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New resources to help implement CITES for plants

2 May 2014

TRAFFIC  (The wildlife trade monitoring network) has helped develop straightforward steps for determining whether trade in a particular species is likely to be detrimental to its survival, a key requirement for countries before allowing export of their wildlife resources.

The new guidelines are aimed at helping government authorities decide whether a Non-Detriment Finding (NDF) can be issued and export permits granted to allow trade to proceed for a species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Determining a robust NDF is one of the key challenges facing governments in implementing their obligations under CITES and some CITES Scientific Authorities have struggled to implement this rather complex process. In recent years there has been a focus on developing guidance for different taxa.

Now, thanks to funding provided by the German Government’s BfN and WWF Germany, TRAFFIC has developed new guidelines to assist CITES Scientific Authorities in determining NDFs for perennial plants.

The NDF guidelines lead the reader through a simple step-by-step process to determine whether a recommendation for trade to proceed or not is appropriate.

The voluntary plant NDF guidelines (PDF, 2 MB), associated guidance document (PDF, 2 MB) and worksheets (Doc, 1.6 MB) will be presented at a side event held during the CITES Plants Committee meeting next month in Mexico. Their development included testing and refinement following a workshop held in Viet Nam, and TRAFFIC also drew on their experience in developing the FairWild Standard for sustainable wild plant harvesting. The guidelines should also support the implementation of the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD)’s Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC).

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