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

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), also known as the Washington Convention, was concluded on 3 March 1973. It entered into force after ratification or accession by 10 States, on 1 July 1975. Currently 183 Parties are signatories to the Convention, which covers 36,000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives.

The CITES Convention is a multilateral agreement whose aim is to ensure that international trade (export, re-export, import and introduction from the sea) in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Its aim is therefore to ensure the conservation of wildlife, as an integral part of the global ecosystem on which all life depends.

To this end, the CITES Convention subjects the international movement of regulated specimens (so called “CITES-listed species”) to a particularly strict regulation, represented by a system of controls and authorisations/permits that aims at ensuring the traceability of such species, and varies according to the degree of protection granted to each of them.

CITES-listed species are indicated in 3 Appendices (I, II and III). Each Appendix grants a different type of protection aimed at avoiding that the above mentioned species are excessively traded and exploited illegally and unsustainably in the wild, as their extinction would have irreversible ecological consequences and negative economic and social effects.

Further information here.





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