In Geneva, the World Wildlife Conference of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) wrapped up on Wednesday with the adoption of a number of measures meant to protect wildlife and support global conservation.
Among them is the revision of trade rules meant to stop excessive fishing, hunting and harvesting of threatened species that include valuable trees found on the African continent, as well as animals and marine life that are endangered or facing extinction.
Giraffes, which have seen a decline of up to 40 percent in the past three decades, were listed for additional protections, while new oversight was established for some of the world’s most beloved creatures.
“The Parties established the CITES Big Cat Task Force with a mandate to improve enforcement, tackle illegal trade and promote collaboration on conserving tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars and leopards,” said CITES in a press release marking the end of the conference.
Participants from 169 countries as well as the European Union also discussed ways to support governments in the developing world with wildlife management and rules enforcement. They focused on how local communities that rely on wildlife for income can be better engaged and empowered to sustainably manage wildlife populations.
“Humanity needs to respond to the growing extinction crisis by transforming the way we manage the world’s wild animals and plants. Business as usual is no longer an option,” said CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero.
The conference is held every three years, with the next planned for 2022 in Costa Rica.