Fate of sharks, polar bears and lions on the table at conservation summit in Quito

Fate of sharks, polar bears and lions on the table at conservation summit in Qui
Monday, 3 November, 2014
Quito, Ecuador

At the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) www.ifaw.org is pushing for stricter wildlife protection measures.

During the high-level Ministerial Meeting held today, IFAW President and CEO, Azzedine Downes, addressed an audience that included 20 environment ministers from Asia, Africa and Latin America on “Uniting the Rights of Nature and the Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development and Poverty.”

“Green economic models must follow the precautionary principle and aim for both the well-being and conservation of wildlife in order to ensure biological and ecological sustainability,” said Mr. Downes. “Lest we fall, once again, into the mistake of turning nature into a commodity and discard that which does not pay for itself.”

Proposed listings for a total of 32 migratory species will be voted on and high on the agenda are decisions to offer greater protection to 21 species of sharks and rays. With more than 100 million sharks caught each year, some species are estimated to have declined by as much as 80 percent in the past decade.

“Animals listed under CMS like hammerheads, or Mantas will have a better chance against the devastation that shark finning and other incidental and targeted fishing is causing around the world,” said Peter Pueschel, IFAW Director of International Environmental Agreements.

Appendix I listings are for the most endangered of species and aim to protect animals, conserve or restore their habitat, mitigate obstacles to migration and control other factors that might endanger them. Listed in Appendix II are migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation.

During the summit, the IFAW delegation of five experts will also be focused on shark, polar bear and lion listings as well as increased protection of migratory birds, large mammals in Central Asia, whales and other cetaceans.

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos are available at www.ifawimages.com

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Sonja Van Tichelen, Vice President of International Operations
Vice President of International Operations
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime