November 17, 2021, The Liberacy:- CITES stands for “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species” of wild flora and fauna. It was established with an aim of ensuring the protection of plants and animal species in international trade so that their trade does not threaten the survival of the species of the plant and animal. It was adopted in 1963 and came into working from 1975.

India joined in 1976.

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Facts on CITES:-

  1. International Union for Conservation of Nature (iucn) was the platform, where it was first conceptualise in 1863.
  2. It is administered by the United Nations under its “United Nations Environment Programme” (UNEP).
  3. Headquarter is located in Geneva Switzerland.
  4. Convention of Parties (COP) to CITES is the apex decision making body, comprising of all the member Nations/Parties.

CITES Classification:-

Roughly 5500 species of animals and around 30,000 species of plants are recognised under CITES for protection under three categories.
The three categories are based on the level of danger a species posess for trade and are divided into three “CITES appendix”

CITES Appendix 1

  • Species in “Danger of Extinction”
  • No Commercial trade allowed.
  • Trade is allowed for research purpose only, with origin country guaranteeing that the trade will NOT harm the species existence.
  • Trade requires Permit.
  • Total 931 species on list.

Example:- Asiatic Lions and Tigers, Sea Turtles, Gorillas, etc

CITES Appendix 2

  • Species “Not in Immediate Danger” but can be threatened if not protected.
  • Trade permit is needed and allowed only if origin country ensures survival threat protection of the species.
  • Total 34,419 species on list.

Example:- American Alligator, Paddlefish, Mahogany, etc

CITES Appendix 3

  • Species “Protected atleast by One Country”
  • Origin species that listed the species can issue export permit and export from other countries of the species requires “Country of Origin” mentioning.
  • Total 147 species on list.

Example:- Honeybadger, Walroses, Map Turtles, etc

List of species from any appendix can be altered by Conference of Parties (COP) only, except for appendix 3.
Appendix 3 can be modified anytime and by any party unilaterally.

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