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Hundreds of endangered species are being offered new protections against international trade thanks to the last wildlife convention in Geneva.

What takes the attention, giraffes have been given their very first international protections through a new Appendix II designation ordered by the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Just recently, giraffes were classified as vulnerable species by the IUCN. This comes due to their 40% population decline over the past 30 years. Be that as it may, conservatives expect the new regulations to help protect species in the future.

“Securing CITES Appendix II protection for the giraffe throws a vital lifeline to this majestic species, which has been going quietly extinct for years,” says Adam Peyman, Humane Society International’s wildlife programs and operations manager. “This listing could not come soon enough. CITES listing will ensure that giraffe parts in international trade were legally acquired and not detrimental to the survival of the species.”

Every third year, delegates from around the globe gather at CITES summit to implement legislation in order to help protect endangered species by regulating the trade of animal byproducts.

Giraffes inherit their spots from their mothers
Giraffes inherit their spots from their mothers

Over the last few weeks, 183 summit members agreed on passing protections on more than 500 species, including the

  • Smooth-coated otter
  • Otter
  • Swallowtail butterfly
  • Pancake tortoise
  • Southern white rhino
  • Mako shark

“CITES sets the rules for international trade in wild fauna and flora” claimed CITES Secretary-general Ivonne Higuero.

“It is a powerful tool for ensuring sustainability and responding to the rapid loss of biodiversity—often called the sixth extinction crisis—by preventing and reversing declines in wildlife populations. This year’s conference will focus on strengthening existing rules and standards while extending the benefits of the CITES regime to additional plants and animals threatened by human activity.

“Clear and enforceable rules based on sound science and effective policies are vital for protecting natural wealth and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals that have been adopted by the world’s governments. Because it is science-based, implementation-oriented and pragmatic, CITES plays an essential role in advancing international efforts to conserve and sustainably use our natural capital.

“Wildlife crime continues to pose a serious threat to many species, and the criminal groups involved are increasingly organized, and constantly adapting their tactics to conceal their illegal activities and avoid detection. The good news is that the Consortium will continue to relentlessly work with the law enforcement community, building capacity and making available the tools and services they need to bring these criminals to justice by enabling them to mobilize the same measures against wildlife crime as those used against other serious domestic and transnational organized crimes,” she added.


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