Engaging the Public in the Fight Against Wildlife Trafficking

An Olive Ridley turtle enters the sea at the Bay of Bengal at the Rushikulya river mouth beach in Ganjam district, India, March 1, 2012. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Tara D. Sonenshine serves as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

March has been a good month for wildlife. 

At its annual meeting, held in Bangkok, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) voted to place new trade limits on sharks, mantas, and turtles for the first time in nearly a decade. 

This is an important step in countering a fishing trade that claims the lives of 100 million sharks a year. There is also widespread fishing of mantas, in response to strong demand in Asia — where many believe mantas’ gill plates have invigorating medicinal qualities. Turtles have existed for 300 million years but are now in serious trouble around the world as they are frequently used as food and in traditional medicines in Asia, and their use in the pet trade… more »

CITES Begins in Bangkok To Protect At-Risk Plants and Wildlife

About the Author: Kristie A. Kenney serves as U.S. Ambassador to Thailand.

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is now meeting in Bangkok, and we are thrilled to be part of the 177 member governments for these important discussions. CITES is one of the largest international conservation agreements, and helps ensure that the international trade of wild plants and animals does not threaten their survival. 

This trade — both legal and illegal — is worth billions of dollars each year. Because the trade crosses borders, regulation requires international cooperation. CITES facilitates this cooperation… more »