The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a global treaty between 183 member countries and the European Union (called “Parties”). It ensures international trade in wild plants and animals is legal, traceable, and biologically sustainable,​ and provides a framework for combatting wildlife trafficking.

Meetings of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) are held approximately every two to three years to provide an opportunity for the Parties to discuss and formally amend CITES Appendices and negotiate changes regarding implementation and enforcement of the treaty. Advisory committees also meet throughout the year and provide policy guidance and technical support to the CoP to inform the decision-making process.

Interested organizations, including non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and industry associations, can request to attend CoPs as observers. Although observers may comment on all issues in the plenary and committee sessions, they are not permitted to vote on proposals. Learn how to become a CoP observer.

CoP Fact Sheet

CoP19: Panama City, Panama - November 2022

All turtle proposals submitted by the United States at CoP19 were adopted and went into effect February 2023. Read the success stories below.

Ancient Reptiles Need Modern Regulations

What Happens to Species on CITES Appendix II

Learn about the outcomes of all CoP19 proposals.

The 20th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP20) will likely be held in 2025. Check back for details!

CoP20: Planning Underway