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Convention on International Trade in Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES)

Illegal trade in endangered wildlife and flora is having a significant negative impact on the world's biodiversity. To try and reduce this impact, the World Conservation Union signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). After ten years of negotiations, the text of CITES was finally agreed at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington D.C., on March 3, 1973. It entered into force on July 1, 1975. Today, CITES has been endorsed by over 166 countries. The aim is to “protect endangered species…from overexploitation by regulating or prohibiting their international trade.” This is done by subjecting selected species to certain controls and regulations, including a ban on the trading of live animals or body parts.

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