The Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), also
known as the Washington Convention is a multilateral treaty. The main purpose
of this treaty is to conserve and look after endangered plants and animals. The
objective of CITES is to ensure that the survival of any species are not
threatened in the activity of any international trade. Under this international
treaty, countries put effort collectively to administer and coordinate the
international trade of animal and plant species and also to affirm that this
trade does not damage or harm the survival of wild populations. Accordingly, any
trade in protected plant and animal species should be sustainable.1 In the early of 1960s, analysis
were made internationally in considering on the rate at which wild animals over
the world were being threatened and harmed as a result of trade done without
any regulations. In 1963, the convention was formulated at a meeting of the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUNC). In 1973, at a
meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington, the subject matter of
the convention was in unison and two years later, CITES came into force.2

The activity of illegal
wildlife trade is holding back states of their biodiversity, natural heritage
and capital. This trade is colossal in its extent and measure of capacity. It
absorbs a huge number of animals, their parts and derivatives, which includes
living animals, parts of iconic mega fauna such as elephant ivory and rhino
horn.3 Basically, CITES was
introduced as an authority to regulate the need to control illegal trade in
wildlife. Today, the convention administers the international trade in over
35,000 wild species of plants and animals between its 182 member states.4 For example, iguanas and
parrots serve as some of the relatively 35,000 species that are protected.
Species protected under the convention are stated in the appendices. Appendix I
includes species that are threatened with annihilation and destruction. It
provides the highest level of protection, which includes certain limitations
and conditions on commercial trade. Further, Appendix II comprises of species
that, although presently they are not threatened with annihilation and
destruction, they may become so if there are no trade controls. It involves
other species that simulate other stated species and that it has to be regulated
in order to control the trade efficiently in those other stated species. Most
CITES species are provided in this appendix. Appendix III provides species for
which a number of countries has request other parties to provide assistance and
cooperation in controlling international trade. In this matter, international trade
necessitate an export permit from the country that has listed the species or a
certificate of origin if exported from the other country.5

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The strength of CITES
is the scheme to permit that assist the progress of international cooperation
in conservation and trade monitoring. Permits are circulated exclusively if a particular
country’s Management and Scientific Authorities concludes that the trade to be
carried out is valid, lawful and that it does not harms the survival of the
species in the world. The use of specific patterned permit forms grants
investigation administrators at ports of export and import to validate
expeditiously that CITES specimens are accurately recorded.6 Moreover, they assist the
progress of bringing together the species-specific trade data, which are used
in the formation of annual documents. These information are used to find out
the activities in trade and to ensure that trade in wildlife is sustainable. The
effect of trade monitoring has developed a substantial body of information on
the management and use of CITES species over the world. Adding on, CITES has provided
assistance in ensuring the global conservation of species. As there is a
potential to sell and ship wildlife anywhere with online markets or by other
technological means and in the disputes of increasing use of wildlife, CITES had
provided mechanisms to competently conserve the diverse natural resources of
the world.7

1Botanic Gardens Conservation International.
Retrieved January 27, 2018, from https://www.bgci.org/policy/cites2/

2Wildlife Trade Regulations in the
European Union (2010). Retrieved January 27, 2018, from
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/pdf/trade_regulations/short_ref_guide.pdf

3National Policy on Biological
Diversity 2016-2025. Retrieved January 27, 2018, from
http://www.nre.gov.my/ms-my/PustakaMedia/Penerbitan/National%20Policy%20on%20Biological%20Diversity%202016-2025.pdf

4Halting the Illegal trade of CITES,
Species from World Heritage Sites (2017). Retrieved January 27, 2018, from
https://wwf.fi/mediabank/9712.pdf

5Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Retrieved January 28, 2018, from
https://www.fws.gov/le/pdf/CITESTreaty.pdf

6CITES (April 2011). Retrieved January
28, 2018, from https://www.cbd.int/doc/nbsap/CITES-NBSAP-Module.pdf

7U.S CITES Implementation Report
(2015). Retrieved January 28, 2018, from
https://www.fws.gov/international/pdf/implementation-report-us-cites-2013-2015.pdf

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