13th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CMS, India
WCS, WCS India and WCS EU attended the thirteenth meeting of Conference of Parties (CoP13) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), which took place in Gandhinagar, India, from 15-22 February 2020. This year the CoP convened under the theme: “Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home.” We worked closely with CMS Parties to share our scientific, technical, and policy expertise. In total, 10 new species were added to the CMS Appendices, of which seven were added to Appendix I, including the Asian elephant, jaguar, great Indian bustard, Bengal florican, little bustard, antipodean albatross and the oceanic white-tip shark. The Urial, jaguar, smooth hammerhead shark, and the tope shark were listed for protection under Appendix II. New and extended Concerted Actions with targeted conservation plans were approved for 14 species. More information here.
WCS Team Members (from left to right): Aristo Mendis, Ramya Roopa, Avik Banerjee, Arnaud Goessens, Sue Lieberman, Luke Warwick, Aditi Rajan, Alfred DeGemmis
Reception on the CBD Post-2020 Framework in BrusselsWCS EU hosted a reception for officials from the European Commission and EU Member State governments involved in UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) negotiations, on Monday 28th October. Opening remarks were given by Ms. Marina Von Weissenberg from the Finnish government, before a presentation was made by WCS’ Dr. Tom Evans. Dr. Evans made the case for a new post-2020 CBD target related to ecosystem integrity, before presenting the new ‘Forest Health Index’ as a means by which to measure forest ecological integrity and forest degradation. The reception was attended with government representatives from Germany, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Denmark, Austria and Croatia as well as staff from the European Commission, FAO, IUCN and various NGOs.
Left to right: Tom Evans (WCS), Janice Weatherley-Singh (WCS EU), Marina Von Weissenberg (Finnish Government)
Second Steering Committee meeting of the Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme
On 25th September, the partners of the Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme gathered in Brussels for the second Steering Committee meeting. The objective of the SWM Programme is to reconcile the challenges of wildlife conservation with those of food security in a set of key socio-ecosystems. It is an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states and funded by the European Union. Led by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the programme also relies on the expertise of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and WCS.
Top to bottom, left to right: Myrto Arvaniti (FAO), Filippo Saracco (European Commission), Arnaud Goessens (WCS EU), Motooa Rammoneng (ACP), Alain Billand (CIRAD), John Fa (CIFOR), Conrad Aveling, Tiina Vahanen (FAO), Philippe Mayaux (European Commission), Olusola Ojo (ACP), Hubert Boulet (FAO)
CITES holds first workshop on the legal acquisition of wildlife in Brussels
Over 80 participants representing Parties, Intergovernmental Organisations and NGOs from around the world met in Brussels from 13 to 15 June to help design guidelines for the making of legal acquisition findings. The participants discussed guiding principles, methodologies, practical tools, required documentation, forensic expertise, and other resources needed by Management Authorities to verify the legal acquisition of specimens of CITES-listed species to be exported. The European Union provided financial, technical and logistic support for the workshop.
Representatives from various NGOs, including CIEL, Defenders of Wildlife, EAZA, EIA, NRDC, Pro Wildlife, WCS, and WWF attended the workshop. More information can be found here.
Left to right: Arnaud Goessens (WCS), Colman O Criodain (WWF), Sandra Altherr (Pro Wildlife), Alejandra Goyenechea (Defenders of Wildlife), Melissa Blue Sky (CIEL), Allan Muir (EAZA), Vanessa Richardson (EIA), Sue Lieberman (WCS), Paul Todd (NRDC). Credit: Juan Carlos Vasquez/CITES
DG DEVCO launches the “Larger than Tigers” study in Brussels
On May 22nd 2018, DG DEVCO launched the 'Larger than Tigers: Asia strategic approach for biodiversity conservation' study. The report provides valuable information and analysis in support of a strategic approach to halt environmental degradation and biodiversity loss in Asia.
The launch event comprised a presentation by Pete Wood - lead author of the study, and a panel discussion with Stefano Manservisi, Director General of DG DEVCO, Joe Walston, WCS Vice President for Global Conservation, Sugoto Roy from the IUCN Tiger Programme, and Claire Doole as moderator. The event was well attended, with representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament, and various environmental organisations.
Left to right: Stefano Manservisi (DG DEVCO), Joe Walston (WCS), Sugoto Roy (IUCN), Claire Doole. Credit: Bernal Revert/BR&U
Presenting WCS's work with local communities in Africa at the European Parliament
On March 6th 2018, MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz hosted an event at the European Parliament to discuss the important role that local communities play in wildlife conservation in Africa.
The event comprised a panel discussion with Ali Kaka - Vice-President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature - as moderator, H.E. Tadeous Chifamba - Ambassador of Zimbabwe, Joanna Drake - Deputy Director-General of DG Environment, Arnaud Goessens - EU Policy Manager at the Wildlife Conservation Society, Maxi Louis - Director of NACSO, H.E. Prof. Kaire Mbuende - Ambassador of Namibia, Wilfried Pabst - Zimbabwean landowner, and Joanna Yawitch - Chairperson of the South African National Parks.
Left to right: Wilfried Pabst, Joanna Drake, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Arnaud Goessens, Joanna Yawitch, H.E. Tadeous Chifamba, Maxi Louis, H.E. Prof. Kaire Mbuende. Credit: Alexander Louvet
Dr. Cristián Samper, WCS President and CEO, visits Brussels
On April 24th 2017, Dr. Cristián Samper, WCS President and CEO, visited Brussels for various meetings with EU Officials. During his visit, Dr. Samper met with Karmenu Vella (EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) and Stefano Manservisi (Director-General of DG DEVCO) to discuss WCS’ priorities, including the illegal wildlife trade, ivory, oceans, forest policy and development aid funding for biodiversity.Left to right: Karmenu Vella, EU ENV Commissioner, and Cristián Samper, WCS President and CEO
DEVCO Environment Week
The DEVCO Environment Week 2017 took place from 6 - 10 February 2017 in Brussels. The week comprised two seminars on “Implementing the Environmental Dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and "Conservation, Development and Security: Implementing the external dimension of EU biodiversity policies". There was a strong participation by WCS staff members who gave several presentations, including on IWT in Latin America (by Adrian Reuter); SMART (by Emma Stokes); Conservation and security in the CAR/South-Sudan/DRC/Chad trans-border region (by Paul Elkan); Panel discussion on Conservation and Development (by David Wilkie); and ‘Larger than Tigers’ Strategic approach to protecting wildlife in Asia (by Tom Clements & Madhu Rao). More information here.
After the conference, WCS co-organised an evening reception for the participants together with WWF, IFAW, IUCN, African Parks, AWF and TRAFFIC.
Credit: Anouska Plasmeijer/IUCN
EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking event at the European Parliament
On March 2nd 2016, MEP Catherine Bearder hosted an event at the European Parliament for the launch of the EU’s Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking.
The event comprised a panel discussion with MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy as Chair, Veronique Lorenzo from DG DEVCO, Mark Jones from Born Free, Janice Weatherley-Singh from the Wildlife Conservation Society and Dagmar Zíková from the Czech Republic Permanent Representation to the EU. More information here.
Left to right: Dagmar Zíková, Janice Weatherley-Singh, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Veronique Lorenzo, Mark Jones. Credit: MEPs4wildlife