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CITES Conference on Endangered Species kicks off in Panama | Pulse 24

An international conference on species conservation has begun in Panama with a call for co-financing nature conservation. The 184 signatories to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) want to discuss dozens of proposals to protect species by November 25. The benefits of protecting species are global, but the costs are incurred locally, said CITES Secretary-General Yvonne Higuero at the opening.

“We must innovate and look for new sources of financing, including private sources,” Higuero said. According to Higuero, over-exploitation and illegal trade affect ecosystems and biodiversity. A lot is at stake at the conference – not just for posterity, but for the months and years to come. Issues such as the role of indigenous peoples and local communities and the risk of epidemics should also be addressed.

More than 2,500 delegates, experts and NGO representatives attended the meeting. CITES is an agreement that was first signed in 1973, regulating trade in endangered species. The goal is to protect wild animals and plants. Participants meet every three years. Trade in more than 38,000 species has already been banned or strictly regulated. At the conference in Panama City, conservation organizations are hoping for, among other things, better protection for sharks and rays. Other proposals concern species such as elephants and rhinos.

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