What is CITES?
CITES regulates international trade in wild animal and plant species
CITES - Which country submitted proposals?
Map shows examples of countries that had submitted proposals to CITES COP-15.
CITES and how it works:
The aim of the Convention is to prevent species from becoming extinct because of international trade. The Convention provides three categories of species - the so-called Appendices. Depending on the threat status, and on political agreements, species are listed in these Appendices. Member countries are responsible for the enforcement of the CITES regulations.
What do the Appendices mean?
- Appendix I
Approximately 1,000 critically endangered species are currently listed. Every form of commercial and/or international trade (export, re-export, import and introduction from the sea) in these species is prohibited. The Snow Leopard is one example of an Appendix I species.
- Appendix II
Around 33,000 species are listed as endangered and face a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future if trade is not controlled closely.
- Appendix III
This Appendix includes 200 species that are protected in at least one country. Trade is controlled regionally by the countries in which the species in question occurs.
The Appendices regulate whether or not, to which extent and under which conditions an animal or a plant species (or body parts or products made of either) may be traded internationally. Once an animal or plant species threatened by international trade has been listed in one of the CITES Appendices, its population may have a chance to recover.
If, for example, an Appendix II listing has not resulted in a viable recovery, the species can be up-listed to the highest category (Appendix I). Trading in these species is absolutely forbidden. However, if the population of a species listed in Appendix I recovers, it can be downlisted to Appendix II, provided the proposal has been accepted within the framework of the Convention. Once this step has been taken, trading is again permitted and resumed - although under very strict conditions.