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Geneva, 4 September 2012 – The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) extends a warm welcome to the Kingdom of Bahrain which officially became the 176th Party to the Convention. CITES will enter into force 90 days after the deposit of its instrument of accession on 17 November 2012.
Bahrain is home to over 40 species listed in the CITES Appendices, including the humpbacked dolphin, Arabian oryx, dugong, dabb lizard, Arabian sand boa, whale shark, corals and many birds of prey, including falcons. Its accession to the Convention will greatly enhance Bahrain’s capacity to ensure that international trade in CITES-listed species remains legal, sustainable and traceable.
Welcoming the news of Bahrain’s accession, CITES Secretary-General, Mr. John E. Scanlon said “Bahrain’s commitment to ensuring the survival of species in the wild will be reinforced by its decision to join CITES. As an importing State, Bahrain is also assisting other Parties to CITES to ensure that the international trade in their wildlife is legal and sustainable”.
Dr. Adel Al-Zayani, Director General of the Environment and Wildlife Protection at the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment & Wildlife said, “We are very pleased to join the international community and participate in protecting endangered species and prevent illegal international trade, especially preventing the exploitation of national threatened marine resources. Nevertheless before accession, Bahrain had been implementing CITES regulations on a voluntary basis. There are still some challenges ahead in implementing the CITES convention, such as traditional practices, lack of public awareness on the importance of regulated international trade in endangered species, the need to review and prepare relevant local laws, and the need to build national institutional capacity.”
He added, “Bahrain’s geographical location positions it as a key trade hub in the Middle East region and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) where substantial international trade with animal and plant species occurs. With Bahrain’s long standing expertise in protecting the environment and biodiversity and its close collaboration with the United nations Environment Programme, Regional Office for West Asia hosted in its Capital Manama, the nation will continue to endeavor in play a major role in the region to promote sound international trade of wild species and their sustainable use .”
The Kingdom of Bahrain ratified CITES on Thursday August 23, 2012, based on Law No. (27), 2012, enacted to confirm its accession to the Convention.
At least five States not yet party to CITES are currently considering adhering to the Convention. The CITES Secretariat looks forward to them joining the CITES community, to make CITES a Convention with close to universal membership.
At the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 3 to 14 March 2013, Parties will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of CITES. Up to 2000 delegates and participants are expected to attend the meeting and will accept, reject or adjust proposals to conserve and use sustainably some of the earth’s most valuable wild plants and animals. They will also discuss how to better enforce the Convention and prevent the illegal killing and illegal international trade in protected species. Bahrain is now an important member of this community and will contribute to the decisions to conserve these species.
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With 176 Member States, CITES remains one of the world's most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation through the regulation of trade in wild fauna and flora. Thousands of species are internationally traded and used by people in their daily lives for food, housing, health care, ecotourism, cosmetics or fashion.
CITES regulates international trade in close to 35,000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, ensuring their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment. The CITES permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable.
CITES was adopted in Washington D.C. on 3 March 1973. The 40th anniversary of the Convention will be celebrated in March 2013 which coincides with the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 3 to 14 March 2013.
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