IVORY, RHINO HORN AND PANGOLINS ON AGENDA OF CITES MEETING

The 17th meeting of the U.N.’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) kicks off in Johannesburg on Saturday and runs until October 5.

This meeting comes against the backdrop of a surge in elephant and rhino poaching in recent years in Africa, which has raised the emotional, ecological and economic stakes in this round of big animal diplomacy.

Here are some facts about CITES and the upcoming meeting:

– CITES is a global agreement among governments that regulates trade in wild flora and fauna or products derived from them with an aim to ensuring their survival. Over 180 countries are signatories.

– The Convention’s regulations only apply to trade between countries. It does not override national legislation or regulate domestic trade in wild species.

– CITES classifies species in three appendices: Appendix 1 includes those regarded as highly endangered or threatened with extinction. It prohibits global trade in such species or their byproducts for commercial purposes. Exceptions for cross-border movement are made if the intention is not commercial sale. Examples would include rhino horn or ivory elephant tusks taken as trophies by sports hunters who took part in legal hunts.

– Species listed in Appendix II are not threatened with extinction but controls are imposed on trade to ensure overexploitation does not take place and that wild populations remain viable.

– Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one CITES member state which has asked the Convention for help in controlling trade.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.