Tuesday, July 30, 2019
What is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species?
The international agreement known as CITES seeks to protect wildlife threatened by trade.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, often referred to as CITES (SIGH-teez), is an agreement between governments that regulates the international trade of wildlife and wildlife products—everything from live animals and plants to food, leather goods, and trinkets. It came into force in 1975 with the goal of ensuring that international trade does not threaten the survival of wild plants and animals.
There are about 5,800 species of animals and 30,000 species of plants protected by CITES currently. They’re categorized into one of three appendices, depending on how at risk from trade they are.
As of June 2019, CITES had 183 party governments, which must abide by CITES regulations by implementing legislation within their own borders to enforce those regulations.
CITES was first conceived of at a 1963 meeting of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the global authority on the conservation status of wild animals and plants.