CITES takes action to halt decline of Tropical Timber,Sharks & other species

Recently held World Wildlife Conference closed with robust measures adopted to protect marine;timber species from overexploitation.
CITES takes action to halt decline of  Tropical Timber,Sharks & other species

Logged Tropical Timber:Image courtesy of UNEP News Centre

Apr 04, 2013

Bangkok, 14 March 2013 - The triennial World's Wildlife Conference closed today with robust measures adopted to protect precious timber and marine species from overexploitation.

170 governments have turned to CITES to ensure the legal, sustainable and traceable trade in their precious timber and forest products, with the Conference unanimously bringing hundreds of new timber species under CITES controls, along with a number of tortoises and turtles and a wide range of other plant and animal species. Five shark species and manta rays were also brought under CITES controls following a vote.

The members States declared the 3rd of March as the World Wildlife Day and accepted South Africa's invitation to host the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to be held in 2016.

The CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon, said: "This is a big day for CITES and for the world's wildlife.It takes enormous effort to negotiate treaties and then make them work.The international community has today decided to make best use of this pragmatic and effective agreement to help it along the path to sustainability in our oceans and forests. CITES Parties have heeded the call from Rio+20 and recognized the important role of CITES as an international agreement that stands at the intersection between trade, the environment and development."

Unprecedented levels of international cooperation to combat serious wildlife crime have seen past differences set aside to stop the poaching of elephants and the rhinoceroses for their ivory and horn. These international commitments will now be translated into national action, with the CITES Standing Committee reviewing progress between now and the next meeting in 2016.

The Asian and African Development Banks, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme have all attended this meeting in recognition of the need to scale up investment in the implementation of CITES. The CITES member States have decided to explore the possibility of making the GEF a financial instrument for the Convention.

The first global meeting of wildlife enforcement networks took place alongside the main meeting to scale up regional enforcement capacity and coordination to respond to the serious threat posed to wildlife by criminal networks. Several events of the International Consortium to Combat Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) brought together Government Ministers, the world's Wildlife Enforcement Networks, the Asian Development Bank, chief justices, attorney generals, senior police and Customs, and enforcement officers to discuss transboundary wildlife crime.

The member States also adopted historic provisions to refine the standards for making scientific findings; determine the State responsible for issuing documentation for marine species harvested in international waters; assess the impact of CITES decisions on the livelihoods of rural communities; and address potential conflict of interest that could significantly impair the impartiality, objectivity or independence of members of the CITES committees.

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