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CITES Enforcement Seminar in Urumqi

A seminar sponsored by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), entitled "Silk Road CITES Enforcement Seminar," opened on Monday in Urumqi, capital city of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.


Law enforcement officials from the 12 CITES Asian member countries, including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, India and Pakistan, attended the meeting. They will discuss the intensification of a coordinated response to cross-border smuggling of high-nose antelopes, Tibetan antelopes, big catamounts and hunting hawks. The seminar ends on August 25.


The meeting is the first one to be held by CITES' Asian member countries on the legal enforcement aspect of the convention since it was signed in 1973.


Zhao Xuemin, deputy director of the State Forestry Administration, said at the meeting yesterday that China has set up 2,200 nature reserves covering 140 million hectares or 14.8 percent of its territorial coverage. Zhao said that China is a party to all of the more than 40 global pacts on environmental protection and resources conservation. These include the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.


CITES Senior Enforcement Officer John Seller said that the increasing number of cross-border smuggling of endangered wild species demands greater efforts of law enforcement from CITES members.


Seller affirmed China's cross-sectoral moves targeting anti-poaching activities, and recognized that China has made efforts in wildlife protection after it joined CITES in 1981.


(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2005)

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