Going Global


Providing conservation advice on a global scale is a key role for JNCC and with two major Conferences of the Parties (CoP) on the horizon – the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD CoP11, Hyderabad, October 2012) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES CoP16, Bangkok, March 2013) – staff have been contributing to the UK input to the preparatory meetings of each Convention.


Under the CBD, meetings of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and the Working Group on Review of Implementation (WGRI) were held in Montreal in early May – The SBSTTA meeting had a heavy agenda covering topics such as planning for Global Biodiversity Outlook 4, a range of marine and coastal issues including EBSAs (ecologically and biologically significant areas), the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, new and emerging issues (such as synthetic biology), and integrating biodiversity into climate change activities, including topics such as geo-engineering and reducing emissions through avoided deforestation (REDD). On each issue, decisions were drafted for further consideration in Hyderabad.


JNCC represented the UK at the Animals Committee meeting in Geneva in March 2012 © JNCC

At the subsequent WGRI meeting, a CBD message to the Rio+20 conference was agreed. Progress on the implementation of the strategic plan was considered as were resource mobilisation and finance mechanisms. Cooperation between conventions was also an apt theme recognising that integration at national level through National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans was a key step to achieve this.


In relation to CITES, JNCC represented the UK at the Animals Committee meeting in Geneva in March and, with colleagues from the Royal Botanic Garden Kew, at a joint meeting with the Plants Committee in Dublin later in the month. JNCC’s Head of Global Advice, Vin Fleming, is one of the two elected regional representatives for Europe to the Animals Committee.


Significantly, the joint meeting agreed a draft resolution (for consideration by CITES CoP16) containing non-binding guidance on the making of ‘non-detriment findings’ – these findings are a test of the sustainability of trade and are a fundamental provision of the Convention. Whether this document is adopted or not remains to be seen but, remarkably, this is the first time such guidance will be considered by a CoP in the 40 years of the Convention.


Other areas of note from the Animals Committee included significant progress in the periodic review of the Appendices, where species are reviewed to see if they are in the correct Appendix or whether they might be up or down-listed or removed from the Appendices entirely. As always, the working group on the review of significant trade had the biggest task in the Committee agenda, seeking to determine whether trade in some specific species-country combination was genuinely non-detrimental or whether remedial measures might be required; the Committee made recommendations to the latter with timelines for their compliance. Sharks were also the subject of debate and a list of species for further action was identified but attempts to make progress on a better shared understanding of the application of the listing criteria to commercially exploited aquatic organisms were less successful.



Contact File


Vin Fleming

Head of Global Advice

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 866870


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