Marine animals do not recognize political boundaries. Many species migrate and cross international borders. We must have international agreements in place if we are going to successfully protect threatened and endangered flora and fauna as well as ensure healthy oceans for the future.
How are we solving this problem?
Advocacy means fighting to defend and protect that which you value. Sea Save Foundation believes in taking information to build knowledge, and using knowledge to take action to protect the oceans. CITES, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, is one of the international platforms where Sea Save Foundation courageously wages battle to protect threatened and endangered species from extinction.
The Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CoP CITES) is where the international community convenes to discuss, debate and decide which species warrant some level protection via international trade restrictions.
Sea Save Foundation team prepares and attends these high level international meetings. We study the proposals and create knowledge translation materials for delegates, who may not understand how a loss of a species could impact their country. We work with other non governmental organizations, scientists and delegates to explore the science and policy surrounding each species.
Describe the actual campaign
CITES is a critical international meeting member nations decide which animal and plant species should be protected. Scientific evidence is produced and a delegate vote decides if proposed species should be treated as threatened or endangered.
While CITES has no authority over how animals are managed within a sovereign nation, the decision of the CITES majority affects how the species (dead or alive) are treated at border crossings. The member countries from around the world join voluntarily and their adherence to the decisions are voluntary. Much like the Paris Climate Accords, CITES decisions are carried out based on monitoring and public reporting. Peer pressure and a sense of community expectations lead to self correction of outliers.
Sea Save Foundation team members attend the CITES conferences where they report about the ten day meeting, leverage their expertise to convince voting members why targeted species are important to protect, why protection will ultimately be beneficial for the country, and the SSF team also serves as a watchdog group reporting and documenting bribes, and other illicit efforts to make money at the expense of endangered species.
Chinese and Japanese CITES representatives host dinner for West African Nations and attempt payoff. To “encourage” them to vote against shark protection.
2016 CITES CoP17
Sea Save Foundation was successful in 2013 CITES CoP16 in Bangkok, Thailand. Due to our coalition’s efforts, Porbeagle Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, Oceanic Whitetips and Mantas were placed upon Appendix II. We are now back at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17) in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2016. We are currently leveraging strong science and bright minds to convince this international assembly to protect additional marine megafauna.
Sea Save Foundation has created an official Position Paper, created for CITES.
Proposals to place Thresher Sharks, Silky Sharks and Mobula Rays onto the protected Appendix II will be presented. Sea Save Foundation is here to strongly encourage the acceptance of these three proposals, and to provide updates to the public.