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The 19th meeting of the Animals Committee (AC-19) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened from 18-21 August 2003, in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting drew together 130 participants representing governments, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Delegates at AC-19 discussed 22 agenda items in Plenary on a range of topics including, inter alia: strategic planning; review of significant trade (RST) in specimens of Appendix II species; review of criteria for amendment of Appendices I and II; periodic review of animal species included in the Appendices; transport of live animals; conservation of and trade in tortoises and freshwater turtles; seahorses; sea cucumbers; sharks; hard corals; and trade in alien species.
In addition, 12 working groups were formed to address: review of the criteria for amendment of Appendices I and II; relationship between ex situ production and in situ conservation; control of captive breeding, ranching and wild harvest production systems for Appendix II species; process for registering operations; review of significant trade in specimens of Appendix II species; transport of live animals; trade in tortoises and freshwater turtles; seahorses; queen conch; sea cucumbers; hard corals; and sharks.
Despite time constraints and a heavy agenda the AC managed to get through its work. Many issues will be further considered intersessionally with the results being presented at AC-20 in 2004.
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