Monday, February 19, 2018

img_0757The 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties, the Convection on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES COP17) is scheduled to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa as from 24th September to 5th October 2016.

CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members IUCN (The World Conservation Union). The text of the Convection was finally agreed at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington, D.C., the United States of America, on 3rd march 1973, and on 1 July 1975 CITES entered in force.

This convention is an international agreement between Governments, whose aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. The CITES objective in this matter, is to regulate international trade in endangered species of wild animals and plants.

This will be the fourth meeting of the conference of the parties to CITES held on the African continent since CITES came into force on 1july 1975 and will be the first held in the Continent since 2000..

All the parties involved to the convention always meet after every 2 to 3 years for  reviewing the progress made in the implementation of the convention and also consider any new measures to be implemented in ensuring exploitation of endangered species for international trade is sustainable and does not drive the species to extinction.

During this time of the convention is when parties propose to the conference of parties any other measures to be considered for implementation.

Once the proposals are adopted by the conference of parties, recommendations therefore become decision of the COP and are binding to the parties.

The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, has officially submitted 14 proposals for the consideration of the COP17.The proposals are on several species including, The African elephants. African pangolins, Thresher sharks, east –African Sandalwood tree species, African Rosewood tree species, Species of viper snakes and Chameleons.

These proposals, together with others submitted by other parties to the convention, have since been uploaded on the CITES website www.cites.org in readiness for discussions as agenda items of the triennial World Wildlife Conference   in Johannesburg, South Africa from 24 September to 5 October. Majority of this proposal have also been submitted jointly with other parties.

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