The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will hold its 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP 17) from 24 September to 5 October 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The survival of many species will be affected by decisions taken by the delegates including rhinos, lions, elephants, pangolins, Barbary macaques and African Grey parrots.
“Illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade has become such a huge threat to many species that international cooperation between governments, NGOs and other stakeholders is absolutely vital in tackling it,” says Azzedine Downes, CEO and President of IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) and head of IFAW’s delegation. “Conservation must be at the heart of all decisions taken at the CoP. The stakes are high for so many species and we must make certain that sound science and the precautionary principle are deciding factors and not short term political or economic interests.”