Through its Global Species Programme, Species Survival Commission (SSC) Specialist Groups, and CEESP/SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, IUCN takes data and information from the IUCN Red List and additional expertise of its 11,000 volunteer scientists and contributes to CITES in order to assist the Parties in making scientifically informed decisions regarding international trade of species, and to ensure international trade is not-detrimental to species in the wild.

This includes contributing expertise on species and themes as broad as elephants, rhinos, pangolins, tigers, bears, pythons, scorpions, cycads, orchids, seahorses, sharks, chameleons, sustainable use and livelihoods and wildlife health to CITES’ scientific and technical meetings, including the Standing Committee, Animals Committee, Plants Committee and Conference of the Parties (CoP) meetings and inter-sessional working groups.  

A key contribution IUCN makes to CITES is producing, with TRAFFIC, the IUCN/TRAFFIC Analyses of the Proposals to Amend the CITES Appendices. This comprises producing an objective and science-based assessment of proposed amendments to the CITES Appendices, which are submitted to CITES by Parties to the Convention and typically considered at Conference of the Parties (CoP) meetings. Specifically, this process involves reviewing each proposal against the CITES biological and trade criteria which determine the placement of species on Appendix I, II or III.

IUCN disseminates ‘the Analyses’ and its scientific expertise on the status of species and conservation policy more broadly to a wide range of stakeholders, including national governments, the private sector and the European Union. The Analyses are sought after by Parties to the Convention and other stakeholders to inform their decision-making at CITES meetings and the management of CITES-listed species more broadly.  

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