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October 22, 2002

Species Survival Network

An international coaliton of organizations committed to protecting wildlife

Humane Society International

The Species Survival Network (SSN) is arguably the most effective collaboration in history of people and organizations working together to increase protection for animals at the global level.

Every year, millions of animals and plants—many endangered or threatened—enter international commercial trade. Such trade poses a very serious threat to wild animals and their habitats. Live animals are sold as pets or for entertainment. Animal parts including skin, fur and ivory are sold in commodity items such as shoes, coats and jewelry. A United Nations treaty called the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) helps protect wild animals and plants by regulating this trade, but political influence and lack of adequate implementation and enforcement result in a continuing menace to the the welfare and survival of the species that merit this protection.

The Species Survival Network (SSN), founded in 1992 by The Humane Society of the United States/Humane Society International and other animal protection groups, is a coalition of more than 80 non-governmental organizations (NGOs)  from around the world that is committed to the promotion, enhancement, and strict enforcement of the CITES treaty. Although NGOs do not have a vote at CITES Conferences of the Parties (COPs), they do have considerable power to influence the positions and decisions of the member countries.

SSN provides a framework for international cooperation among organizations to address wildlife trade issues through scientific and legal research, education, and advocacy. Through such cooperation, organizations with common goals approach CITES member countries or Parties with a strong, common position, which greatly increases the chances that these animals will receive the protection they need and deserve.

Humane Society International staff and consultants currently serve the SSN as Executive Director, Vice-Chair of the Board, and chairs or co-chairs of working groups on Trophy Hunting, Sea Turtles, and Implementation.

Updated Sept. 2007.