The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), or more simply the Washington Convention, was adopted in 1973 and entered into force in 1975. It regulates international trade of species to ensure their survival.
This international treaty concerns flora and fauna, both in the form of living specimens (for pet shops, zoos, etc.) as well as in the form of derived products (e.g. wood objects, fur, traditional remedies).
Over 34,000 species are thus taken into consideration by this Convention, depending on their state of conservation and endangerment. These species are classified in three appendices, which determine to what extent each species can be used and traded.
In all cases, the trade of species from each appendix requires export permits (or re-export permits) which are issued by management organisms in the exporter countries. Only creatures that are legally obtained, without compromising the survival of the species can apply for these permits.
The logo of the Washington Convention on its 35th anniversary. © Cites