What is the content of CITES?
Central to CITES are three lists of species called “appendices”. Species can be added to or moved from one appendix to another, with the approval of states which are party to the convention. Appendix 1 lists species facing extinction and prohibits commercial trade in such species or their products. The few special exceptions include trade for scientific research or museum purposes, and trophies from recreational hunting. Such transactions require both an import permit from CITES authorities in the recipient country and an export permit from authorities in the country of origin. There are over 600 plant and animal species which are facing extinction and are listed in Appendix 1. These include the African elephant, cheetahs, leopards, black and white rhinos, whales, sea turtles, some orchids and cacti. Appendix11 includes species that are not yet endangered but are being monitored, to ensure sustainable utilisation. These species may be traded commercially, if the country of origin is as