So where the heck have I been and why haven’t I been posting?
In my day job I work on international wildlife conservation. To be specific I work to ensure that wildlife trade is sustainable and legal. The bread and butter of my work is focused on implementation of the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES regulates the international trade of approximately 35,000 species and has been signed by 178 countries. It is one of the most important international environmental conventions in existence.
The countries that have joined CITES are called Parties. Every 3 years there is a Meeting of the Conference of Parties somewhere in the world. These meetings are known as CoPs. The 16th Meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP 16) took place from March 3-14 in Bangkok, Thailand, and I was there.
It is difficult to describe a CoP to someone that hasn’t been to one. Referring to a CoP is kind of like referring to a Siberian tiger as a cat. CoP 16 was attended by more than 2000 delegates and 250 members of the press. Seventy species proposals and more than 80 working documents were debated and in many cases voted on. The decisions made at a CoP are significant as they not only impact the conservation of thousands of species, but also livelihoods and national economies. Its serious business and so CoPs can be incredibly intense and things happen very fast. I worked 20 hour days for the two weeks I was in Bangkok. It was fascinating, rewarding and exhausting. I got back to Vancouver two weeks ago worn out and seriously jetlagged.
But now I’m feeling back to normal. So stay tuned for a return to regular scheduled programming…