CITES Conference held in Sri Lanka next May

Sri Lanka has signed the host country agreement to hold the CITES World Wildlife Conference in Sri Lanka.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to be held in Sri Lanka has 183 countries as members of this convention.

This multilateral treaty is aimed at protecting endangered plants and animals from unsuitable trade. Member countries get-together for the summit every three years where important decisions are made on animal and plant trade.

The CITES convention operates on a system of permits and species are listed in schedules. For example, Sri Lankan leopard is in CITES schedule I, hence no trade is permitted.The Wildlife Conservation Department is the management authority of CITES convention in Sri Lanka.

A separate CITES Secretariat has been established to make arrangements to hold this international summit next year.

Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera who is coordinating the programme on behalf of the government told Daily News that the convention is held for two weeks from May 22, 2019 at the BMICH for which preparations are already in progress and this will be the largest UN event to be held in Colombo so far.

In addition to hosting the convention, Sri Lanka would benefit in numerous ways such as creating opportunities for small, medium and large scale industries to market their produce, academia, local research institutes, NGO and other institutes to host events to exhibit their contribution to conservation, schoolchildren and undergraduates to be volunteers for the conference and the public to engage in various activities including participating to CITES related competitions.

The summit will also support the tourism industry and promotion fot Sri Lanka.

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