Put CITES on your menu

11 March 2010 | Media advisory

Background: Key decisions on the international trade of bluefin tuna, sharks, polar bears and coral, among many other species, will be decided at the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which takes place from 13 to 25 March 2010, in Doha, Qatar.

IUCN will attend the meeting and provide scientific and technical information to CITES on species status. This latest conference falls during the International Year of Biodiversity and will contribute significantly to efforts for conserving biodiversity and stopping the current rate of biodiversity loss. CITES came into force in 1975 and there are now 175 parties to the conference.

Key Issues:
• “CITES is vital in the fight to ensure that species are not threatened by international trade,” says Sue Mainka, Head of IUCN’s Science and Learning and Head of IUCN’s delegation to CITES. “Through tough laws and regulations, international trade in endangered species can be managed sustainably. Decisions taken at CITES are significant as they not only influence the state of our environment but also our economy and people’s livelihoods.”
• “Sustainable use of species is the key to maintaining community livelihoods and a strong economy while also ensuring that species are not threatened as a result,” says Jane Smart, Director, IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group. “This is particularly significant to remember in 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity.”
• “CITES COP15 will address a number of critical issues relating to the international trade of species, but many will focus on marine issues,” says Simon Stuart, chair of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission. “The number of marine species affected by illegal, unmanaged and unreported fishing, as well as bycatch, is contributing to many species such as sharks and commercial fish becoming threatened.”

Press Materials and Events:
Saturday 13 to Thu 25 March - Reactive Press Statements
Saturday 13 March - Opening Statement
0900-1200 Saturday 20 March – Press Trip to Oryx Sanctuary, depart Sheraton Hotel
1030-1100 Monday 22 March – Press Briefing, Sheraton Hotel
1030-1100 Wednesday 24 March – Press Briefing, Sheraton Hotel
Thursday 25 March – Closing Statement

Photos/Audio/Video/Statements can be downloaded from the Media Section at www.iucn.org/media

Spokespeople:
Sue Mainka, Head of IUCN’s Science and Learning and Head of IUCN’s delegation to CITES, sue.mainka@icun.org
Dena Cator, Species Survival Commission Network Support Officer, dena.cator@iucn.org
Simon Stuart, Chair of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission, simon.stuart@iucn.org

Media team:
Nicki Chadwick, Media Relations Officer, m +974 795 7554, e nicki.chadwick@iucn.org
Rania Faouri, Communications Officer, Regional Office for West Asia, m +962 77 788 8522, rania.faouri@iucn.org
Brian Thomson, Media Relations Manager, m +41 79 721 8326, brian.thomson@iucn.org