The 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP19) will be held from 14 to 25 November 2022 in Panama City, Panama.
What is the CITES CoP?
The CITES CoP is where governments (CITES Parties) around the world convene every two to three years to review and make decisions on the regulation of trade in endangered species.
Under CITES, trade is defined as import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea (for marine species taken on the high seas).
The CoP will decide on:
- Proposals to list, remove, or change the listing of species on the CITES appendices.
- Policy and implementation measures to improve the effectiveness of the Convention.
- The strategic direction of the Convention (including budget matters) to enable the CITES Secretariat to function effectively.
Representatives of non-government organisations, industry groups and others with an interest in the Convention also attend CoP meetings. However, only CITES Parties can vote on decisions at the CoP.
The last CITES CoP (CoP18) was held in August 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.
CoP19 - Invitation to comment
The Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water's public comment period has now closed.
Please send any other enquiries on CITES CoP19 to AustraliaCITESCoP19@environment.gov.au.
Proposals to amend the appendices
Listing a species under CITES does not prevent harvesting or domestic trade in the species, but it does mean its international trade will be subject to regulation.
In commenting on the agenda papers and species proposals, we invite you to provide information on trade you undertake in any species proposed for listing, or for any change being considered to an existing listing, including:
- Volume of specimens internationally exported and/or imported per year
- Estimated average harvest levels for species that are harvested within Australia
- Estimated number of shipments of specimens exported and/or imported per year
- Estimated value of import and/or export by your business/industry
Australian proposals to amend the appendices
Australia has proposed one amendment to the CITES appendices to include the pygmy blue-tongue skink (Tiliqua adelaidensis) on Appendix I. The pygmy blue-tongue skink is threatened by illegal international trade for the pet trade. The proposal has been developed in consultation with managers and research experts.
Please note that any change to the CITES Appendices for these species will not change the threatened status of this species under Australian, state or territory legislation, or by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and will not affect conservation management of these species.
The 184 Parties to CITES are collectively referred to as the Conference of the Parties. Amendments to the list of species on the appendices to CITES may only be proposed by a CITES Party at a Conference of the Parties. Adoption of proposals requires a two-thirds voting majority of Parties present at the CoP.
Amendments to the CITES appendices, including new listings, enter into force for all Parties 90 days after the meeting (i.e. on 23 February 2023), unless a delayed implementation date is agreed.
Criteria for amending appendices I and II of CITES are outlined in Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP17) as follows:
- Species may be included in Appendix I if they are or may be affected by trade, and meet biological criteria including factors relating to population status and habitat distribution. To qualify for inclusion in Appendix I of CITES, a species must meet biological and trade criteria.
- A species may be included in Appendix II of CITES if regulation of trade is necessary to avoid it being included Appendix I in the near future, or if regulation of trade is necessary to ensure that wild harvest is not reducing populations to a level at which survival may be threatened.
In considering whether to support a proposal to amend the list of species on the CITES appendices, Australia takes account of the following factors:
- Whether international trade is having a detrimental effect on Australian populations of that species
- If CITES is an appropriate mechanism to address any conservation pressures on the species.
- If the species meets both biological and trade criteria outlined in CITES Resolution Conf. 9.24 (Rev. CoP17).
How your comments will be handled
Information provided in submissions may be made publicly available. If you believe any information provided in your submission is confidential, including commercially sensitive information, please identify this information and the reason for its confidentiality at the time of submission.
People making submissions should be aware that the Department is subject to certain legislative and administrative accountability and transparency requirements of the Australian Government, including disclosures to the Parliament and its Committees. While the Department will treat all information provided in submissions sensitively, any information contained in or relating to a submission, including information identified by the person who made the submission as confidential, may need to be disclosed by the Department:
- to its employees
- to the Minister and employees of the Minister’s Office
- within the Department or other agencies where this serves the legitimate interest of the Australian Government
- in response to a request by a House or Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia
- where information is authorised or permitted by law to be disclosed
- where the information is in the public domain other than by the Department’s disclosure of that information.