From left: SLTPB Chairman Paddy Withana, Secretary General of CITES John E. Scanlon, Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga and Sustainable Development and Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera
Sri Lanka Tourism took the first step in addressing one of the tourism industry’s major concerns and its impact on wildlife tourism by hosting a lecture on the theme “CITES and wildlife trade – What CITES does and how it links to wildlife tourism” at The Galle Face Hotel on Monday (25) evening.
The lecture was delivered by the Secretary General of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), John E. Scanlon.
Mr. Scanlon was in the island to attend the Destruction of Blood Ivory Event that took place yesterday at the Galle Face Green. Sri Lanka Tourism joined hands with several state organizations including the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Sri Lanka Customs to conduct this event under the auspices of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Speaking during the inauguration of the lecture, Tourism Development Minister John Amaratunga drew attention to the need for sustainable wildlife tourism.
“Responsible and sustainable wildlife tourism is the need of the hour. CITES has spelt out how this could be done through the eradication of the illegal wildlife trade and respect for the environment, especially the flora and fauna,” said Minister Amaratunga, who also noted that the elephant was a much revered animal in this country. “The elephant is the main attraction at our peraheras and is highly revered. We have legislation in place to protect these animals. Proper implementation of the law is what is required.”
Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Board, Paddy Withana delivered the welcome address. The CITES Secretary General, John E. Scanlon’s illuminating lecture was well received by the audience that consisted of wildlife enthusiasts, tourism industry representatives, hoteliers, government officials and the diplomatic corps.
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