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CITES Marks 30 Years of Cooperation with China for Biodiversity, Sustainable Development

8 April 2011: The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has participated in an event in Beijing, China, marking the 30th anniversary of China having become a Party to the Convention. CITES was the first multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) that China joined. 

CITES assists China and its 174 other Parties to achieve sustainable development through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Representatives of 31 Ministries and Departments participated in the event hosted by the Government of China. On the occasion, John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General, congratulated China's CITES authorities for their ongoing efforts toward their common goal, saving species at risk of imminent extinction through "particularly strict regulation" and ensuring "that international trade in biodiversity remains legal, sustainable and traceable."

Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), said China is "generating critical lessons for advancing sustainable development" through an integrated strategy addressing social, economic and environmental elements.

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said CITES is among the "central and key delivery systems" to achieve a transition to a low carbon, resource-efficient green economy with the sustainable management of "natural capital" as one of its overarching goals, and expressed confidence that China's role would "mature and evolve ... in support of a sustainable 21st century in Asia and beyond."

CITES notes that China's CITES Authority is one of the largest in the world, with over 22 offices and 130 full-time staff. [CITES Press Release] [Statement by John Scanlon] [Video Message from John Scanlon]