Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) will represent hunters at this week's twenty-fourth meeting of the Animals Committee for the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to ensure that decisions on trade for species of interest to traveling hunters, notably the African Lion, Elephant and Leopard, are based on science and the principles of sustainable use and not on the agenda of anti-hunting organizations.
"It is critical that the SCIF's conservation efforts are represented before the greater international community participating in these meetings," said Conservation Committee Chair Joseph Hosmer. "Efforts by SCIF to underwrite programs, such as with the African Lion in Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and others, ensure that hunting and trade of lions continues as long as this trade is responsible and non-detrimental to the species."
At the five-day meeting, participants will discuss the overall trends in trade of wildlife. From these discussions, participants will make recommendations to reevaluate trade quotas and trade regulations which may affect international hunters. "Certain species are constantly at the center of international trade discussion, and there are groups with protectionist agendas who will attempt to maximize trade restrictions. SCIF provides reason and scientific perspective to refute these protectionist arguments," said Hosmer.
"As the largest international organization representing hunters, SCI and the SCIF need to participate in this critical discussion on the international trade of wildlife," said President Merle Shepard. "SCIF's years of continual work on lion management is further evidence that hunters are the most dedicated and passionate conservationists around the world."
Safari Club International Foundation has been representing hunters at the Animals Committee since 1992. Only persons who can demonstrate an expertise in science, nature conservation, or trade and sustainable use are allowed to participate in the Animals Committee meetings. Since the late 1990's, the SCIF has been represented by its Conservation Department's professional wildlife biologist staff.
The CITES Animals Committee is meeting next week, April 20-24th in Geneva, Switzerland. Over 150 Governments, Inter-Governmental Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations will be participating in the discussion on sustainable use and the significant trade of wildlife.
Contact: Nelson Freeman, Safari Club International (202) 543-8733 or Nfreeman@safariclub.org .
The SCI Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that funds and manages worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian services, including such programs as Sportsmen Against Hunger, Sensory Safari, Safari Care, Disabled Hunter, the American Wilderness Leadership School, Becoming an Outdoors Woman & More and Youth Education Seminars (YES) Outdoors. Call 877-877-3265 or visit www.sci-foundation.org  for more.