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CITES Highlights Cooperation with WCO in Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade

2013 WCO IT Conference and Exhibition14 May 2013: At the 2013 World Customs Organization (WCO) IT Conference & Exhibition, John Scanlon, Secretary-General, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), highlighted cooperation with the WCO on intercepting illegal wildlife trade. 

At the event, which was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 14-16 May, Scanlon discussed the role of the two organizations in facilitating legal and sustainable trade and ensuring that illegal wildlife trade can be identified at borders. He cited the inclusion of standards related to the development of CITES electronic permitting systems in the WCO Data Model as one concrete example of the close collaboration between CITES and WCO. This allows parties to develop national and regional e-permitting systems that are harmonized with international standards and Single Windows environments. Scanlon noted that this system has also helped other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), such as the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing, in the development of their own requisite electronic regulatory systems.

Scanlon also highlighted the use of DNA technologies to identify and trace species and to fight illegal trade in wildlife, and the use of electronic devices to better track illegal trade in timber, noting collaboration with the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) on a review of electronic and semi-electronic timber tracking technologies. [CITES Press Release] [CITES Keynote Address at WCO Conference]