CITES Announces Side Event Schedule for CoP16
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More than 50 side and social events will be hosted on the sidelines of the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP16).

Topics covered will include transnational wildlife crime, elephants, rhinos, saiga antelopes, sharks and manta rays, geckos, and snow leopards.

23 February 2013: More than 50 side and social events will be hosted on the sidelines of the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP16). Topics covered will include transnational wildlife crime, elephants, rhinos, saiga antelopes, sharks and manta rays, geckos, and snow leopards.

The first side events will be hosted on 4 March 2013, and will feature, among others: the International Wildlife Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) Ministerial Meeting on Combating Transnational Organized Wildlife and Forestry Crimes; the CITES/Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) cooperation using the CMS Saiga Memorandum of Understanding (MoU); the launch of a Rapid Response Assessment report on the illegal trade of great apes; and a meeting organized by the New Zealand Management Authority on uplisting New Zealand Green Geckos.

On 5 March 2013, CITES will host the ICCWC Global Meeting of Wildlife Enforcement Networks. CITES will also host, together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), an event on InforMEA, while UNEP/GRID-Arendal will hold a session on the African elephant crisis.

On 6 March 2013, the Pew Environment Group, on behalf of Honduras, will host an event on Sharks and Manta Rays, while CITES/UNEP-WCMC will discuss electronic tools for sustainable and legal trade in CITES-listed species. Also on this date, the United Nations University (UNU) will hold an event on strengthening wildlife crime information and enforcement.

On 7 March 2013, CITES Management Authority (MA) Germany will discuss developing a spatial database for elephant ivory. INTERPOL will hold an event on linking countries and regions to their Global Environment Security Network.

On 8 March 2013, the CITES Management Authority will host, in cooperation with others, an event entitled “Illegal cheetah trade and the Horn of Africa Illegal Wildlife Trade Network,” while the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) will lead a planning meeting on combating snow leopard trade. Also on this date, the CITES-ITTO (International Tropical Timber Organization) will hold an event on their program.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) will on, 11 March 2013, have a “Review of the FAO International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks.” Also, on this date, CITES will hold an events on “Cities and Livelihoods” as well as on traceability systems for python skins.

On the 12 March 2013, the Global Tiger Initiative and the World Bank will hold conservation focused events. The last side events will be held on 13 March 2013. A full listing of these, as well as all other side and social events, is provided on the CITES COP16 website. [List of Side Events at CITES CoP16]

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