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Maldives became a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

12 March 2013 : 13:47

Today, on the 12th day of March 2013, Maldives has become an official party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The Parliament of the Maldives decided to become a party to the convention on the 4th Sitting of the 3rd session of the parliament on the 8th Of October 2012. Since then the Ministry of Environment and Energy, with the help of Ministry of Foreign Affairs has processed the necessary works on becoming a party.

Coinciding with 16th Conference of the Parties to the convention, the secretariat arranged for a small ceremony on the occasion of Maldives becoming a party. In Committee I and Committee II of the Conference, the secretariat of CITES replaced the Observer name plate of Maldives with Party name plate and allowed Maldives to make its first statement as a Party addressing more than 150 countries present in the conference.  In the statement, Maldives expressed the honor of becoming a member and assured the parties and the secretariat of working towards full compliance of the convention.

CITES is a convention that controls international trade of endangered species of wild fauna and flora. By becoming a party to the convention Maldives shall regulate trade of species listed in CITES appendices I and II.

Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals and plants. They are threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for instance for scientific research. In these exceptional cases, trade may take place provided it is authorized by the granting of both an import permit and an export permit, or re-export certificate.

Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled. It also includes so-called “look-alike species”, i.e. species of which the specimens in trade look like those of species listed for conservation reasons. International trade in specimens of Appendix-II species may be authorized by the granting of an export permit or re-export certificate. No import permit is necessary for these species under CITES (although a permit is needed in some countries that have taken stricter measures than CITES requires). Permits or certificates should only be granted if the relevant authorities are satisfied that certain conditions are met, above all that trade will not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild.

In Maldives, the relevant Management Authority to the convention is the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Scientific Authorities are the Environmental Protection Agency and the Marine Research Center.