Convention on International Trade in Endangered species of Wild Fauna and Flora (cites) is an international convention and Sri Lanka entered into force on 2nd August 1979. At present 183 countries are members of this convention. This multilateral treaty is for protecting the endangered plants and animals from unsustainable trade. Every three years the member countries get together for the Conference where important decisions are made on animal and plant trade. CITES Convention operates on a system of permits and species are listed in schedules. For an example, Sri Lankan leopard is in CITES schedule I hence no trade is permitted. Department of Wildlife Conservation is the management authority of CITES convention in Sri Lanka.
Convention is held to review the status of species, their trade and implementation of the convention among member countries. In addition to official delegates from 183 countries, international NGOs other scientific institutions and international media arrive for this event. The expected numbers of participants is approximately 3500.
The Convention will be held for two weeks from 22nd May 2019 at BMICH for which preparation are already in progress and this will be the largest event to be held in Colombo. In addition to hosting the Convention, Sri Lanka would be benefitted in numerous ways such as creating opportunities for producers, small, medium and large scale industries to market their produce, academia, local research institutes, NGO and other institutes to host events to exhibit their contribution to conservation, school children and undergraduates to be volunteers for the conference and general public to engage in various activities including participating to CITES related competitions.
Sri Lanka looks forward to show her hospitality, vibrant culture and history, our commitment to plant and animal conservation and sustainable development to the world with this Convention.