CITES: ensuring that species are not threatened by international trade
How does CITES work?CITES regulates international trade in species by including species on one of three Appendices.
- Appendix I - species cannot be traded internationally for primarily commercial purposes. (Example of species under Appendix I: tiger, Himalayan brown bear, elephant, and Tibetan antelope)
- Appendix II - species can be traded internationally for commercial purposes, but within strict regulations, requiring determinations of sustainability and legality. (Example of species under Appendix II: Hippopotamus, bigleaf mahogany, and the gray wolf)
- Appendix III - a species included at the request of a country which then needs the cooperation of other countries to help prevent illegal exploitation. (Example of species under Appendix III: walrus, Hoffmann's two-toed sloth, and the red-breasted toucan)
The ban was successful in eliminating some of the major ivory markets, leading to reduced poaching and allowing some populations to recover.
WWF continues to provide technical and scientific support to CITES Parties on issues surrounding trade in ivory.
What does WWF do?
- WWF is an active participant in the CITES Conferences of the Parties, providing scientific and technical support on various priority species and issues. For example, WWF has contributed to recent CITES decisions to protect several marine and timber species, such as the humphead wrasse, great white shark, and the Asian commercial timber species, ramin.
- WWF also works to enforce CITES regulations, and to ensure that its mandate is not weakened or over-ruled by institutions such as the World Trade Organization.