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Published on May 1, 2013
From March 3-14, 2013, the United States delegation to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) attended the 16th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP16) - the world's largest and most influential meeting on international wildlife trade. Equipped with formal proposals and negotiating positions, the U.S. delegation worked to gain CITES protections for a number of species-- including polar bears, sharks, and turtles--while also identifying ways to improve the implementation and effectiveness of the Convention.
After twelve days of meetings, working groups, and negotiations, the United States and all member countries of CITES took significant steps to protect a number of plant and animal species from illegal and unsustainable trade. Timber species, elephants and rhinoceroses, sharks and manta rays, tortoises and freshwater turtles, and marine species taken on the high seas will all benefit from decisions that were agreed at CoP16.