U.S. Agency Roles


Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA)
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies represents the 50 state fish and wildlife agencies. The state fish and wildlife agencies are critical partners in CITES. The states have the authority to manage and conserve wildlife and therefore, decisions made through the CITES process can impact their ability to manage wildlife.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries
Based on its expertise, NOAA Fisheries provides guidance and scientific support on marine issues. NOAA Fisheries is responsible for many marine species that are listed under CITES. We draw on the considerable expertise of our regional offices and science centers to participate fully in the implementation of CITES for species under our jurisdiction.


U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
USAID support for biodiversity conservation totals about $200 million annually, or about two-thirds of all U.S. funding for international conservation. Agency partnerships with Freeland Foundation, Interpol, World Resources Institute and TRAFFIC improve the capacity of governments to conserve CITES-listed species and prevent illegal or unsustainable trade in plants and animals. Many more programs work to help rural communities manage and benefit from natural resource use, including sustainable trade.


U.S. Department of Agriculture- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS)
USDA-APHIS enforces the provisions of CITES related to plants and works closely with FWS. Officials from APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program inspect all plant shipments imported into the United States through the plant-inspection stations located nationwide. Depending upon inspection results, APHIS employees may refuse entry, seize, or release plants that are imported or presented for export. APHIS is responsible for enforcing plant quarantine laws and the CITES permit requirements during these plant inspections. APHIS also works with FWS to ensure that exotic animal species entering the country under CITES meet animal-quarantine requirements.


U.S. Department of State
As one of many international initiatives that seek to harness market forces to the cause of sustainable development, the U.S. Department of State, through its environmental offices in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, supports our governmental policy of ensuring that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival and that CITES activities remain consistent with international law and with U.S. interests.  We use a variety of diplomatic approaches globally, regionally and bilaterally, including negotiating effective science-based global treaties, promoting their enforcement, and fostering innovative public-private partnerships that all contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources worldwide for generations to come.


U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS)
Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has been designated to carry out the provisions of CITES through the Division of Management Authority and the Division of Scientific Authority.  We work with numerous partners including federal and state agencies, industry groups, and conservation organizations to implement the provisions of CITES.


U.S. Forest Service (USFS)
Based on its expertise, USFS provides guidance on all CITES timber issues. USFS scientists and technical experts assist in the preparation and editing of timber proposals and key plant proposals, as well as policy and institutional cooperation.