What is CITES?

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

How does CITES works?

CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering that licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species.

How are endangered species classified?

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 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

What is The Conference of the Parties (CoP)?

The Conference of the Parties (CoP), is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention and comprises all its Parties.

For more information regarding CITES, please visit their official website here.

What does DSWF do at CITES?

At regular CITES meetings, DSWF lead a team of expert campaigners, lawyers, biologists and fellow conservationists at (CITES) to fight for the toughest protection possible for elephants in the international arena.

Taking a principal role in supporting the African Elephant Coalition (AEC), our combined mission is to see the closure of domestic markets; an objective now in part underway, to see the development of robust guidelines for ivory stockpiles and to ensure any future discussions on the ivory trade are not endorsed. DSWF helped ensure that comprehensive guidelines on stockpiles and their management are to be developed and re-emphasised our view regarding stockpiles destruction as a positive signal that ivory should not be given a commercial price tag and that the only worthwhile value of ivory is to an elephant itself.