Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
South Africa will host the 17th Conference of Parties of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 24 September to 5 October 2016. South Africa was a founding member of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Fauna and Flora, known as the CITES Treaty.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aims to ensure that international trade in listed species of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival in the wild. The Conference of Parties meets every three years to consider amendments to the Appendices; to make recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the Convention; and to assess the implementation of the Convention. This convention was adopted on 3 March 1973, and came into force on 1 July 1975.
As the third most mega-biodiverse country in the world, South Africa has taken numerous leadership roles in the conservation of biodiversity at all levels by working with different partners at national, regional and global levels. This is one of the reasons why, at this crucial time when the Convention is faced with complex trade and conservation issues, South Africa is most suited to hosting the meeting in 2016. CITES regulates international trade in over 35 000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, ensuring their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment.
South Africa has a proud and long successful conservation record. Central to South Africa’s conservation model, is an undisputed record of having brought numerous species of wild plants and animals to a healthy population level. Among these are the white and black rhino, which had come close to extinction almost a century ago. South Africa’s participation at CITES is supported by the government’s policy of sustainable utilisation of natural resources as a biodiversity conservation tool. Follow the conversation on Twitter via #CITESCoP17