CITES and Livelihoods

Rural communities in certain parts of the world depend heavily on species of wild animals and plants for their livelihoods. Parties to CITES recognize the potential impacts of CITES-listing decisions on the livelihoods of rural communities, noting inthe meantime that effective implementation of CITES decisions can form part of a strategy to provide sustainable livelihoods for rural communities, consistent with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) [Resolution Conf. 16.6 (Rev. CoP18)].

In order to better assess potential positive and negative impacts of CITES listing decisions, and to maximize the benefits of legal trade to rural communities and species conservation, various tools and case studies have been developed.

Resolutions, Decisions and Notifications to the Parties

Tools and Resources

  • CITES and Livelihoods Handbook
  Part I Part II  

A conservation journey

From Poachers to Heroes

Case studies on CITES and livelihoods have been collected from countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America and South America, including small island developing States such as Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands. These case studies involve the sustainable use of a wide range of species, from mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish to corals and medicinal aromatic plants.

The following 25 case studies have been selected from the many case studies conducted from around the world. They are available in the formats of a factsheet for easy accessibility as well as in full report.

Case studies presented during CoP18:

Case studies presented during CoP19:
  • Harvest and trade of Prunus africana bark in Cameroon (factsheet)
  • Nile crocodile harvest and trade in Zimbabwe (factsheet)
  • Trophy hunting of elephants in Zimbabwe (factsheet)
  • Reticulated python harvest and trade in Indonesia (factsheet)
  • Asian monitor lizard harvest and trade in Peninsular Malaysia (factsheet)
  • Harvest and trade of Jatamansi in Nepal (factsheet)
  • Harvest, import and consumption of Queen Conch in Saint Lucia (factsheet)
  • Queen Conch fishing and trade in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (factsheet)
  • Harvest and trade of tegu lizards in Argentina (factsheet)
  • Yellow Anaconda harvest and trade in Argentina (factsheet)
  • Harvest and trade of Candelilla in Mexico (factsheet)
  • “Vaquita-safe” fishing for conservation and livelihoods in Mexico (factsheet)
  • Wild harvest and “forest farming” of American ginseng in the United States (factsheet)
  • Guaiacwood harvesting for essential oils in the Paraguayan Gran Chaco (factsheet)
  • Community-based harvest and trade of Vicuña fibre in Peru (factsheet

Decision 18.33 adopted at the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties continues to call for new case studies on how legal and sustainable trade can support the conservation of wildlife and improvement of livelihoods of rural communities.

Notification to the Parties No. 2020/029 invites Parties to submit such case studies by using the standard template

Previous case studies

  • Crocodiles and livelihoods of rural communities
    • Study coordinated by the Organization of the American States (OAS) [Eng/Esp]
  • Shark listings and livelihoods of small scale fisheries 
    • Study coordinated by the Organization of the American States (OAS) [Eng/Esp]

Other resources


Heads of states wearing sashes made of vicuña wool at the APEC summit in 2016 in Peru.