CITES to debate trade rules for fisheries, timber, exotic pets, and elephants

Aug 14, 2019 | News

By Xinhua

GENEVA, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) — The Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) said Tuesday some 3,000 people are expected at its conference here to adopt decisions aimed at strengthening global wildlife trade.

The CITES’ triennial World Wildlife Conference will take place from Aug. 17 to 28 at Geneva’s Palexpo exhibition center with its 183 parties, the organization said at a UN media briefing here.

The conference was to have taken place in Sri Lanka, but after terror attacks earlier this year CITES decided to hold the meeting in a different location.

The conference aims to strengthen wildlife trade rules for the likes of fisheries, timber, exotic pets, and elephants.

Its agenda this year features issues such as wildlife crime, rhinos, rosewood, eels, sharks, and “big cats.”

“CITES sets the rules for international trade in wild fauna and flora. It is a powerful tool for ensuring sustainability and responding to the rapid loss of biodiversity — often called the sixth extinction crisis,” said CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero.

The convention does this by preventing and reversing declines in wildlife populations ranging from rare leaves to elephants.

Governments have submitted 56 new proposals to change the levels of protection that CITES provides for species of wild animals and plants that are in international trade.

Many of these proposals seek to ensure that trade in at-risk species remains sustainable by requiring trade permits through a CITES listing known as Appendix II listing. Others recommend banning all commercial trade in specimens of species threatened by extinction by listing them as Appendix I.

“Clear and enforceable rules based on sound science and effective policies are vital for protecting natural wealth and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals that have been adopted by the world’s governments,” said Higuero.

The last CITES conference was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016.

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