Australia’s strong voice against illegal wildlife trade

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has ended its three-yearly conference in Geneva overnight ratifying a number of key proposals championed by Australia during the two week meeting.

Australia showed strong international leadership on ivory trade, the sale of meat from the endangered sei whale in Japan, and led the introduction of critical new protocols to allow for the exchange of scientific samples to rapidly diagnose wildlife diseases and strengthen forensic science.

Australia’s delegates lent considerable support to proposals limiting the international trade in live African elephants, strengthening global protection for elephants and rhinos, and which saw new listings for the mako shark, the wedgefish, guitarfish, giraffe, otters, saiga antelope and a number of reptile species threatened by the international pet trade.

Decisions were made on the protection measures for around 520 species under threat from wildlife trade and I congratulate our delegation.

The outcomes highlight Australia’s international commitment to environmental issues and follow from our efforts at the World Heritage Committee meeting in May this year that saw one of the world’s most significant conservation outcomes for migratory birds in years with the listing of China’s Yellow Sea coast as a World Heritage area.

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