CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species) 

#GS3 #Environment #Biodiversity #Wildlife #Conservation 

News : Government issues advisory to streamline the process for import and possession of exotic live species in India. 

Exotic live species are animal or plant species moved from their original range (location) to a new one. These species are introduced to a new location most often by people. Many citizen of the country have kept CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species) enlisted exotic animal species in their possession but there is no unified information system available of such stock of species at the State/Central level.  Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has decided to collect stock information from the holders of such species through voluntary disclosure in next six months. 

About CITES 

  • CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. 
  • The CITES Secretariat is administered by UNEP and is located at Geneva, Switzerland. 
  • Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. 
  • It is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals. 
  • It was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 
  • The convention was opened for signature in 1973 and CITES entered into force in 1975. 
  • Participation is voluntary, and countries that have agreed to be bound by the Convention are known as Parties. 
  • Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties, it does not take the place of national laws. Rather it provides a framework respected by each Party, which must adopt their own domestic legislation to implement CITES at the national level. 
  • Roughly 5,000 species of animals and 29,000 species of plants are protected by CITES against over-exploitation through international trade. Each protected species or population is included in one of three lists, called Appendices. 
  • The Appendix that lists a species or population reflects the extent of the threat to it and the controls that apply to the trade. 
  • Species are proposed for inclusion in or deletion from the Appendices at meetings of the Conference of the Parties (CoP), which are held approximately once every three years, the most recent of which was COP 17 in Johannesburg, South Africa from 24 September to 5 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Center. 
  • Appendix I, about 1200 species, are species that are threatened with extinction and are or may be affected by trade. 
  • Appendix II, about 21,000 species, that are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless trade of such species is subject to strict regulation. 
  • Appendix III, about 170 species, are species that are listed after one member country has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling trade in a species. The species are not necessarily threatened with extinction globally. 
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