Record agenda for World Wildlife Conference – CITES CoP17 – 
 to be held in South Africa in September

Updated on 12 January 2021

For use of the media only;
not an official document.




Record agenda for World Wildlife Conference – CITES CoP17 – 

to be held in South Africa in September

Geneva, 2 May 2016 – A record 175 documents proposing new measures and policies on international trade in wild fauna and flora were submitted by the 27 April deadline for consideration at the World Wildlife Conference - the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP17). Among these documents, 60 are proposals to amend the lists of species subject to CITES trade controls were submitted by over 80 Parties from across the world. 

These proposals and documents will be decided upon at the triennial meeting of the 182 Parties to CITES (181 countries and the European Union), which will be held from 24 September to 5 October 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The proposals are now available on the CITES web site in the languages and formats in which they were received. Parties have 60 days to provide their comments on the proposals. The CITES Secretariat will also invite comments from relevant intergovernmental bodies.

The CoP17 agenda furthermore features 115 working documents that analyse a wide range of wildlife trade issues, and recommend new measures and policies concerning international trade in wild fauna and flora. While most of these documents have been prepared by the CITES community in the course of the last three years, some 40 additional ones were submitted by Parties by the deadline of 27 April 2016. 

“CITES decisions determine the international rules governing trade in wildlife. CoP17 is shaping up as one of the most critical meetings in the 40+ year history of the Convention, with the agenda addressing a vast array of issues, including bringing new species under CITES trade controls, changing the current status of existing CITES-listed species, supporting legal and sustainable wildlife trade as well as a broad range of measures to tackle illicit wildlife trafficking, such as fighting corruption, enhanced enforcement, targeted demand reduction and supporting local livelihoods” said Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon.

CoP17 will be the first meeting of the Conference to Parties following the adoption of the historic resolution by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife in 2015 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which further recognized the important role of CITES and fundamental legal framework it provides to regulate legal trade and tackle illicit trafficking in wildlife and to contribute to tangible benefits for local people. 

Note to editors: For more information, contact Liu Yuan at +41 22 917 8130 or [email protected]


With 182 Parties, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) remains one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of trade. Thousands of species are internationally traded and used by people in their daily lives for food, health care, housing, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics or fashion.

CITES regulates international trade in over 35,000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, to ensure their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment. The CITES permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable.

CITES was signed in Washington D.C. on 3 March 1973 and entered into force on 1 July 1975.

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