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The CITES-Workshop

Michael Kiehn

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Botanic Gardens were involved in safeguarding the survival of endangered plant species throughout all of their history. International conventions like CITES or the CBD, therefore, represent ongoing challenges for the Botanic Gardens community. Botanic Gardens play or at least could play an important role in the implementation of these conventions. Thus representatives of several Botanic Gardens act as advisors for CITES management and/or scientific authorities. At the same time, however, Botanic Gardens are stating difficulties in the access to relevant information, especially in cases of changes in legislation (like, e.g., recently in the European Community). Additionally, the administrative burden caused by some regulations of CITES are critically mentioned, e.g., regarding the documentation of older acquisitions or the exchange of artificially propagated material. Finally, in many Botanic Gardens financial, personal and/or logistic support for fulfilling duties and responsabilities in CITES is not sufficiently guarantied or regulated.
In order to support the Botanic Gardens in their efforts to deal with the CITES regulations in the best possible way, the workshop had three objectives:

In the first part of the workshop Noel McGough from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (UK) presented current projects of Kew regarding different new CITES media with relevance for Botanic Gardens:

The next two topics were dealt with in two subgroups. The representatives of the different gardens discussed their own experiences with CITES. They took advantage of the fact that several active and former regional representatives of the CITES plants committee participated in the workshop and added important background information. The results of the subgroups were presented in the workshop and are summarized in the following recommendations:

These recommendations reflect the ongoing interest of Botanic Gardens in a proper implementation of the aims and goals of CITES. Botanic Gardens are aware of their responsabilities in this field. An active involvement in CITES projects will be attractive for Botanic Gardens as it offers new working fields and additional funding, the more when combined with new developments arising in the context of the CBD. Dr. Michael Kiehn, Institute of Botany and Botanical Garden, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, A-1030 VIENNA (Austria), chair of the CITES workshop.


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