Governments propose to expand list of endangered plants and animals

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Polar bears, sharks and Madagascan hardwood timber are among several animal and plant species that are being proposed to be added to the list of flora and fauna protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Over 50 states have submitted to the CITES Secretariat 67 proposals to adjust the rules governing international trade in wildlife species in order to ensure their conservation and sustainable use.

In their proposal, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali and Togo are calling for an extension of the ban on the trade in elephant Ivory.

However Tanzania wants elephant hunting to be legalized within its borders for non-commercial purposes saying its elephant population was no longer endangered.

John Scanlon Secretary General of the CITES Convention says the proposals will be tabled at the next World's wildlife conference to be held in Bangkok in March 2013.

"This issue of the African elephant and the illegal trade in ivory and legal trade in ivory both is probably going to be the most contentious issue. What is common among all parties and among all African range states is that we have to do something and we have to take further actions to stop the current spike in poaching and illegal trade with respect to elephants and elephants ivory. We are finding that the level of illegal killing is now putting the elephant population in decline across all regions across the African continent."

(Duration: 33″)

In its proposal, the United States is calling for a total ban in the commercial trading of polar bear products saying the effects of climate change were threatening the animal with extinction.

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