DOHA, Qatar, March 13 (UPI) — Conservation groups say they are hopeful participants in a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species meeting in Qatar will help protect wildlife.
The BBC Saturday said while the two-week gathering could result in an agreement on a ban on the trade of bluefin tuna, conservation groups are also seeking additional protections for animals such as lizards, polar bears and sharks.
“This is a key conservation moment — whether the governments here will vote for the conservation of bluefin tuna,” Dr. Sue Lieberman of the Pew Environment Group said of the gathering starting this weekend.
Also on the agenda at the Qatar meeting is the sale of ivory worldwide. The issue has proven divisive in Africa with Kenya and Mali supporting a ban and Zambia and Tanzania supporting ivory sales.
Jason Bell-Leask of the International Fund for Animal Welfare is among those opposing the possible expansion of ivory sales, the BBC reported.
“To permit any step towards further trade in ivory makes no sense whatsoever — it flies in the face of every basic conservation principle and is contrary to the agreement made at the last meeting,” Bell-Leask said.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.