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

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. Because the trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders between countries, the effort to regulate it requires international cooperation to safeguard certain species from over-exploitation. CITES was conceived in the spirit of such cooperation. Today, it has 183 Parties, and accords varying degrees of protection to more than 36,000 species of animals and plants.
CITES joined the Collaborative Partnership on Forests in 2018, reflecting the long-standing collaboration with the CPF membership, and the growing role of CITES in the management of economically valuable forest products such as timbers.

When CITES came into effect in 1975, it regulated international trade in 18 tree species. In recent years, Parties brought over 900 tree species under CITES trade controls, recognizing that CITES can effectively support  legal, sustainable and traceable trade in timber and other forest products. CITES has increasingly been involved in supporting sustainable forest management, and in halting loss of forest biodiversity by ensuring that international trade in wild species is conducted legally and at sustainable levels, and by combatting over-exploitation and illegal trade. CITES thereby contributes to several thematic areas for action of the United Nations strategic plan for forests 2017–2030 (UNSPF).

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