CITES Part 2 – Some background about CITES and how we as Parrot Breeders are affected by CITES and decisions made by CITES

In Part 1 the background about Cites was discussed and outlined. Refer to Part 1.

The diagram below illustrates how CITES is structured and functions.

Cites Governing Bodies

Conference of the Parties (CoP)

The Parties to CITES are collectively referred to as the Conference of the Parties. Every two to three years, the Conference of the Parties meets to review the implementation of the Convention. These meetings last for about two weeks and are usually hosted by one of the Parties. The meetings are often referred to as ‘CoPs’.

The last CoP, CoP19,  was held in Panama, referred to as the 19th Conference of the Parties.

Part 2 (b)

Standing Committee

The Standing Committee provides policy guidance to the Secretariat concerning the implementation of the Convention and oversees the management of the Secretariat’s budget. Beyond these key roles, it coordinates and oversees, where required, the work of other committees and working groups; carries out tasks given to it by the Conference of the Parties; and drafts resolutions for consideration by the Conference of the Parties

All Parties that are not members of the Standing Committee have the right to send observers to its meetings. In addition, the Chair may invite observers from any country or organisation.
Usually, the Standing Committee meets only once a year, although it does also meet just before and after each meeting of the Conference of the Parties. The Standing Committee may establish such working groups as may be necessary to carry out its functions.

Non-governmental Organisations NGO’s may be represented as observers at meetings of the Committee.

Part 2(c)

Animals and Plants Committees

These committees of experts were established, to fill gaps in biological and other specialized knowledge.  .

The Animals and Plants Committees meet twice between meetings of the Conference of the Parties. They report to the Conference of the Parties at its meetings and, if so requested, provide advice to the Standing Committee between such meetings.

The members of the Animals and Plants Committees are individuals from the six major geographical regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Central and South America and the Caribbean, and Oceania), as well as one specialist on nomenclature on each of the two committees.  Any Party may be represented at a meeting of either committee as an observer and the Chair may invite any person or organization to participate, also as an observer.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) may be represented as observers at meetings of the Committee

Working Committees

The working committees, this is where items discussed at the Animal and Plant Committees are discussed/debated and recommendations made back to the Animals/Plant & Standing Committees.  This is where the hard work is done (the tekkie strikes the tar)!


PASA as an NGO, attends all the committees above, and is involved in various working groups to represent, not only the members of PASA, but indirectly all Parrot Breeders is South Africa.

Be on the lookout for Part 3 which will deal with how PASA is involved and the importance of attending and being part of CITES!