CITES and Livelihoods

Rural communities in certain parts of the world depend heavily on species of wild animals and plants for their livelihoods. Parties to CITES recognize the potential impacts of CITES-listing decisions on the livelihoods of rural communities, noting inthe meantime that effective implementation of CITES decisions can form part of a strategy to provide sustainable livelihoods for rural communities, consistent with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) [Resolution Conf. 16.6 (Rev. CoP17)].

To better assess potential positive and negative impacts of CITES listing decisions and enhance sustainable livelihoods and species conservation, CITES Parties created a working group with the mandate to develop tools for a sustainable implementation of CITES listings. The current focus is to identify how legal and sustainable trade contributes to both species conservation and livehlihoods of rural communities.

Resolutions, Decisions and Notifications to the Parties

Tools and Resources

  • CITES and Livelihoods Handbook
  Part I Part II  

A conservation journey

From Poachers to Heroes

New case studies on best practices and successful experiences

Decision 17.36 adopted by the Conference of the Parties call for new case studies on how legal and sustainable trade can support the conservation of wildlife and improvement of livelihoods of rural communities. Notification to the Parties No. 2017/066 invited Parties to submit such new case studies to be reviewed at a workshop in November 2018. A template for new case studies was developed by the Secretariat with inputs from its partner organizations including IUCN-SULi. The report of the report was presented in the annex of document CoP18 Doc. 18.1.

Over 30 new case studies from countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America and South America, including small island developing States such as the Solomon Islands, involving the sustainable use of a wide range of species, from mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish to corals and medicinal aromatic plants, were reviewed at the above workshop.

The following 10 case studies have been selected from the cases reviewed at the workshop and they will be presented at a side event during CoP18 in Geneva. Please note that the full reports have yet to be finalized.

Previous case studies

  • Crocodiles and livelihoods of rural communities
    • Study coordinated by the Organization of the American States (OAS) [Eng/Esp]
  • Shark listings and livelihoods of small scale fisheries 
    • Study coordinated by the Organization of the American States (OAS) [Eng/Esp]



Other resources

Heads of states wearing sashes made of vicuña wool at the APEC summit in 2016 in Peru.