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

The 1973 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a response to concerns over-exploitation of wildlife through international trade contributes to the rapid decline of many species of plants and animals. CITES aims to ensure international trade of wild animal and plant species does not threaten their survival.

CITES parties are required to identify threatened species, establish rules regarding their trade, and impose trade sanctions against violators. CITES currently protects roughly 5,800 species of animals and 30,000 species of plants on three appendices. Appendix I lists species endangered due to international trade, permitting such trade only in exceptional circumstances. Appendix-II species may become endangered if their trade is not regulated, thus they require controls aimed at preventing unsustainable use and maintaining ecosystems. Appendix-III species are those subject to domestic regulation by a party requesting the cooperation of other parties to control international trade in these species.