A milestone for the CITES Trade Database
Wednesday 2 December 2009 saw the passing of a symbolic milestone – the entry of the 10 millionth record into the CITES Trade Database. The database has been maintained by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) since 1982, under a contract with the CITES Secretariat. It holds data from the annual reports of the Parties to CITES and records nowadays an average of 850,000 permits issued annually. Most of the entries represent individual shipments of live or dead animals and plants and their parts and derivatives of species that are included in the CITES Appendices. These primary data are available to anyone via the Internet from both the CITES and UNEP-WCMC websites and are an essential tool for understanding the international wildlife trade flows. Based on these data, CITES authorities can monitor the levels of trade and adopt policy decisions to ensure the survival of our irreplaceable fauna and flora.