From: Daniel Lovering, Associated Press
Published November 16, 2004 12:00 AM

Nature Conservation Body to Launch International Talks in Thailand

BANGKOK, Thailand − An environmental group will release a new list of endangered species this week at the largest-ever nature conservation meeting in Asia, organizers said Tuesday.


The World Conservation Union, known as IUCN, will bring together delegates from more than 100 countries for the Nov. 17-25 meeting in Bangkok.


The conference is expected to adopt resolutions and recommendations for environmental protection that are not legally binding but have proven effective in the past, organizers say.


On Wednesday, the IUCN will release a new list of more than 15,000 endangered plants and animals. Delegates will also present "a more comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date assessment of the state of biodiversity on our planet than ever before," an IUCN statement said.


The meeting, which is held every four years, is the largest-ever nature conservation forum in Asia, a region that supports more than half the world's human population and plant and animal species, the IUCN statement said.


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About 5,000 government officials, scientists, business representatives and conservation activists will discuss environmental management and species threatened with extinction, said Dr. William Jackson, director of IUCN's global program.


Scientists will present research on ecosystems ranging from coral reefs to the Himalayan mountains, he said.


IUCN, created in 1948 as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, consists of 81 member countries as well as organizations and scientists from 181 nations.


The meeting comes weeks after representatives of the 166 signatory countries to the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, met in the Thai capital to adopt restrictions on trade in several endangered plant and animal species.


Source: Associated Press


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