160 countries commit to regulate international trade in over 500 species

The new species listed for international trade regulation  include about 100 species of sharks and rays, over 150 tree species, 160 amphibians, and 50 species of turtle and tortoise

RH Desk
November 28

Representatives of more than 160 governments, Parties to the Convention on International trade in Endangered Species of Wild fauna and flora (CITES), have reaffirmed their commitment to address the biodiversity crisis by adopting proposals to regulate international trade in more than 500 new species.

A statement issued by CITES said that CoP19 closed in Panama on Sunday after two weeks of negotiations on the most important issues facing the trade in endangered species of animals and plants.

“The CoP adopted a total of 46 Proposals of the 52 put forward. This will bring species of, among others, sharks, lizards, turtles, fish, birds, frogs, and more than a hundred tree species under CITES regulations, designed to ensure the sustainability of these species in the wild, while allowing their international trade and also contributing to the conservation of ecosystems and global biodiversity,” the statement said. It said that the convention also reached a record number of 365 decisions as they worked to safeguard threatened wildlife species.

The meeting – also known as the World Wildlife Conference – opened on November 14th and more than 2,500 people have attended the event, according to the statement.

The ultimate decision-making body of CITES meets every three years and for the first time in twenty years, the CITES CoP has returned to Latin America. This year’s meeting was held in Panama.

“The Parties to CITES are fully aware of their responsibility to address the biodiversity loss crisis by taking action to ensure that the international trade in wildlife is sustainable, legal, and traceable,” Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said in a statement. “Trade underpins human well-being, but we need to mend our relationship with nature. The decisions coming from this meeting will serve the interests of conservation and wildlife trade, that doesn’t threaten the existence of species of plants and animals in the wild, for future generations.”

The meeting also decided to work towards becoming a more inclusive forum by increasing the number of languages, it works in, for key meetings.

“The new species that will be listed on CITES and their international trade consequently regulated, include nearly 100 species of sharks and rays, more than 150 tree species, 160 amphibian species, including tropical frogs, 50 turtle and tortoise species, and several species of songbirds. All these species have seen declines in their populations over recent years,” the statement noted. “The Parties to CITES also agreed a joint approach to support Mexico as it fights to save a species of porpoise from extinction.”

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