently available in English and Spanish, is being deployed to conduct rapid assessment on the impact of CITES-listings on local communities and develop case studies that consider how to maximize positive impacts and mitigate negative ones.  It is based on the existing toolkit and guidelines, and in line with Resolution Conf.8.3 (Rev.CoP13) on the recognition of the benefits of trade in wildlife, and Resolution Conf. 16.6 on CITES and livelihoods, as well as Decision 16.16 to 6.25 on CITES and Livelihoods.
The French version of the handbook will also be made available during the course of the year.

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