South Africa will host the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) on international trade in endangered species in Johannesburg next year.
This was announced by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretary General, John Scanlon, on Friday last week, 19 June.
It was decided to hold the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) in South Africa after this country’s offer at the 16th CoP meeting in Bangkok in March 2013.
Scanlon said South Africa was among the first countries to join CITES, just a few months after it came into effect in 1975 and the country has since been a most active participant in the work of the convention. “It is a highly appropriate location for the CoP given the frontline wildlife challenges and opportunities being tackled on the African continent.
“Africa is home to a vast array of CITES listed species. South Africa is globally recognised for ‘the Big Five’,” Scanlon said. CITES Parties and observers look forward to meeting in South Africa in 2016 for the world wildlife conference,” he added.
Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, welcomed the announcement and said South Africa looked forward to welcoming CITES Parties and observers to the 17th meeting .