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ESA and CITES: Two Statutes, Both Alike in Dignity


November 1, 2018


Washington, DC (and webinar)

Co-sponsored by American Bar Association Endangered Species Committee and the International Environmental and Resources Law Committee

ELI and the American Bar Association brought together an expert panel to explore the current state of critical issues and challenges in protecting at-risk species, under the two most influential and impactful legal frameworks in this arena: the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), entered into by 183 countries.

The first panel addressed the ESA. Our experts delved into an overview of this landmark piece of legislation, including recent amendments and proposed rulemaking, as well as recent ESA controversies, cases, and enforcement actions. The panel also continued the discussion from ELI’s recent Breaking News: Proposed USFWS Endangered Species Act Regulations webinar. Experts examined policy gaps in both coverage and enforcement as well as potential policy solutions. Culminating this timely discussion was an exploration of the USFWS Strategic Plan for Responding to Climate Change.

The second panel addressed CITES. The dialogue commenced with a detailed overview, including implementation challenges, recent proposals for amending CITES, and recent CITES enforcement successes and failures. The panel concluded with a discussion of potential policy solutions to coverage and enforcement gaps, with a focus on countries with particularly urgent needs for endangered species protection.

The panelists explored the inner workings of these vital legal frameworks and their ramifications, benefits, challenges, and opportunities for protecting the future of endangered species here in the U.S. and around the world.


 2:30 pm

Panel 1:  ESA

James M. Auslander, Principal, and Co-Chair, Natural Resources and Project Development Practice Group, Beveridge & Diamond PC, Moderator
Amy Atwood, Endangered Species Legal Director, Senior Attorney, Center for Biological Diversity
Reed Elizabeth Loder, Ph.D., Professor of Law, Environmental Law Center, Vermont Law School
Jason Rylander, Senior Staff Attorney, Defenders of Wildlife
Sharon White, Of Counsel, Van Ness Feldman LLP

4:00 pm

Panel 2:  CITES

Linda M. Lowson, Esq., Chief Executive Officer, Global ESG Financial Regulatory Institute (Moderator)
Alejandra Goyenechea, Senior International Counsel, Defenders of Wildlife
Dr. Frank Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer, IUCN-US
Laura Noguchi
, Chief, Wildlife Trade and Conservation Branch, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

5:30-6:00 pm

Coffee Reception


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