MEP’s participate in the World Wildlife Conference in Panama to put forward Parliament’s position that all trade in wild fauna and flora should be legal and sustainable by 2025.

A delegation of the European Parliament has arrived in Panama to attend the global UN meeting on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES COP19) from 23-25 November 2022. CITES is an international agreement between governments, which aim is to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.

The MEP’s participating in the delegation are Martin Hojsik (RE, SK) and Fulvio Martusciello (EPP, IT). In Panama, they will meet with delegates from non-EU countries as well as representatives of UN organisations and civil society and attend the talks at the 19th World Wildlife Conference.

Martin Hojsik, the Chair of delegation said: “With the planet facing a biodiversity crisis, we need to apply the precautionary principle in relation to trade in endangered species and prioritise their protection including their habitats. This will provide benefits for both the environment and all communities around the world. Parliament wants the EU to support these efforts both within the EU and globally.”

Ahead of the UN meeting, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on CITES COP19. In the resolution, Parliament expressed concern that the market for exotic pets and the range of affected species being traded are growing both in the EU and internationally. Parliament therefore wants to end all illegal trade in wildlife, so that all trade in wild fauna and flora is legal and sustainable by 2025. MEPs believe this is necessary because of the threat posed by wildlife trade to individual animals and species, as well as to human and animal health and the environment. In the resolution, Parliament also emphasises the important role that CITES should play in preventing future pandemics, as the world’s wildlife trade regulator.