CITES Secretary General Mr. Willem Wijnstekers is expected in Zimbabwe on Monday 8
January 2010.Mr Wijnstekers will be accompanied by Mr. John Sellar, Chief Enforcement
Officer.Mr Wijnstekers and Mr. Sellar leave for South Africa on Friday the 12th of January 2010.
What is CITES?
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
is an international agreement between governments. It constitutes part of the United Nations
Environmental Multi-lateral Agreements combining wildlife trade themes with legally binding
instruments for achieving conservation and sustainable use objectives. Its aim is to ensure that
international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain
controls. All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the
Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. Each Party to the Convention must
designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering that licensing system
and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the
species. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority administers the Permit
system regulating wildlife trade in the country.
The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of
protection they need.
- Appendix I include species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
- Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.
- Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other, CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade.
Conference of the Parties
The Conference of the Parties (CoP), is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention
and comprises of all member States, currently there are 175 member States or Parties to CITES.
The Parties (member States) to CITES are collectively referred to as the Conference of the
Parties. Every three years, the Conference of the Parties meets to review the implementation of
the Convention. These meetings last for about two weeks and are usually hosted by one of the
Parties. The meetings are often referred to as Ã¢â‚¬ËœCoPsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. They provide the occasion for the Parties
- review progress in the conservation of species included in the Appendices;
- consider (and where appropriate adopt) proposals to amend the lists of species in
- Appendices I and II;
- consider discussion documents and reports from the Parties, the permanent committees,the Secretariat and working groups;
- recommend measures to improve the effectiveness of the Convention; and
- Make provisions (including the adoption of a budget) necessary to allow the Secretariat to function effectively.
The next COP 15 is taking place in Doha, Qatar from 13 to 25 March, 2010.
All Parties are required to strictly adhere to all the provisions of the Text of the Convention
and to all Resolutions and Decisions adopted by the Conference of Parties.
Zimbabwe has many species listed in CITES and therefore actively participates at
Conferences of Parties. For example, the 14th Conference of Parties authorized Zimbabwe to
sell approximately 4 000kg of raw elephant ivory to China and Japan. Zimbabwe received
approximately USD490 000.00 from the auction.
The CITES Secretary General Mr. Willem Wijnstekers
Mr. Willem Wijnstekers is the current CITES Secretary General and he supervises the global
implementation of CITES and its Strategic Vision. He is responsible for policy formulation
and direction within the Secretariat. He manages the budget and secures timely financial
contributions from the Parties and other donors. He directs all the activities on personnel
matters within the Secretariat.
Mr.Willem Wijnstekers also represents CITES at meetings with senior members of Governments
and liaises with a range of specialized agencies with the UN system, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations at the global, regional and national levels. He attends meetings of
other conventions and public events, and advances awareness and understanding of CITES
through the media.
Chief Enforcement Officer Mr. John Sellar
The CITES Secretary General is accompanied by Mr. John Sellar, Chief Enforcement
Officer. John M. Sellar is responsible for providing Parties with technical advice and support
in relation to the enforcement of the Convention. He monitors illegal trade in wildlife and
liaises with law enforcement agencies at the national, regional and international levels,
particularly Interpol and the World Customs Organization. He also coordinates work by
CITES Enforcement Task Forces and the CITES Enforcement Expert group.
Zimbabwe welcomes the visit by the CITES Secretary General as it affords an opportunity to
interact with political leadership thus ensuring long term sustainable wildlife management
During the CITES Secretary GeneralÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s visit he will meet Environment and Natural Resources
Management Minister, Hon F.D.C Nhema,the Minister of Defence.Hon E.D.Mnangagwa,Minister of Justice Hon. P. Chinamasa,Zimra Commissioner General.Mr G Pasi,Attorney General Hon J.Tomana,Police Commissioner General, A Chihuri and Prime Minister Hon M Tsvangirai and Parks and WildlifeÃ‚Â Management Authority.