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Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

CITES regulates the international trade in species listed under the Conventions. Trade is defined in a broad sense and includes the import or export of a species for various purposes such as sale/purchase, transfer of breeding stock, exchange of zoological/botanical specimens, as well as their parts, products and derivatives. Species can be listed under the Convention on one of three Appendices which have the following meaning:
  • Appendix I: includes all species threatened with extinction which are or may be affected by trade. Trade in specimens of these species must be subject to particularly strict regulation in order not to further endanger their survival and must only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.

  • Appendix II: includes:
  • (a) all species which although not necessarily now threatened with extinction may become so unless trade in specimens of such species is subject to stricter regulation in order to avoid utilisation incompatible with their survival; and

    (b) other species which must be subject to regulation in order that trade in specimens of certain species referred to in (a) may be brought under effective control.

  • Appendix III: includes all species which any Party identifies as being subject to regulation within its jurisdiction for the purpose of preventing or restricting exploitation, and as needing the co-operation of other Parties in the control of trade.

How the lists are drawn up

The lists are drawn up by a conference of all the countries that have signed, or are party to, the Convention. This Conference of the Parties meets roughly every two and a half years to discuss, amongst other things, amendments to the Appendices which may include adding a species, deleting a species and moving a species from one list to another. For a proposal to be accepted, it needs a two-thirds majority vote.

For more information, please visit CITES website http://www.cites.org/

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