The World Wildlife Conference CITES will be hosted by an island country for the first time in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 23 May to 3 June 2019. It is only the second time a CITES CoP is being held in South Asia, with the last occasion being 36 years ago in India. Delegates from over 180 countries expected to attend the Conference in Colombo.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with diversity and truly unique wildlife both on land and at sea. It has a blossoming wildlife-based tourism industry and can boast the ‘Top 7’ wildlife species, being the Asian Elephant, Sloth Bear, Leopard, Black-necked Stork, Saltwater Crocodile, Leatherback Turtle and Blue Whale, six of which are listed under CITES. As a country, Sri Lanka is rich biological diversity and fully committed to the implementation of the CITES provisions to ensure sustainable trade that takes into account the conservation of wild fauna and flora essential for a healthy and prosperous economy.
Therefore, Sri Lanka is an ideal location for a World Wildlife Conference and it will be a wonderful host of CoP18