Participants at the sixty-fifth meeting of the Standing Committee (SC65) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) focused discussions on elephants, rhinoceros, Asian big cats, illegal trade in cheetahs, great apes, pangolins, ebony and rosewoods. Other topics addressed at the meeting included livelihoods, cooperation with other organizations, and species trade and conservation.
In his opening remarks, Øystein Størkersen, SC65 Chairman, emphasized that it is not really in the conference room that "the battle to combat illegal wildlife trade and efforts to ensure sustainable use is won or lost." He stressed that the main effort rests in the countries of origin, as well as in transit and destination countries.
On Asian big cats, the Committee agreed to a recommendation to establish an intersessional working group, which will report back to SC66. On cheetahs, the Committee mandated this newly established intersessional working group to coordinate with the Secretariat on the organization of a workshop before the next Animals Committee meeting. On rhinoceros and elephants, the Committee adopted recommendations requesting non-complying countries to meet a tight deadline for action, or suspension of trade may be considered.
At the meeting, CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon awarded four CITES Secretary-General's Certificates of Commendation for exemplary wildlife law enforcement efforts to China, Kenya, the Lusaka Agreement Task Force and Nepal.
CITES SC65 convened from 7-11 July 2014, in Geneva, Switzerland. Approximately 400 participants from national governments, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended the meeting.