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2) Discuss the aim and the working of the CITES. Also discuss the criticism faced by the organization.(250 words)

Topic– Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

2) Discuss the aim and the working of the CITES. Also discuss the criticism faced by the organization.(250 words)



Why this question

The international trade of animals and plants stands as one of the biggest threats to many endangered species worldwide. Illegal wildlife trade is approx. worth  USD 175 billion annually. India is unfortunately one of the biggest victims of wildlife trafficking. CITES is an important international institution working towards  and it is important to discuss its aim, structure, functioning as well as issues surrounding them.

Directive word

Discuss- This is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. We also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the aim and the working of the CITES. Also  it wants us to discuss the criticism faced by the organization.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a few lines about the nature of CITES and its aim- CITES  is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.  Today, it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN


  1. Discuss its working of the organization- CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering that licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species. The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need- Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances, Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival,  Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade.
  2. Discuss the criticism faced by CITES- e.g many of its member countries lack the strong governance needed to effectively enforce CITES restrictions; Treaty is often criticised for being open to influence by political or emotional motives; The “classic” approach to wildlife protection – law enforcement and protected areas – is holding back conservation in developing countries etc.

Conclusion- sum up your discussion by presenting CITES achievements and the form a balanced opinion on the overall importance and role of CITES.