CITES Colombo Confab to counter int’ll trade threat to survival of species in wild


by Zacki Jabbar

The 18th Conference of the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), is scheduled to be held in Colombo, in May this year with the participation of nearly 4000 representatives from 183 countries.

The CITES aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of species in the wild. It accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants.

Earlier this week the Cabinet of Ministers on a proposal by the Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga approved a sum of Rs. 230.37 million that would be required to host CITES, which is bound to raise Sri Lanka’s profile.

The conference is due to be held from May 23 to June 3, at the the BMICH.

The CITES , also known as the Washington Convention, is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals. It was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963, at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature . The Convention was opened for signature in 1973 and CITES entered into force on July 1, 1975. In order to ensure that the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was not violated, the Secretariat of GATT was consulted during the drafting process.

As of 2018, Secretary-General of the CITES Secretariat is Ivonne Higuero.

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