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Geneva Green Guide

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

CITES

CITES Secretariat
International Environment House
11-13 chemin des Anémones
CH-1219 Châtelaine (Geneva)

Tel: 
(+41 22) 917 81 39/40
Fax: 
(+41 22) 797 34 17
Email: 
Contact: 

Yuan Liu, T (+41 22) 917 8130, Email: yuan.liu@cites.org

Description

CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that the international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

Organization: 
Intergovernmental organizations
Established: 
1973 (in force 1975)
Staff: 
24
Chief/Director: 
Secretary General: John Scanlon
Activities: 

The Convention regulates the international trade in certain species of flora and fauna. Any export, re-export, import or introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need.

  • 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 for 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 the trade on the status of the species. As of  July 2016, 182 States were members of the Convention.

Cooperation: 

with UNEP, other MEAs, UNEP-WCMC, WTO, Interpol, WCO, IUCN, TRAFFIC.

Publications: 

CITES Handbook; Checklist of CITES Species; CITES Identification Guide; CITES World. See the website.

Keywords: 
wildlife
trade & environment
conservation
biological diversity