Zuma To Open CITES Cop17 In Joburg



SA’s stance on endangered species will be heavily scrutinised as President Jacob Zuma is set to open the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

South Africa offered to host the conference, taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, at the last 16th COP that took place in March 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.

It will be the fourth to be held on the African continent since 1975, and the first on the Continent since 2000.

The CITES is an international agreement between governments which regulates international trade in wild fauna and flora. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Regulations must ensure that trade of animals such as rhinos and wild ginger is in a way that ensures that future generations continue to benefit from them, and that they do not become extinct.

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Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them, together with other factors, such as habitat loss, is capable of heavily depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction.

Many wildlife species in trade are not endangered, but the existence of an agreement to ensure the sustainability of the trade is important in order to safeguard these resources for the future.

The CITES CoP17 conference running until 05 October 2016 is scheduled to be attended by 3 500 delegates including Ministers and government representatives from the member countries, representatives from Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations, Civil Society and other stakeholders.


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