What is CITES? We’ve all heard of it I’m sure, but not all of us completely understand what it is. To start off, CITES stands for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora which was formed in 1975. It is an international agreement between governments with the aim to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Due to the fact that the trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders between countries, the effort to regulate it requires international cooperation to make sure the species are not overexploited. How do they do that, you ask? Well, that’s a great question!
- for specimens in transit or being transhipped [see Resolution Conf. 9.7 (Rev. CoP15)];
- for specimens that were acquired before CITES provisions applied to them (known as pre-Convention specimens, see Resolution Conf. 13.6);
- for specimens that are personal or household effects [see Resolution Conf. 13.7 (Rev. CoP14)];
- for animals that were ‘bred in captivity’ [see also Resolution Conf. 10.16 (Rev.)];
- for plants that were ‘artificially propagated’ [see also Resolution Conf. 11.11 (Rev. CoP15)];
- for specimens that are destined for scientific research;
- for animals or plants forming part of a traveling collection or exhibition, such as a circus [see also Resolution Conf. 12.3 (Rev. CoP15)].