CITES Part 1 – Some background about CITES and how we as Parrot Breeders are affected by CITES and decisions made by CITES

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments (parties). It aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.

CITES was drafted because of a resolution adopted in 1963.  1 July 1975 CITES entered in force.

The need for CITES

Annually, international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and to include hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens.

Because the trade in wild animals and plants crosses borders between countries.  CITES was conceived in the spirit of such cooperation. Today, it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 40,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.

Conference of Parties (CoP)

CITES is an international agreement to which States adhere voluntarily. States that have agreed to be bound by the Convention (‘joined’ CITES) are known as Parties. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words, they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.

CITES has a membership, with now 184 Parties.

CITES and its importance became more prominent, for us as Parrot Breeders when the African Grey Parrot, was listed in Appendix 1 as endangered.  The rest is history, with various strict implications for registered AG breeders to breed AG Parrots commercially.

PART 2 – will focus on the Subcommittees in CITES and the importance of PASA involvement!