Scientists open UN-supported conference on endangered species

By United Nations
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Scientists from around the world gathered in Geneva today for the opening of a meeting of the United Nations-backed international organization aimed at stopping trade in endangered species.

This year's conference will focus on fish, and reptile leathers, according to the organizers, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

CITES said around 200 scientists from some of its 175 member states, as well as intergovernmental bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), would discuss reports on such topics as the trade in

sharks and the implementation of shark protective programmes, the efforts to control sturgeon stocks in Caspian range States and the use of reptile skins for fine leather products.

The scientists will also look at developments in the field of artificially propagated hybrids of orchids, according to preparation materials for the week-long conference, which ends on Friday.

CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. It is administered by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Geneva.