SLTPB links with CITES to promote responsible wildlife tourism

25 January 2016 02:55 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) under the guidance of the Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Ministry will be hosting a lecture by Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretary General John E. Scanlon today at Galle Face Hotel Colombo.   

The Secretary General has arrived on the invitation of President Maithripala Sirisena to attend the destruction of blood ivory event at the Galle Face Green tomorrow, on International Customs Day. 

Sri Lanka Customs in May 2012 seized a stockpile of African elephant tasks (blood ivory) which was smuggled out from Kenya and was on its way to the international markets via the Port of Colombo. The Customs after a formal inquiry confiscated the entire shipment, pending destruction of the ivory in public as per international law. 

The event will take place under the patronage of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with the participation of diplomatic corps and the public. The event is expected to draw international attention and Sri Lanka Tourism hopes to showcase local perspectives on wildlife through art at this event where dozens of painters and sculptors will portray wildlife of Sri Lanka.

The lecture hosted by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau is seen as a valuable opportunity to highlight the importance of conserving our fauna and flora and adopting zero tolerance on illegal wildlife trade. The event will also further highlight the collaborative efforts between the Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Ministry and Sustainable Development and Wildlife Ministry to strengthen the country’s tourism offerings in a responsible manner. 

“Wildlife is an integral part of our tourism product. Sri Lanka’s rich wildlife, flora and fauna must be protected to ensure the sustainability of our national tourism venture. My ministry will spare no efforts in ensuring the protection of our wildlife through sustainable tourism. 

The event at Galle Face sends a clear message to the rest of the world about Sri Lanka’s zero tolerance of the ivory trade,” said Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga. 

“We are thankful to the CITES Secretary General John Scanlon who has agreed to conduct a lecture on wildlife-based tourism, which will help draw global attention to our sustainable practices.”
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