In a historic move at a summit in Geneva, Giraffes have been given international protection after their numbers declined and they got listed as vulnerable.
Geneva, Switzerland – In an attempt to further the protection of wildlife, hundreds of animals have been given protections from animal trade at a recent wildlife convention in Geneva, Switzerland.
The UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), released a list (Appendix II designation) detailing the trade of Giraffes and Giraffe related items throughout the USA and Europe.
After being listed as “vulnerable” in 2016, citing an ongoing population decline between 36% and 40% over the last 30 years or three generations, this new protection is good news for Giraffe species all across the African continent.
“Securing CITES Appendix II protection for the giraffe throws a vital lifeline to this majestic species, which has been going quietly extinct for years,” says Adam Peyman, Humane Society International’s wildlife programs and operations manager.
“This listing could not come soon enough. CITES listing will ensure that giraffe parts in international trade were legally acquired and not detrimental to the survival of the species.”
Before Giraffes received an Appendix II designation, there was no data on the trade of the animal or its parts however the USA is the largest importer of wildlife and CITES was able to collect their data from 2006 to 2015 which states 39,516 giraffe specimens (giraffes, dead or alive, and their parts and derivatives) were imported to the U.S. for all purposes, the equivalent of at least 3,751 individual giraffes (a conservative estimate).
“CITES sets the rules for international trade in wild fauna and flora,” said CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero.
“It is a powerful tool for ensuring sustainability and responding to the rapid loss of biodiversity—often called the sixth extinction crisis—by preventing and reversing declines in wildlife populations. This year’s conference will focus on strengthening existing rules and standards while extending the benefits of the CITES regime to additional plants and animals threatened by human activity.
“Clear and enforceable rules based on sound science and effective policies are vital for protecting natural wealth and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals that have been adopted by the world’s governments. Because it is science-based, implementation-oriented and pragmatic, CITES plays an essential role in advancing international efforts to conserve and sustainably use our natural capital.
“Wildlife crime continues to pose a serious threat to many species, and the criminal groups involved are increasingly organized, and constantly adapting their tactics to conceal their illegal activities and avoid detection. The good news is that the Consortium will continue to relentlessly work with the law enforcement community, building capacity and making available the tools and services they need to bring these criminals to justice by enabling them to mobilize the same measures against wildlife crime as those used against other serious domestic and transnational organized crimes,” she added.
For our Giraffes, we rejoice!