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

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between Governments, drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival and accords varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species of animals and plants.

Not one species protected by CITES has become extinct as a result of trade since the Convention entered into force in 1975.


The convention

CITES is one of the largest conservation agreements in existence. Participation is voluntary, and states (countries) that have agreed to be bound by the Convention are known as Parties. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties, it does not take the place of national laws. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to make sure that CITES is implemented at the national level.

The text of the Convention was opened for signature at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington DC., United States of America, on 3 March 1973, and entered into force on 1 July 1975. In February 2005, 167 Parties had entered the convention.

The species

CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. These require that all import, export, re-export and introduction of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system.

Roughly 5,000 species of animals and 28,000 species of plants are protected by CITES against over-exploitation through international trade. The species are grouped in the Appendices according to how threatened they are by international trade.

  • Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.
  • Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade.

Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering the licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species.

Source: CITES Secretariat ( (external link to official site)

Member countries

See official List of Parties (

External links

See also

environmental agreementsde:Washingtoner Artenschutz-bereinkommen es:CITES fr:Convention sur le commerce international des espces de faune et de flore sauvages menaces d'extinction it:CITES zh-min-nan:Kiông-beh-khu̍t-chéng Iá-seng Tōng-si̍t-bu̍t Kok-chè Bō·-e̍k Kong-iok nl:CITES ja:ワシントン条約 no:CITES pl:CITES sv:CITES zh:濒临绝种野生动植物国际贸易公约


  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools