Legislation and Policy Framework

CITES Stakeholder Meeting


SA Hunters responded on the listing proposals of stakeholders at the recent stakeholder meeting to discuss South Africa’s position in preparation of the next conference of parties (COP) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to be held in Panama later this year. Our response is indicated in the table below. Currently, 866 South African plants and 444 animals are listed on CITES, which put specific requirements on SA in so far as trade is concerned.

Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) met in Geneva from 17 to 28 August to adopt decisions and resolutions to mitigate negative impacts of international trade on wild plants and animals. As clear and enforceable rules based on sound science and effective policies are vital for protecting natural wealth and achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, CITES sets the rules for international trade in wildlife in an attempt to prevent and reverse trade-related declines in wildlife populations.

Proposals and decisions
Governments have submitted 56 new proposals to change the levels of protection that CITES provides for species of wild animals and plants that are part of the international trade. Proposals that concerned South Africa in particular, will be discussed briefly below.



The Ivory Education Institute is an official observer at the 18th meeting of the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. About 4,000 official delegates, observers, media and interested individuals have gathered in Geneva in a UN-secured site for the 11-day conference that may have great bearing on the future status of objects made from or with ivory.. The Ivory Institute was delighted and surprised, then, that the European Commission invited us to share our concerns at a special meeting BEFORE the opening of the Conference. Because we were unsure of how long we would be allowed to speak to the EU representatives, we prepared a written statement. I thought you might be interested in what we have given the EU to consider. 

SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association studied the progress reported in respect of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros, as well as the proposed legislative changes by DEA with regard to rhino horn trade for personal purposes. This most certainly is a very complex matter, making it difficult to anticipate all potential outcomes of options available to government and the private sector to secure the continued existence of rhino as species for future generations.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between governments to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. South Africa hosted the 17th international conference of parties (COP17) in Johannesburg at the International Convention Centre from 24 September to 5 October this year. It was the largest gathering of CITES in its 43 year history with the participation of 152 governments and more than 3,500 people. Over 500 species were affected by decisions taken on 62 proposals that various member states tabled at COP17.

In compliance with signed international conservation treaties and agreements as well as national legislation, the Government has a responsibility to ensure conservation and sustainable utilisation of South Africa’s biodiversity resources. As part of this responsibility, the Scientific Authority of South Africa, appointed in terms of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act, must make a non-detriment finding (NDF) to confirm that the trade, including export of CITES I listed species (such as leopard), will not impact negatively on the survival of that species in the wild.

Opening Address by President Jacob Zuma, at the Opening of the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Johannesburg, South Africa

24 September 2016

Good morning to all and Welcome to South Africa!
I am honoured to welcome you to our shores as you gather this week, to discuss very important issues pertaining to the regulation of international trade in wildlife.

The CITES is an important agreement between governments as it regulates international trade in wild fauna and flora.

It is critical for governments to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.  Regulations must ensure that trade of Rhinos for example, or wild ginger is in a way that ensures that future generations continue to benefit from them, and that they do not become extinct.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) recently added twelve wildlife species to the list of tame and domesticated animals regulated under its Animal Improvement Act (No. 62 of 1998). This amendment will allow genetic manipulation and cross-breeding of wildlife in the same way that cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses and poultry are bred to obtain animals with specific characteristics for agricultural purposes.

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