Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species

CITES Secretarial, PO Box 456,1219 Ch√Ętelaine, Geneva, Switzerland

Habitat destruction is the major cause of the decline in wildlife populations, but the second most important threat is the exploitation of plants and animals (and their products) of wild origin. It is when this exploitation leads to international trade that CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, plays an important role.

CITES contributes to nature conservation by regulating the international trade through a system of permits and controls, which are issued and implemented by the exporting and importing countries. In July 1993 120 countries were party to CITES. The word 'trade' refers to all international movements of specimens of species listed in its Appendices, and it includes plants carried by tourists, large commercial consignments and material for scientific purposes. However, there are certain exemptions for registered scientific institutions. Through this control system, all Parties assist in keeping rare and threatened wildlife where it belongs - in nature reserves and in its natural habitat.

The CITES control system also permits trade in specimens from the wild up to a level that is not detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild. The international trade in animals and plants of wild origin involves a large number of specimens and has great value. The number of wild plants traded internationally increased greatly after the Second World War when people travelled more freely and to more distant countries. In addition, the increased use of central heating allowed more and more people to keep specimens from tropical regions.

0 0

Post a comment