Bluefin tuna main course of CITES world conference
175 Governments will also discuss urgent measures to tackle illegal wildlife trade and protect the livelihoods of the rural poor
Geneva, 5 February 2010 - New measures to conserve and manage sustainably the bluefin tuna, elephant populations and a wide range of sharks, corals, reptiles, insects and plants are being proposed by governments attending the next triennial world conference of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Over 40 proposals will be decided on in Doha, Qatar, from 13 to 25 March. Importantly, some governments propose to lift CITES regulations on some species, underlining the success of CITES in key areas 35 years after its entry into force.
Many of these proposals reflect growing international concern about the accelerating destruction of the world's marine and forest ecosystems through overfishing and excessive logging, and the potential impacts of climate change on the biological resources of the planet. The UN General Assembly has declared 2010 the international year of biodiversity and the CITES Conference will be one of the key occasions governments will have this year to take action to protect biodiversity.
Other issues on the agenda include the adoption of urgent measures to: tackle illegal trade in the tiger, rhinos and other species that are on the brink of extinction; address the potential impacts of CITES measures on the livelihoods of the rural poor, who are often on the frontlines of using and managing wildlife; and allocate sufficient financial resources to ensure that CITES goals are fully achieved. A substantial budget increase will be necessary to ensure proper implementation of the measures proposed for adoption in Doha. The current annual budget of the CITES Secretariat is about USD 5 million.