The Arabian oryx, an endangered species, at Chay Bar Yotvata, Israel. (wikipedia) (wikipedia)
Arabian oryx

Israel joins CITES

Israel Ambassador Eviatar Manor (L) and CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon sign the Host Country Agreement in Geneva, July 2015. (Israel Mission to the UN, Geneva)

Israel hosted an important UN global conference on the protection of animals threatened with extinction and the preservation of nature.

Israel hosted the 28th meeting of the Animals Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) last week.

Over 200 scientists from at least 40 countries attended, including representatives from various UN agencies and NGOs. Among the issues discussed were illegal hunting and, specifically, the hunting of sharks; the smuggling and trade of elephants, snakes, and rhinoceros; and the maintenance of wild monkeys and parrots.

It was a precedent-setting event as Israel’s first global UN conference of this magnitude.

The division of the UN and International Organizations in Israel’s Foreign Ministry together with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority coordinated the event. A reception was held on September 1 at the Foreign Ministry.

Israel signed on to the CITES convention in 1979 and tasked the Nature and Parks Authority with the responsibility of adhering to the convention’s guidelines.

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority has aimed to preserve the fauna and flora in Israel by rehabilitating species and restoring habitats as well as through the regulation of the animal trade in accordance with CITES convention guidelines.

“Israel is a small country that is very concerned with conserving its nature, and as an active member of the CITES Convention, it helps conserve wildlife populations across the world,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

CITES was established nearly 40 years ago to prevent international trade from threatening species with extinction and to protect wildlife. Israel is among the organization’s 151 member countries.

By: Jonathan Benedek, Tazpit News Agency