CITES Asian Snake Trade Workshop Forwards Recommendations to CITES Animals Committee

18 April 2011: Experts representing approximately 20 governments and international and national organizations attended a workshop on the Asian snake trade, in Guangzhou, China, from 11-14 April 2011, under the leadership of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The workshop followed celebrations held in Beijing, China to mark the 30th anniversary of China's membership in CITES. Representatives at the workshop considered the conservation priorities and management and enforcement needs related to the trade of snakes in Asia. The workshop brought together government experts, members of the CITES Animals Committee and organizations including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the China Wildlife Conservation Association and China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Participants focused primarily on the markets and commercial trade of snakes in East, South, and Southeast Asia.

Participants noted that better scientific information and closer supervision of captive breeding facilities are crucial for addressing the conservation, sustainability and livelihood aspects of the Asian snake trade. The workshop's recommendations will be forwarded to the 25th meeting of the CITES Animals Committee to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in July 2011. [CITES Press Release] [Statement by CITES Secretary-General] [UNEP Press Release]