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U.S. prepared for CITES meeting in October

U.S. prepared for CITES meeting in October

   A Bush administration official assured the House Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans Thursday the United States is prepared for international talks next month to crack down on the trade of endangered animals and plants.

   The meeting involving updates to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, Oct. 2-14. There will be more than 110 species proposals, resolutions and agenda items to address.

   CITES has entered its 30th year last year. It’s the only international treaty specifically designed to control, monitor, and regulate international trade in certain animal and plant species that are now or may become extinct due to commerce. Currently, 166 countries are parties to the treaty.

   “CITES is a treaty that works,” testified Craig Manson, assistant secretary of the interior for fish and wildlife and parks, to the House subcommittee. “By halting the trade in species threatened with extinction and ensuring that the trade in other vulnerable species is consistent with sustainable management and conservation, CITES is one of the most effective forces in the world for conserving plants and animals species.”

   The U.S. government transmitted its final proposals to the CITES Secretariat on May 5. Some of the high-profile species proposals to be discussed at Bangkok are rhino sport-hunted trophies, African elephants, and Indonesian ramin timber.

   Namibia and South Africa have submitted proposals seeking approval to create an export quota for adult male black rhinoceros hunting trophies as a way to generate revenues for conservation. The U.S. government is still considering the effects of these proposals, Manson said.

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