PASA at Cites 77th Standing Committee Meeting SC77

Cites 77th Standing Committee Meeting SC77

The 77th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee (SC77) was held in Geneva Switzerland from the 6th to the 10th of November 2023.

PASA was represented by Antonie Meiring and Gert van Zyl and was also part of the SUCo-SA delegation.

The PASA members, shared accommodation arranged by SUCo-SA, once again proof of the benefit of being part of SUCo-SA, “Birds of a Feather flock together”!

DFFE the Managing Authority represented by Olga Kumalo, Mpho Tjiane and Sonja Meintjes, represented South Africa.

CITES is celebrating its 50th anniversary.  SC77 was the biggest meeting of the Standing Committee in history, 97 parties (countries) attended, with 77 agenda items up for discussion covering +-2500 pages of information.  During the week, at a point the meeting was a full day behind schedule, because of a busy agenda and the importance of items under discussion.  The committee had no other choice but to refer some items back to the intersessional working groups for finalisation.  However, the most important, items were dealt with.  These items will be dealt with at the next meeting of the Standing Committee (SC78) scheduled for February 2025.


The CITES Standing Committee meet once annually, during the 2 years between the Conference of the Parties (CoP) and on the days before and after each CoP.  The Standing Committee is the implementation structure of CITES that meets to discuss matters and make recommendations to the CoP, considering the findings of the Cites Secretariat, Animal and Plant Committees and intersessional work groups.  A complex organisation to deal with matters, however many intervention opportunities are available.


One of the most controversial agenda items during the CS77 was item 33.1 and item 33.8.  This dealt with the commercial export of CITES 1 species bred in captivity by the USA and UK.  A long discussion took place, almost a full afternoon, without a consensus reached.  This resulted in a vote which is not common, with the following outcome:

  • The USA and UK exported Cites 1 species, not within the regulations of CITES.
  • The secretariat was instructed to make recommendations to define “founder stock” to be discussed at the next meeting.
  • These matters are two subjects of 2 intersessional working groups about the regulations on the trade of captive-bred animals and the registration of CITES 1 species.  This needs to be reported back on at the next Standing Committee meeting, SC78.  PASA however are included in the working group and will be able to give intervention input and comments.

There are various other intersessional working groups, that have implications on us to certain degrees, these matters are ongoing and still under discussion, PASA however is involved in the working groups and will monitor the discussions and intervene where appropriate.


Cites is since 2016- CoP 17 busy with the development of a Youth Project, this project will officially kick off in Singapore in 2024.   SUCo-SA is planning to get involved with this project and will send a delegate to Singapore as well.  SUCo-SA has however also volunteered to lead a Youth group of delegations from different countries and non-governmental organisation, to give exposure to the different SUCo-SA industries.  This should include PASA, giving exposure to young talent in our young aviculturists, by visiting some of our senior breeders.  Age group 15-24 years.


Although many of the agenda items do not involve PASA, it remains very important to be present and take note of the discussion and decisions made.  It is very clear and evident that the Animal Rights organisations use these platforms to promote their cause, playing the emotional card and with no lack of funding.   They are well established within the West African regions.

World Parrot Trust was also present at SC77 and very sly with remarks that we could be involved in the smuggling trade. 

The CITES processes are timeous, involving the Animal and Plant Committees with intersessional working groups as well, but very important to take note to ensure we protect our interest.  We also once again confirmed our good relationship with DFFE who is the Managing Authority.

The association with SUCo-SA is also very valuable and SUCo-SA is also building relations at national and international levels. 

The attendance was a valuable experience and thank you to Antonie for the guidance at the SC77.