International Conventions

Mains Marks Booster     31st July 2023        
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Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

Introduction: Established in 1975, CITES is an international treaty governing the trade of endangered species. Administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Purpose: CITES aims to ensure that international trade does not threaten the survival of wild animals and plants. Balances the conservation of species with sustainable utilization and economic considerations.

Permit System and Monitoring

  • Permit system: CITES operates through a permit system, requiring parties to issue permits or certificates for the import, export, or re-export of CITES-listed species.
  • Monitoring: Trade routes are monitored to ensure compliance with permit requirements and detect illegal wildlife trafficking.

Significance of CITES:

  • Preservation of Endangered Species: Since its inception in 1975, CITES has significantly contributed to the preservation and recovery of several species. It has helped reduce illegal wildlife trafficking of endangered species like tigers, elephants, and rhinoceros.
  • Wide Participation: With nearly all countries (183 as of my last training cut-off in September 2021) being signatories, the agreement has global reach and impact, making the rules almost universally applicable.
  • Flexible Mechanism: The CITES Agreement's appendix system allows for adaptive management, where species can be moved between Appendix I, II, and III based on the changes in their conservation status.
  • Strong Regulatory Framework: CITES provides a strong and legally binding framework for regulation of international wildlife trade, which has played a crucial role in curbing illicit activities.
  • Increased Awareness: CITES has contributed significantly to raising global awareness about the threats to biodiversity from unregulated or illegal trade, leading to broader efforts for wildlife conservation.

Challenges of CITES Agreement: Implementation and Enforcement, Funding Issues, Illegal Trade, Scientific Limitations, Politics Over Conservation.

Way Forward:

  • Importance of Strict Enforcement for Wildlife Conservation: Stresses the need for effective enforcement of wildlife conservation laws.
  • Responsibility of Businesses and Corporations in Environmental Protection: Highlights the role of businesses in adhering to environmental regulations.
  • Impact of Development Projects on Wildlife and Local Communities: Addresses the environmental impact of development projects on wildlife and local communities.
  • Importance of Public Awareness and Engagement in Conservation Efforts: Underlines the significance of raising public awareness and involving communities in wildlife conservation.

Conclusion: The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) have the

potential to cause significant strides in safeguarding wildlife, combating illegal trade, and preserving biodiversity for future generations. However, rigorous measures should be taken to make it happen.

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