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Media Release

CEC celebrates World Wildlife Day with video to promote Sustainable Trade of North American Tarantulas

Canada, Mexico and United States to cooperate on four key CITES Appendix II species groups

Montreal, 2 March 2018—Today, in celebration of World Wildlife Day, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has launched a short video to promote the sustainable trade of North American species listed under CITES Appendix II.

World Wildlife Day is a global annual event established by the United Nations to raise awareness about the world’s wild animals and plants. It is celebrated on March 3, the date of the signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a multilateral treaty to protect plants and animals impacted by trade. CITES Appendix II includes species that are not threatened with extinction, but whose trade must be controlled to avoid practices incompatible with their survival.

The video released today uses a popular North American pet, the Mexican red-kneed tarantula (Brachypelma smithi), to demonstrate how the legal, sustainable and traceable trade of CITES Appendix II species can have a positive impact both on species conservation and also on the livelihoods of local communities that depend on them. It also invites the public to become better informed about species we might be interested in buying or selling.

The video also coincides with the conclusion of a four-day Tarantula Trinational Trade and Enforcement Workshop (27 February–2 March 2018) hosted by the CEC in Guadalajara, Mexico. The workshop brought together renowned experts, breeders, traders, law enforcement officers, and government officials to strengthen collaborative support for the sustainable and legal trade of 16 priority tarantula species.

The CEC project Supporting Sustainable Trade of CITES Species is bringing together experts from Canada, Mexico and the United States to promote the sustainable trade of four North American CITES Appendix II species groups: sharks, tarantulas, turtles and tortoises, and timber.

For more information or to consult the CEC’s North American Action Plans for each species, visit http://www.cec.org/trinational_cites.

About the CEC

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations

The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.

About the CEC video