CITES — Washington Convention

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Topics covered:

Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

 

CITES — Washington Convention

 

What to study?

For Prelims: CITES- key facts.

For Mains: Why India has proposed to remove rosewood from the CITES list? Need and implications of this move.

 

Context: India has submitted proposals regarding changes to the listing of various wildlife species in the CITES secretariat meeting, scheduled later this month in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • The proposals submitted are regarding changes in the listing of the smooth-coated otter, small-clawed otter, Indian star tortoise, Tokay gecko, wedgefish and Indian rosewood.
  • The country seeks to boost the protection of all the five animal species as they are facing a high risk of international trade.

 

About Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES):

  • It is an International agreement to regulate worldwide commercial trade in wild animal and plant species
  • It restricts trade in items made from such plants and animals, such as food, clothing, medicine, and souvenirs.
  • It was signed on March 3, 1973 (Hence world wildlife day is celebrated on march 3).
  • It is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • Secretariat — Geneva (Switzerland).
  • CITES is legally binding on state parties to the convention, which are obliged to adopt their own domestic legislation to implement its goals.

 

Classifications:

It classifies plants and animals according to three categories, or appendices, based on how threatened. They are.

  1. Appendix I: It lists species that are in danger of extinction. It prohibits commercial trade of these plants and animals except in extraordinary situations for scientific or educational reasons.
  2. Appendix II species: They are those that are not threatened with extinction but that might suffer a serious decline in number if trade is not restricted. Their trade is regulated by permit.
  3. Appendix III species: They are protected in at least one country that is a CITES member states and that has petitioned others for help in controlling international trade in that species.

 

Sources: down to earth.