Is CITES failing humanity?

Two meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will always be memorable to me because of the lessons they taught every delegate and participant – and, like CoP 17, they both took place in Southern Africa.

The first was the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties held in Gaborone, Botswana in 1983. It was my first after having been appointed Secretary General of CITES and I was filled with energy and hope for the vision I had for my new role – overseeing international agreements for the sustainable utilisation of terrestrial and marine wildlife resources, in a way that never threatens their survival and is always human-centred.

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