Sri Lanka to host meeting to highlight global threat to wild animals, plants



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COLOMBO: Sri Lanka will host an international conference in May to highlight the threat of international trade of wild animals and plants, the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife said on Friday. 

Nearly 4,000 representatives from 183 countries and regions will participate in the Conference of Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which will be held from May 23 to June 3 in Colombo. 

The CITES aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of species in the wild.

Sri Lanka gained international recognition in 2016 by destroying over 359 African elephant tusks worth of 400 million Sri Lankan rupees (about 2.2 million U.S. dollars) under the CITES Convention to fight against illegal trading of animals. 

The ivory with a total weight of around 1,500 kg was seized in 2012 by the Sri Lanka Customs while it was en route to Dubai from Kenya.