CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) triennial World’s Wildlife Conference which closed today on 14th March 2013 took decisive action to protect precious timber and marine species from overexploitation.
In a press release CITES informed that international trade in a range of rosewoods (belongs to genus Dalbergia) and ebonies (belongs to genus Dyspyros) from Asia, Central America and Madagascar will now be regulated by the Convention. Rapidly rising demand for these precious tropical hardwoods has led to serious concerns that unregulated logging is depleting populations of already rare species.
The joint programme between CITES and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) will support the efforts of the countries concerned to strengthen their capacities to implement the Convention. Cross-border movement of wooden musical instruments was also addressed during the meeting. Special procedures under CITES have been agreed for musicians and institutions travelling with musical instruments containing precious woods such as Brazilian rosewood, and other productes of species listed by the Convention.
It was further informed through their press release on CITES website that 170 governments (total 177 Party to CITES) have turned to CITES to ensure the legal, sustainable and traceable trade in their precious timber and forest products, with the Conference unanimously bringing hundreds of new timber species under CITES controls, along with other plant species.
The CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon, said: “This is a big day for CITES and for the world’s wildlife. It takes enormous effort to negotiate treaties and then make them work. The international community has today decided to make best use of this pragmatic and effective agreement to help it along the path to sustainability in our oceans and forests. CITES Parties have heeded the call from Rio+20 and recognized the important role of CITES as an international agreement that stands at the intersection between trade, the environment and development.”
India was the twenty -fifth nation to become a party to the CITES. 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (to be held in 2016) will take place in South Africa.