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Zoo Logic

Nov 14, 2019

According to, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora regulates international trade in over 36,000 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.

With 183 Parties, CITES remains one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of trade. (Though not without debate and controversy among competing member interests!) Thousands of species are internationally traded and used by people in their daily lives for food, health care, housing, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics or fashion.

In late 2018, following a decades-long career with the United Nations in which she held posts in Europe and Africa, Ivonne Higuero was named the new Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Trained as an environmental economist, her career focus has been in the area of sustainable development working with stakeholders across public and private sectors at the local, regional and international level. The SG discusses her first year at CITES and the challenges ahead.

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

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