FWS Solicits Public Input in Preparation for CITES CoP19

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), which serves as the U.S.’ management authority for the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), published notice that it is accepting public comments on matters of concern for the next Conference of the Parties (CoP). Parties to CITES, the most significant multilateral wildlife treaty which forms the foundation for the federal Endangered Species Act, meet every three years to discuss how best to advance critical conservation initiatives for imperiled species. Significant issues at the upcoming CITES CoP19 likely will include trade in elephant ivory, numerous items concerning the trade in Asian big cats, and protection of sharks and rays. FWS is accepting comments and further suggestions through April 6, 2022, after which there will be an additional comment period once FWS determines which issues it intends to prioritize.