The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, is a global treaty that protects species from becoming endangered or extinct because of international trade. The treaty covers more than 35,000 species of wild plants and animals. With 181 member countries and the European Union (called “Parties”), CITES also provides the necessary framework for global cooperation to combat wildlife trafficking.

Every two to three years, a meeting of the Conference of the Parties is held to review, discuss, and negotiate changes in the implementation of CITES, including changes in protections for certain species. The 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to CITES will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 24 – October 5, 2016. Additional information on CoP17, including the agenda and working program, can be found on the website of the CITES Secretariat.