Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Washington D.C., USA
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 01/07/1975


Environment and products

Sub category

Flora and fauna



What is it about?

This Convention regulates the trade in specimens of endangered species of wild flora and fauna, as well as their parts or derivatives. Appendix I to the Convention includes all species threatened with extinction that are or may be affected by trade. Trade in specimens enounced in Appendix I is subject to strict regulation and only authorized in exceptional circumstances. Appendix II includes all species, which, although not necessarily presently threatened with extinction, may become threatened unless trade is subject to strict regulation. State parties are required to take appropriate measures to enforce the provisions of the Convention, including penalizing trade in, or possession of, such specimens, as well as to provide for the confiscation and return to the State of export of such specimens. The Secretariat of the Convention may communicate information regarding the trade of Appendix I or II species to a Contracting Party; the Contracting party must then investigate and report. Two amendments have been adopted. The first amendment, dealing with financial provisions was completed in Bonn (22 June 1979, 126 parties as of 2003). The second amendment, adopted in Gabarone (30 April 1983, 70 Parties as of 2003) authorizes the membership of certain international economic organizations to the Convention.

Why is it relevant?

This Convention allows State parties to preserve their most fragile species of flora and fauna and protects them against trade exploitation. This prevents a degradation of their natural habitat and favours their ecology. The ratification of this instrument by a State can also assist in the development of the tourism sector.

Additional Information

A permanent Secretariat, established in Lausanne (Switzerland), is responsible to monitor the application of the Convention. State parties also have the possibility to include species protected by internal regulations for protection under the Convention.

  • Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (Montreal, 29 January 2000)
  • African Agreement on Co-operative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora (Lusaka, 08 September 1994)
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio de Janeiro, 5 June 1992)
  • Convention on the Protection of Natural Resources and the Environment in the Area of the South Pacific (Noumea, 24 November 1986)
  • Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in Southeast Asia (Kuala Lumpur, 09 July 1985)
  • Convention on Conservation of Wild Life and Nature in Europe (Bern, 19 September 1979)
  • Convention on the Protection of Nature in the South Pacific (Apia, 12 June 1976)
  • African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (Alger, 15 September 1968)
  • Convention on Bird Protection (Paris, 18 October 1950)


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