On October 12-14, the CITES Secretariat facilitated an online workshop to strengthen the application of the Convention in the region of Central America. The gathering was organized with the support of José Julián Suazo, regional CITES representative to the Standing Committee, and it was hosted by the United States Department of the Interior’s International Technical Assistance Program (DOI ITAP).
Participants were provided with a thorough overview of CITES processes in a series of lectures led by the Secretariat. These covered issues including national legislation to comply with the Convention, legal acquisition findings, introductions from the sea, exemptions and special provisions, and the submission of annual trade reports and reports on illegal trade.
Attendees also heard from the experiences of Mary Cogliano, chair of the CITES Standing Committee working group on sharks and rays (Elasmobranchii spp.), and from representatives of Management Authorities from Chile, Peru, and Ecuador, who spoke about their countries’ respective efforts to develop appropriate national legislation.
Miriam Cerdán, the regional representative to the Standing Committee from Peru, and Lorena Fernández, the Secretary of the Wildlife Enforcement Network for Central American and the Dominican Republic (ROAVIS), also attended the three-day seminar.
There were a total of 106 participants from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.
In her closing remarks, CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero underscored the value of the workshop in supporting Parties’ preparations for the upcoming nineteenth Conference of the Parties, which is scheduled to take place in November 2022, in Panama.