What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter summarizes the provisions
of the international agreements, treaties, and conventions for which we
have substantial responsibilities.
What is the scope of this chapter? This chapter:
A. Focuses only on
those agreements for which International Affairs has significant input or
provides substantial logistical, financial, or diplomatic support during
the course of negotiations for these agreements, and
B. Does not
describe domestic laws that apply to these agreements.
What are the authorities for this chapter? See 530 FW 1 for a list of all the
authorities for Part 530.
What is the difference between a protocol, a treaty, and a convention?
difference between a protocol, treaty, and convention is:
(1) Protocol: A
protocol is an agreement that diplomatic negotiators formulate and sign as
the basis for a final convention or treaty. The treaty itself may not be
completed for many years.
A treaty is an agreement where the parties to it negotiate to reach common
ground and avoid further conflict or disagreement. It is normally ratified
by the lawmaking authority of the government whose representative has
signed it. In the United States, the Senate must ratify all treaties.
A convention begins as an international meeting of representatives from
many nations that results in general agreement about procedures or actions
they will take on specific topics (e.g., wetlands, endangered species,
B. The Service
usually is not an active participant in treaties as this is the jurisdiction
of the U.S. Department of State. The U.S. Department of State may ask us
for our position on issues during the negotiation of a treaty.
C. We are active in
a number of conventions that involve issues specific to our mission, such
as conservation and protection of species and their habitats.
What are the principal protocols, treaties, and conventions for which the
Office of International Affairs is involved?
agreements that represent the bulk of the work we conduct in the
International Affairs Program (see 530 FW 1 for other agreements)
(1) The Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),
(2) The Convention
on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar
(3) The Convention
on Nature Protection and Wildlife Preservation in the Western Hemisphere,
(4) The Canada/Mexico/U.S.
Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation &
B. See Exhibit 1 for detailed
information about each of the agreements.
Why are these agreements important to the Service? Although we
focus on domestic wildlife and its habitat, wildlife has no political
boundaries. Ecological and social importance of some species not native to
the United States, migratory patterns, and global wildlife trade influence
the long-term viability of non-domestic species. Because the American
people look to us as a world leader in conserving species, Congress has
enacted laws and ratified many environmental and wildlife treaties that
require us to perform activities and complete projects that are
international in scope.