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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts

The Hon Stephen Smith MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

John Scanlon appointed Secretary-General of CITES

Joint media release
15 May 2010

The Australian Government welcomes the appointment of John Scanlon to the position of Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Mr Scanlon, who took up his new post earlier this month, is the first Australian to hold this internationally prestigious position. In the International Year of Biodiversity, it is an honour to have an Australian in this role.

His appointment also reflects the fact that Australia is at the forefront of protecting biodiversity.

CITES aims to help protect and conserve endangered wild animals and plants by regulating their international trade.

Entering into force on 1 July 1975, CITES is one of the oldest environment conservation conventions. Today it has 175 member states, making it one of the largest conservation agreements.

Australia has been a signatory since 1976, and takes its responsibilities under the Convention seriously.

Mr Scanlon has had a distinguished international career. He has previously held the positions of Strategic Advisor to the World Commission on Dams in Cape Town and Head of the Environment Law Programme at the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Mr Scanlon was Australia's first independent Commissioner on the Murray Darling Basin Commission, Chief Executive of the Department of Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs in South Australia and has held several senior roles in New South Wales, including Deputy Director-General of the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources.

Mr Scanlon is the fifth CITES Secretary-General. We look forward to working with him in the future.

Commonwealth of Australia