The representatives of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) of the Region of Central and South America and the Caribbean, having met in Quito, Ecuador, from 29 February to 2 March 2000;
RECOGNIZING the importance of the Convention as a valuable instrument to protect the species of wild fauna and flora in the region and to guarantee their sustainable use;
CONSIDERING that, from 10 to 20 April 2000, the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention will be held in Nairobi, Kenya;
CONCLUDE AND RECOMMEND to:
a) emphasize the need to enhance cooperation amongst neighbouring countries or countries belonging to the same sub-region in order to coordinate the efforts against illegal trade, recognizing that one of the threats that affect wildlife species of the region is the illicit trade;
b) promote, when appropriate, the adoption or enhancement in each country of effective legislation. The purpose of this legislation is to regulate the trade in CITES-listed species and to penalize offenders engaging in illicit activities. To this end, the Parties commit themselves to review their legislation and, if necessary, proceed to its amendment, in order to ensure effective implementation of the Convention;
c) promote the development of exchange programmes to share well-founded scientific information, in order to conserve the species protected under CITES. This information will be compiled by competent regional institutions, with the help, if necessary, of international experts. The Parties recognize that up-to-date and accurate information is essential to arrive at non-detriment findings regarding the survival of species, at the same time recognizing the benefits derived from management plans or pilot projects of an experimental nature;
d) promote capacity-building programmes at a national and regional level, aimed at officials responsible for the implementation of the Convention, at different levels and institutions;
e) promote the creation of a regional fund for the purpose of financing programmes for compilation and exchange of scientific data, population studies and management plans for wild species. The Parties commit themselves to collaborate closely with the CITES Secretariat, as well as with international and regional organizations, in fund-raising activities that will allow then to carry out such studies and programmes;
f) consider regional cooperation as a special priority for the protection of wildlife. For this reason, the Parties commit themselves to strengthening the existing mechanisms of regional cooperation with the purpose of establishing harmonized policies and coordinating mechanisms to carry out activities related to the application within CITES in the region;
g) establish or, where appropriate, improve coordination mechanisms among relevant government agencies. In this sense, the Parties shall endeavour to ensure permanent consultations amongst institutions responsible for the environment, for external trade, for foreign affairs, for agriculture, as well as Customs and Police agencies, the judiciary and other competent authorities; and
h) recommend that all efforts be made to ensure the continuity and periodicity of regional meetings.
The representatives of the Parties to CITES at the First CITES Regional Meeting for Central and South America and the Caribbean (Quito, March 2000) wish to express their special thanks to the Ecuadorian Government for its important contribution in organizing and hosting this regional meeting, as well as to the CITES Secretariat for its support throughout the whole process. Financial support from the Netherlands and Spain is gratefully acknowledged.
Adopted in San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador), 2 March 2000, in two identical copies, in Spanish and in English.
Chairman of the Meeting
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