CITES Parties are making headway on strengthening national wildlife legislation

Updated on 12 January 2021

Significant progress has been made by CITES Parties to adopt national legislation for the effective implementation and enforcement of the Convention since the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17, Johannesburg, 24 September - 4 October 2016).

The increased global focus on trade in protected wildlife, including efforts to combat illegal trade, has reemphasized the critical importance of clear and strong legislation, enabling Parties to regulate legal trade and to prevent and sanction illegal trade in CITES-listed species.

New legislation has been put in place in a number of countries that are Parties to CITES, including Chile, Kuwait, Liberia, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique and Solomon Islands. Other Parties are in the final stages of preparing new legislation with the assistance of the Secretariat. The CITES Secretariat has also joined forces with the UN Environment Programme in several countries, including Angola, Mauritania and Niger to support their efforts in developing national legislation. Similar agreements with Benin, Ivory Coast, Rwanda and Somalia are also underway.

The CITES Secretariat has agreed with four Parties, that the revised legislation meets all the minimum requirements of the Convention set out in CITES Resolution Conf. 8.4 (Rev. CoP15) on National laws for implementation of the Convention and has therefore been moved to Category 1. These are Morocco, Chile, Kuwait and the United Kingdom of Great Britain for the dependent territory of the Cayman Islands.

The Secretary-General of the Convention, Mr John Scanlon said: “Sound legislation is critical for the effective implementation of CITES. We would like to warmly congratulate Cayman Islands, Chile, Kuwait and Morocco on being moved to Category 1 under CITES. This is a critical step towards ensuring strong and effective regulation of protected wildlife in international trade, both to ensure legal, sustainable and reported trade and to fight illegal trade. The CITES Secretariat stands ready to assist more Parties in following suit, thanks to generous financial support from its donors, including the European Union and the United States of America.”

More information on the CITES National Legislation Project as well as the status of legislation in other Parties can be found on the CITES website: /legislation

CITES Secretariat

Geneva, 19 June 2017