Scientists discuss how to tighten up trade to keep animal species from extinction

CITES species

Scientists from around the world are meeting in Geneva over the next few days to discuss how to control trade in wild animals, such as fish and reptiles. The meeting is part of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Nicki Chadwick reports.

“Controlling trade in caviar from sturgeons and reptile skins, used in handbags and shoes, will be high on the agenda at this week's meeting where scientists will discuss how to make sure that trade in wild animals doesn't threaten their survival. A separate meeting will look at how to protect plants. CITES is an international agreement between governments which gives varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs. Scientists recommend which species the convention protects and how, but it's up to members to make the final decision. Last year for example, proposals to tighten up trade on four species of commercially valuable shark – the scalloped hammerhead, Oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and spiny dogfish – were rejected, to the dismay of shark protection groups.

Nicki Chadwick, United Nations

Duration: 52" (pot at 28")

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