June 21, 2024

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IUCN Director General’s statement on World Wildlife Day

Dr Bruno Oberle, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) speaking at the event

One of the greatest challenges facing the planet today is protecting and, where possible, restoring its biodiversity. Working together is the key to overcoming this challenge.

The theme of this year’s World Wildlife Day – “Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation” – strongly resonates with IUCN, with partnerships at the very core of our Union’s identity. IUCN is comprised of 1,400 Members from national and subnational governments, civil society and Indigenous peoples’ organisations. Notably, our scientific strength stems from the combined knowledge of 15,000 experts in Commissions, together with Member organisations and the Secretariat.

This year’s World Wildlife Day is particularly special for us, as it marks 50 years since the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was drafted, as a result of a Resolution from the 1963 IUCN Members’ Assembly.

Over the last five decades, IUCN and CITES have developed an enduring partnership around our shared goal of ensuring the sustainability of international wildlife trade. Our partnership with CITES was most recently seen in full force in November 2022 during the 19th Conference of the Parties to CITES (COP19).

In the lead up to and during CITES COPs, the IUCN Secretariat and Species Survival Commission members work with TRAFFIC to provide key species expertise to inform decisions made by Parties to the Convention. Collaboration with a wide range of IUCN’s partners reinforces the evidence-based recommendations and information, which strengthens our impact. This includes maintaining the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, analysing proposals to amend the CITES Appendices, and highlighting the sustainable use of a wide range of species.

IUCN will proudly continue to strengthen our collaboration with CITES, and throughout 2023, we will update guidance on the sustainable global trade in CITES-listed species. This will help ensure the Convention is effectively implemented.

The aim of this year’s World Wildlife Day is to inspire global society to enter into a partnership with nature. IUCN is pleased to work towards this goal with CITES.

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