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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
UN-backed body to discuss new measures to protect endangered species
A fish and a small primate whose survival is threatened by their use in traditional medicine, pink coral, rosewood and the perennial issue of whether there should be any easing of the ban on ivory are high on the agenda of this years meeting of the United Nations-backed body overseeing trade in endangered species.
They figure among some 40 new government proposals for amending wildlife trade rules to be decided on at the next triennial conference of the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in The Hague, Netherlands, from 3 to 15 June.
With biological diversity facing a host of threats ranging from habitat destruction to climate change to unrestrained commercial harvesting for trade, many of the proposals reflect growing international concern at the accelerating destruction of the worlds marine and forest resources through over-fishing and excessive logging, CITES said in a news release today.
Administered by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), CITES seeks to reward people engaged in sustainable trade while protecting the worlds biological diversity by ensuring that the international trade in wildlife is carefully managed.
New rules proposed by Germany on behalf of the European Community (EC), the United States, Kenya and other CITES members include:
* A permit system and sustainable fishery management programme for the spiny dogfish, a small shark that was once abundant in temperate waters but is now overexploited for its meat, which is highly valued in Europe, often featuring in British fish and chips shops.
* Strict control for trade in pink coral, the most valuable of all precious corals, which has been fished for over 5,000 years and used for jewellery and other decorative items but has suffered a dramatic decline due over-harvesting and the destruction of entire colonies by bottom trawling and dredges.
* A ban on all international commercial trade in sawfishes, which have declined by over 90 per cent, since their rostral saws, teeth, fins and other parts bring high prices for use in traditional medicine and as curios, while live specimens are sought for aquaria.
Impacts/Environment, biodiversity and fish stocks
Issues/International trade / WTO