Musical instruments will be on the agenda when representatives from 182 countries gather in Colombo, Sri Lanka May 23 through June 3 to renegotiate the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Whether orchestras are traveling internationally for performances or musicians seek to buy and sell instruments across borders, CITES sets limitations and requires permits for instruments that have historically been made with small bits of material from natural resources that are now under protected status, such as monitor lizards, sea turtles, and elephant ivory. The League of American Orchestras will participate in the negotiations, seeking to improve implementation of the Musical Instrument Certificate that touring orchestras must obtain, and the League will also weigh in on new policies related to rosewood, which is used in a wide array of instruments. At meetings leading up to the Sri Lanka gathering, conservation leaders agreed that musical instruments are not contributing to the threat to non-Brazilian rosewood species and should be exempted from CITES permit requirements. A record number of proposals to list species under protected status as well as new policies will be considered at the meeting. Visit for information.