Restrictions on international trade proposed to protect endangered species2007-06-13
Today, on the 13th of June, in Hague the Minister of Environment Arūnas Kundrotas took part in the round table discussion for environment ministers of the Parties to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Representatives from more than 50 world countries discussed the threats of international trade to endangered species of fauna and flora and the global measures which could be most effective in diminishing such threats.
This ministerial discussion was held during the 14th conference of the Parties to the Washington Convention in Hague, which started on the 4th of June. Representatives from all Parties to this Convention, which now account for 171, are invited to these triennial conferences.
During his speech at the round table Minister of Environment Arūnas Kundrotas said that the documents adopted during the conference were of utmost importance to global preservation of rare and endangered species. The minister expressed Lithuania’s attitude to international trade in rare fauna and flora. Reducing endangered species for trade purposes is one of the most hazardous forms of impact on living nature, therefore we need to attempt restricting this trade. Climate change also has negative effects on biodiversity. Mitigating climate change takes the efforts of the entire international community.
The minister recalled the commitment of the Parties the Convention on Biological Diversity, which they took in April 2002, to achieve substantial reduction in the decline of biodiversity on the global, regional and national level before the year 2010. Lithuania, as one of the states which ratified the Convention, seeks this goal. The minister presented discussion participants with the newly published Lithuanian Red Book, which appears to be a valid legal document in preserving rare species and building public awareness on the vulnerability of our living nature.
Participants of the 14th conference of the Parties to the Washington Convention, who, for already the second week, have discussed opportunities and ways to preserve the endangered species which are eliminated in pursuit of profit, devoted special focus to the threats of international trade to endangered marine fauna and trees. Extinction threats all species of whales (which count about 80), also turtles, basking sharks, all species of Acropora corals and other species listed in the Washington Convention. The risk of extinction also awaits more than 20 listed species of trees, which have been rapidly destroyed for their timber, bark and other parts. Rather than used for local needs, their timber is exported to other countries, where it generates much higher revenues. A more stringent procedure for international trade in rare fauna and flora could reduce such threats.
Public Information Division, Tel. 266 3660
13 June 2007