UN CONFERENCE SET TO GIVE NEW GLOBAL PROTECTIONS FOR AFRICAN LION, GIRAFFE, LEOPARD AND CHIMPANZEE
27th October, 2017
Some of the world’s most iconic species, including the African lion, giraffe, leopard and chimpanzee, are set to be given new international protections after listings for the species were endorsed by a majority of countries present at the Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS CoP12) in the Philippines.
The UN Conference is one of the major international treaties for the world’s wildlife, covering terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range.
Humane Society International had been advocating, along with nation states and other NGO groups at the Conference, for Appendix II listings for the African lion, giraffe and the leopard and the proposals were ultimately supported by the Committee of the Whole at CMS CoP12. The proposals were met with controversy and were all forced to go to a vote, the first time this has happened in this treaty’s history.
Appendix II of the Convention asks countries to cooperate together to achieve listed species’ conservation through formal agreements.
“This is a huge win for these beloved African species which are under threat due to habitat loss from land clearing, deforestation, illegal poaching and trade, and drought as a result of climate change.
“In the last 20 years, almost 50% of lion populations have been lost and giraffe populations have plummeted by a drastic 40% in the past 15 years, so these listings were vital to reverse the alarming trends facing these animals,” said Nicola Beynon, Humane Society International’s Head of Campaigns in Australia.
The chimpanzee was also endorsed for listing on Appendix I and II of the Convention, making it set to receive the highest possible protection under the UN treaty.
These endorsements follow the conservation breakthrough for sharks earlier yesterday, with the all nations agreeing to endorse the whale shark for an upgraded listing on Appendix I and for the blue and dusky sharks to be listed on Appendix II.
“The Convention on Migratory Species is an important platform for countries to cooperate together to protect migratory species against the many threats they face. We hope these species can look forward to better protection and cooperation over their conservation going into the future,” concluded Ms Beynon.
These listings will be confirmed at the plenary on Saturday.