Colombo, venue for CITES confab in May | Daily News

Colombo, venue for CITES confab in May

The 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the CITES will be held in Sri Lanka this year, setting an example to the world on eliminating polythene and plastic use.

The CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

CITES Sri Lankan Secretariat Coordinator Dr. Sewwandi Jayakody said yesterday the conference from May 23 to June 3 hopes to attract high-level delegations from 183 countries, including Sri Lanka.

She said plastic bottles will not be distributed at the conference; instead glass decanters with drinking water will be used.

This conference is held once in three years with the aim of protecting endangered plants and animals from unsuitable trade.

At the conference, member countries will take important decisions on animal and plant trade, including on the species under trade, impact of wildlife trafficking on the ecosystem and its functions, and legislation, regulations, and other provisions and mechanism to combat wildlife trafficking.

Over 3.500 delegates from member countries and international organisations, NGOs, various environmental organisations and journalists from around the world will participate in the conference.

Dr. Jayakody said CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls.

The conference will help strengthen the country’s attempts to control legitimate cross-boundary movement of flora and fauna.

There will be awareness on the population size, export size, and exploitation level of a species prior to issuing an export permit.

The species covered by CITES are listed in three appendices according to the degree of protection they need.

Appendix One includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances, while Appendix Two includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled to avoid utilisation incompatible with their survival

Appendix Three contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES parties for assistance in controlling the trade.

Sri Lanka acceded to the convention on May 4, 1979, and became a party on August 2, 1979, as the 49th country.

The Focal Office in Sri Lanka is the Wildlife Conservation Department as the Management and Scientific Authority.

State Defence and Media Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said this exhibition will educate local and foreign visitors on endangered species of wild fauna and flora in Sri Lanka.

Exhibiting indigenous flora and fauna will also help to boost the country’s nature tourism, he said.


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