Exploring the synergies between CITES and FLEGT with a view to promoting sustainable and legal timber trade


The CITES Convention has expanded its scope considerably with regard to tree species. It now covers a large number of commercially important species from South East Asia, Africa and Central/Latin America, such as rosewood species, African teak, African cherry, big leaf mahogany and ramin. The inclusion of a tree species into CITES means that trade is only possible if the exporting country demonstrates that the products come from sustainable sources and are of legal origin. This raises challenges that are similar to those faced by exporting countries engaged in the FLEGT process. The EU has been an important player in supporting the inclusion of tree species into CITES and in cooperating with exporting countries in implementing their CITES commitments. The role of EU Delegations, as well as cooperation with international organisations such as ITTO, has been key in that respect in some countries.  


This session will explore how the experience gained from CITES implementation can be useful in the FLEGT process and vice-versa, as well as the added-value of engaging further FLEGT actors in CITES-related work.


Chair: Hans Stielstra (Acting Head of Unit, DG ENV)

14:30-16:00 Session 1

CITES role in ensuring sustainable and legal trade in timber products (Milena Sosa-Schmidt - CITES Secretariat)

The EU regime governing trade in CITES-listed timber and its links with the EU Timber Regulation (Karen Gaynor - DG ENV)

CITES and timber trade in practice (introduction):

a. CITES-ITTO cooperation in support of developing countries exporting CITES tree/timber products (Steve Johnson - ITTO)

b. Implementing CITES in Africa as a tool for sustaining endangered tree species: afrormosia and African cherry (Jean Lagarde Betti – ITTO regional coordinator for Africa)

Q and A session

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:30-18:00 Session 2

CITES and timber trade in practice contd. (case studies):

c. Export of Afrormosia from the Democratic Republic of Congo under CITES: a test case for the FLEGT/VPA regime? (Emmanuel Heuse - FLEGT coordinator for DRC; and representative from DRC (tbc)

d.  Export of African cherry from Cameroon (Mbongo Martin - Ministère des Forêts et de la Faune)

e. Export of rosewood from Madagascar (Nicole Andrianirina - EU Delegation; and Andry Andriamanga - Alliance Voary Gasy, CSO)

Future developments regarding CITES and timber trade: increased cooperation with FLEGT actors and possible inclusion in CITES of additional species (Margarita África Clemente Muñoz - Chair of the CITES Plants Committee)

Q and A session

Summary and Conclusions

Who is in it?

Hans Stielstra, European Commission, DG Environment

Stielstra studied political science in the Netherlands. Since 1998 he has worked for the European Commission, DG Environment. Presently he is acting Head of Unit for global sustainability, trade and multilateral environmental agreements.

Karen Gaynor, DG ENV

Milena Sosa-Schmidt, CITES Secretariat

Jean Lagarde Betti, ITTO regional coordinator for Africa

Steve Johnson, ITTO

Emmanuel Heuse, FLEGT coordinator for DRC

Mbongo Martin, Ministère des Forêts et de la Faune

Andry Andriamanga, Alliance Voary Gasy, CSO Madagascar

Nicole Andrianirina, EU Delegation Madagascar

Margarita África Clemente Muñoz, Chair of the CITES Plants Committee

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