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Regime governing trade in endangered wildlife tightened at UN-backed meeting

Regime governing trade in endangered wildlife tightened at UN-backed meeting

The international regime governing trade in wildlife received a boost during talks that wrapped up today at The Hague, where diplomats and environmental officials hammered out over 100 formal decisions during a two-week session on the issue, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said today.

Among other decisions, the meeting banned trade for the slow loris, a small nocturnal primate native to South and South-East Asia; the Guatemalan beaded lizard; the slender-horned gazelle and Cuvier’s gazelle of northern Africa; and sawfishes, whose rostral saws and other body parts are valued as curios and in traditional medicine, according to UNEP.

The Conference of parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) also cited success in protecting the black caiman of Brazil in deciding “carefully managed international trade could resume as a way of providing benefits to the local people who live with these dangerous animals,” UNEP said.

“We need to think creatively about how to manage the wildlife trade if we are to meet human needs while conserving vulnerable species,” said CITES Secretary-General Willem Wijnstekers. “Finding the right balance will require a healthy respect for science, market dynamics and the needs of people who rely on wildlife for their livelihoods.”

In addition to revising the rules for specific species, the Conference reviewed the progress being made by conservation programmes for the tiger, the leopard, the Saiga antelope, the black rhinoceros, the Hawksbill turtle, bigleaf mahogany, sturgeons, sharks and many other CITES-listed species.