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AWF Pushes For Dialogue Among African Countries

Representatives of more than 160 governments are currently meeting in Panama to deliberate on the conservation of nearly 600 species of animals and plants at Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

Africa’s oldest conservation organizations, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) which has a history of investing in African conservation leadership has called for African parties to push for a common agenda and sustainable development.

In a statement, AWF called on governments and members of CITES to utilize science within their proposals

“African Parties must foster a common voice for the benefit of biodiversity conservation, human well-being, and sustainable development.

“African countries need support for the formation of the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) for Wildlife recommended by the Libreville meeting and supported by the AMCEN meeting in Dakar, Senegal.

“The is need for African countries to find commonalities and build upon them for the benefit of people and biodiversity and commit to making progress despite differences. Ahead of CoP19, Africa countries should continue to reconcile disagreements on key issues like “CITES & Livelihoods, One Health and the participation of IPLCs” said AWF.

AWF further appealed to African countries to meet their obligations under the convention which includes committing to transparent and rigorous implementation of actions agreed upon at Libreville.

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“African countries must meet their obligations under the Convention, including committing to transparent and rigorous implementation and reporting and must follow up on actions agreed upon at Libreville that will assist in resolving issues ahead of CoP19. AWF is willing to work with parties to enhance this process prior, at, and after CoP19.

“Governments and members of CITES must utilize science within their proposals and debates that focus on conservation of species within their borders and in their entirety throughout Africa and countries must amplify African leadership voices in shaping the agenda of CITES and act to meet people’s needs through conservation, which is central to the success of the convention,” added AWF.

CITES regulates the world trade in threatened species of animals and plants. 183 countries and the European Union are Parties to the Convention and every two or three years, they take part in the meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP).

The World Wildlife Conference, also known as CITES CoP19 is running from November 14 to 25.

This is the 19th time they have met in the past 50 years, since CITES was established in 1973

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