16th MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES ( COP16 )

The CITES wildlife summit is ongoing in Bangkok from 3rd to the 14th of March.  CITES  which is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is an international agreement between governments which aims to ensure survival of species by preventing their decimation or extinction  by regulating international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants .

Ivory trade is one of the major causes for concern as the demand for ivory in some countries is causing almost 12% decline, annually,  in the population of elephants and rhinos.

When I was in Kenya, during a wildlife safari we came across the magnificent rhinos ( as pictured below ) which are now very high on the IUCN endangered list. Despite all the measures being taken to protect them, the demand for ivory is driving poachers to take extreme risks to kill these magnificent animals.

As Children and Youth , we must raise awareness and drive public opinion to change international and local rules to stop trade which threatens the survival of species. The Thai Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, pledged to end the ivory trade in Thailand when she spoke at the opening of the CITES wildlife summit on Sunday. This is a great step in the right direction and gives us hope for the future.

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