CITES, CBD and CAPS
Supporting international conservation conventions
The Conventions and Policy Team (CAPS) at Kew originated from a number of conservation and trade initiatives that were established or hosted at Kew from the early 1970s onwards. The work of the team, headed by Noel McGough, falls into programmes and projects associated with two international Conventions: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The CAPS team offers half- or full-day courses combining CITES and CBD issues, tailored to meet the needs of the course participants.
CAPS coordinates Kew’s role as the UK Scientific Authority for plants for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of flora and fauna (CITES).
The main tasks of the team in this respect are:
- to provide independent scientific advice to the UK CITES Management Authority on applications for CITES permits (about 3,000 a year), and on aspects of the European Union Regulations implementing CITES within Member States
- to undertake research into key plant groups affected, or that may become affected, by trade and CITES legislation
- to work with enforcement authorities such as HM Revenue & Customs, UK Border Agency, Wildlife Inspectors and the Police, on the inspection, holding and disposal of detained or seized CITES material
- to represent the Scientific Authority at technical meetings including the CITES Plants Committee, Conference of the Parties and the Scientific Review Group of the European Union
The CBD Unit coordinates Kew’s implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular in relation to Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing. The Unit works with staff planning collecting trips and supports the negotiation of agreements with partners.
Members of the Unit attend all the major Conference meetings, often as part of the UK delegation, and directly support the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in relation to plant issues that come up in the negotiations. The Unit works with the wider botanic garden community to coordinate best practice initiatives and influence international policy making in this area.
CITES and CBD training
CAPS can offer half- or full-day courses combining CITES and CBD issues. Depending on the audience we can offer:
- a basic introduction to the conventions
- practical exercises/quizzes/games
- introduction to implementation of the conventions at botanic gardens
CAPS also offers short work placements and internships for people with a background in plant science or conservation who want to gain experience in the implementation of these international conservation conventions.