Secretary-General of CITES

CITES Secretary-General's address for the reception organized by Tusk - Johannesburg, South Africa

Time for Change

Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, 22 September, 2016

Address by John E. Scanlon, CITES Secretary General


Thank you Hugh.

Tackling corruption will deal a lethal blow to the illegal wildlife trade - External link to CITES Secretary-General's Op Ed

Talk of prohibiting, preventing and countering corruption must take centre stage when signatories to the Cites treaty on regulating the international trade in wildlife meet in Johannesburg this weekend.

The world is witnessing an unprecedented surge in wildlife trafficking that is stealing the irreplaceable natural wealth of countries, greatly hindering development, paralysing efforts to eradicate poverty, and undermining conservation efforts. This illicit trade in wildlife is well organised, transnational and happening across every region.

Illicit wildlife trafficking is about people - they alone can fix it - External link to CITES Secretary-General's Op Ed

The latest CITES meeting on 24 September in Johannesburg will be one of the most critical meetings in the Convention’s 43 year history.

The evils of the international drug trade, weapons smuggling, and human trafficking are well known. Drug turf wars devastate neighbourhoods while addicts leave behind the shattered lives of their families. The illicit weapons trade arms terrorists, brutal militias, and street gangs, while people smugglers fill leaky boats with desperate refugees and brothels with enslaved sex workers.

In a world of 7 billion people how can we protect wildlife? - External link to CITES Secretary-General's Op Ed

Consumers and collectors want sturgeon caviar, snakeskin bags, shark meat and fins, wild snowdrop bulbs, precious rosewood furniture, and quality agarwood oil, as well as rare birds, reptiles, cacti and orchids. But they rarely stop to think about their origins. There are now over seven billion people consuming biodiversity every day in the form of medicines, food, clothing, furniture, perfumes and luxury goods. Demand for products drawn from nature is increasing, and with it pressure is growing on some of our wildlife species.

Empowering Youth To Secure The Future Of Wildlife - External link to CITES Secretary-General's Op Ed

“The future is in your hands.” This is an oft-repeated statement in remarks about young people meant to inspire them.
But frankly, it can also be read as a cop out, a statement that implies abdication of responsibility from our generation, as in “we’ve done all we can—it’s up to them now ...”We do not subscribe to this view.

CITES Secretary-General's opening remarks for Regional Preparatory meetings for CITES CoP17 and CBD COP13


Representatives of Parties to CITES and the CBD, country representatives from hosting countries, colleagues from Convention Secretariats, regional partners, resource persons, ladies and gentleman.

CITES Secretary-General's message for World Ranger Day 2016

World Ranger Day 2016

Message from CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon

31 July 2016

World Ranger Day honours park rangers across the world who have been injured or lost their lives in the line of duty, and also celebrates the role rangers play in protecting our natural resources, including wild animals and plants. 

Keynote remarks by CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon at the Caribbean Regional Wildlife Enforcement Workshop, Bahamas.

Keynote Remarks

Caribbean Regional Wildlife Enforcement Workshop

John E. Scanlon, CITES Secretary General

Bahamas, 20- 22 July 2016


CITES Secretary-General's keynote address at the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking Symposium - Virginia, U.S.A

Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking Symposium

June 28 & 29, 2016, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Allder Auditorium, Springfield, Virginia, U.S.A.

Keynote Address by John E. Scanlon

CITES Secretary-General

‘CITES and tackling wildlife trafficking and CITES CoP 17’


CITES Secretary-General's remarks at the Special High-level Event and Launch of the First “World Wildlife Crime” Report - UN Headquarters New York

Special High-level event and Launch of the first “World Wildlife Crime” Report

UN Headquarters New York, 6 June 2016

Remarks by John E. Scanlon

Secretary-General CITES