What is the Full Form of CITES?

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The full form of CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. It is an international agreement that aspires to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. The primary goal of CITES is to regulate and monitor the international trade of species to prevent over-exploitation and extinction.

When was CITES Founded?

CITES was founded in 1973 and is a legally binding agreement among its member countries. It seeks to maintain a balance between the preservation of endangered species and the needs of people, recognizing that trade in certain species can be beneficial both economically and culturally, but only if it’s done sustainably.

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Role of CITES

1. Regulation of Trade: CITES regulates the international trade of more than 37,000 species of plants and animals. These species are listed in three appendices, each with varying levels of protection. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction and trade in them is prohibited except in exceptional circumstances. Appendix II species are not necessarily threatened with extinction but may become so if trade is not controlled. Appendix III includes species protected in at least one country, which has asked for assistance in controlling trade.

2. Enforcement: Member countries are responsible for implementing CITES regulations within their borders. They must designate national management and scientific authorities to oversee and administer the trade in these species. CITES also provides guidelines for issuing permits and certificates for legal trade.

3. Monitoring and Reporting: Countries are required to report on their implementation of CITES, including details on trade permits and enforcement actions. This information helps track trends in the trade of endangered species and allows for better decision-making regarding conservation efforts.

CITES has played a crucial role in preventing the exploitation of many species. For example, the Southern White Rhino and the American Alligator were once on the brink of extinction due to unregulated trade, but CITES regulations helped their populations recover. However, challenges remain, including the illegal trade of endangered species, insufficient resources for enforcement in some countries, and the need to balance conservation efforts with the needs of local communities.

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