CITES as a tool for sustainable development: Despite progress in tackling international trade in tropical tree species, more needs to be done

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Key messages

  • Habitat degradation resulting from land use change and the overexploitation and illegal trade of wild species are driving the current biodiversity crisis.
  • Launched in 1975, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), now has 183 contracted state parties and the European Union. The Convention lists species at risk from international trade in one of three appendices, depending on the level of threat.
  • Tree species listed by CITES numbered only 18 in 1975; by 2013, more than 350 tree species were listed, around 200 of which are used and traded for timber. The CITES Tree Species Programme was launched in 2017 to ensure that trade in timber, bark, extracts and other products from CITES-listed tree species is sustainable, legal and traceable.
  • This brief highlights a new Cambridge University Press book: CITES As a Tool for Sustainable Development, with a focus on the governance of tropical timber species.


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