South Africa is a highly appropriate location for the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP17), given the frontline wildlife challenges and opportunities being tackled on the continent.
Africa is home to a vast array of CITES-listed species and South Africa is globally recognised for ‘the Big Five’. At the conference, parties evaluate the progress made since 2013, and take decisions on what additional measures are needed to end illicit wildlife trafficking. They will also consider a number of proposals to bring additional species under CITES trade controls, among other things.
Rhino poaching feature on the agenda of CoP17, tying in with the logo of the conference, an iconic image of the African white rhinoceros. The rhino’s body comprises the outlines of a number of species of endangered plants and animals from the African continent, such as the pangolin, cycad, African aloe and African lion. The rhino was chosen given South Africa’s status as home to the largest rhino populations in the world and to draw attention to the challenges of poaching.