SADC-CITES Engagement Strategy (2022-2026)

Date Signed

SADC-CITES Engagement Strategy for 2022 to 2026 aims to provide a framework for the SADC Member States to address the currently unfavourable situation at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) where the SADC Member States have for decades already faced considerable opposition to proposals to advance international trade in well-managed populations of high value wildlife species. The development of this strategy is grounded on specific decisions taken by the SADC Ministers for Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism, held in October 2019, Arusha, Tanzania, through which the SADC Secretariat was directed to a) coordinate the development of minimum standards for management and disposal of stockpiles guided by the SADC principle of sustainable use; b) commission a consultant to explore an alternative traceable system to trade in ivory and rhino horn stockpiles benchmarking on the existing systems for valuable products such as the Kimberley Process for global diamond trade; and c) identify alternative options for disposal of stockpiles and report on progress made during the next Ministerial meeting. In the same meeting, the SADC Taskforce was formed which is composed of four countries namely Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa to lead in addressing grievances from CITES CoP18 and validate the Advisory Paper previously developed.