We’re helping 182 countries regulate the trade of roughly 5,800 endangered animal species.
Humans trade thousands of endangered species for use in food, fashion, cosmetics, healthcare, and as pets. When international demand far exceeds supply, regulation is necessary. Without careful vigilance, thousands of species—and millions of people’s livelihoods—will disappear.
Since 1973, CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP) has represented humanity’s best efforts at keeping the global trade of endangered flora and fauna traceable. Critically, the treaty upholds that any trade cannot be deemed legal unless governments can demonstrate that the export is sustainable. This makes CITES one of our most powerful tools for keeping commodified species from going extinct.
We supply key CITES decision makers with decades’ worth of research on critical species, like elephants, whales, tigers, and sharks; and we demonstrate how international trade affects their populations.
On conservation issues ranging from overconsumption to wildlife crime online, our experts help world leaders build consensus about what works in conservation—and what doesn’t. And we lobby hard for policies that protect animals.
In 1997 and again in 2007, governments at the CITES Conference agreed to the sale of ivory stockpiles – restricted sales from certain stockpiles to particular countries. This temporarily lifted the global ban on international ivory trade. We got to work, documenting the disastrous impact these decisions had on elephants.
Little by little, we helped change the global consensus. At the 2016 CITES Conference, governments called for the closure of domestic ivory markets. Now, China, the US, and many other nations are closing down their ivory markets for good.
every problem has a solution, every solution needs support.
The problems we face are urgent, complicated and resistant to change. Real solutions demand creativity, hard work and involvement from people like you.