For each CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP) meeting, IUCN and TRAFFIC undertake an independent and science-based review of the proposals Parties submit to amend the CITES Appendices. IUCN and TRAFFIC review the information provided in the proposals against the CITES biological and trade criteria which determine placement on Appendix I, II or III (see below). The IUCN SSC Specialist Groups provide invaluable input into this review process.
CITES Appendix I includes all species threatened with extinction which are or may be affected by trade and for which trade is only authorized in exceptional circumstances. Appendix II mainly includes species that may become threatened with extinction unless trade is subject to strict regulations. Appendix III covers species that are identified by certain Parties as in need for stricter trade regulations, primarily on a national level.
IUCN Species Programme collects information on the status and biology of species from its Species Survival Commission (SSC) network and broader scientific community. TRAFFIC focuses on the analysis of trade data, using components of the proposals in addition to drawing on its own information sources and expert networks. The result document brings together a broad range of expertise, which Parties to CITES (countries) use to make decisions on placement of species on or off the CITES Appendices.