The sixty-ninth meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), took place from 27 November - 01 December 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Maxi Louis, Director of NACSO, chaired a community side event on the 30 November 2017. The meeting considered awareness raising on how conservation strategies and decision making at higher levels, such as CITES, have an effect on people’s livelihoods and how processes need take into consideration the voice of the people with a stake in natural resources management. Case studies were given from Asia and Africa.
The creation of the Rural Community Voice Working Group was agreed upon by the CITES Standing Committee. Delegates considered that this will be a great milestone in boosting the voice of indigenous and local communities who live with wildlife. The Namibian Government, represented by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), is co-chair of the wrkig group with Ethiopia. The proposed Working Group on Community Voice has 27 party countries that have shown interest to participate. NACSO will continue to engage with CITES in order for communities to have a voice in decision making processes. NACSO supports the MET as the chair of the working group.