From March 3-14, 2013, the United States delegation to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will attend the 16th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP16) - the world’s largest and most influential meeting on international wildlife trade. Equipped with formal proposals and negotiating positions, the U.S. delegation will work to gain CITES protections for a number of species-- including polar bears, sharks, and turtles--while also identifying ways to improve the implementation and effectiveness of the Convention.

CITES is an international agreement initiated in 1973 and since then ratified by 177 countries, referred to as “Parties”, to protect certain wild animals and plants against over-exploitation as a result of international trade. ¬†Approximately 34,000 species benefit from CITES protection.¬†

Every two to three years, a meeting of the CoP is held to review, discuss, and negotiate changes in the implementation of CITES, including changes in protections for certain species. The 16th regular meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16) will be held in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Visit our species profiles pages to learn about polar bears, oceanic whitetip sharks, ginseng, and numerous turtle and tortoise species.

To read the full text of the U.S. proposals, please visit the U.S. Submissions page.