International Collaboration

The Addis Ababa Declaration for Global Cheetah Conservation

  • by Edwin Brown February 19, 2024
The Addis Ababa Declaration for Global Cheetah Conservation

As the Senior Adviser for Illegal Wildlife Trade and Policy at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), I had the privilege of representing our organization at the 14th Conference of the Parties (CoP 14) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, from 12-17 February 2024.

The CMS, an esteemed environmental treaty under the United Nations, plays a crucial role in the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. It brings together over 130 nations, alongside numerous non-governmental organizations like CCF, to collaborate as observers in its assemblies. Given the transnational ranges of cheetah populations, cheetahs are a focal species within the CMS framework, having been listed on CMS Appendix I since 2009. This listing underscores the species’ risk of extinction across all or a significant portion of their range, highlighting the urgent need for concerted conservation efforts.

During the conference, CCF’s engagement was particularly centered around the African Carnivores Initiative (ACI), a collaborative endeavor between the CMS and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). The ACI is a groundbreaking effort that brings together the range states of cheetahs, lions, leopards, and African Wild Dogs to devise and implement a comprehensive Program of Work aimed at mitigating threats to these species’ survival. The CoP witnessed the adoption of a series of recommendations aimed at bolstering protection for these four species and reaffirming support for the ACI Program of Work.

In a significant move, with backing from the Ethiopian delegation, CCF presented the Declaration from the Global Cheetah Summit, convened in Addis Ababa in January 2024, to the CoP. This action aimed to share the summit’s critical recommendations for cheetah conservation with the CoP attendees and to highlight the proactive measures taken by governments and partners like CCF to advance the ACI’s objectives and priorities. The Summit Declaration was successfully accepted into the permanent record of CoP 14, marking a pivotal moment in our ongoing efforts to safeguard the future of cheetahs and other vulnerable African carnivores.

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