The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between the governments to ensure the international trade of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival, particularly in the wild. CITES is the most widely accepted international treaty on the conservation of biodiversity. The Convention comprises 25 articles and 3 Annexes. The increasing demand of traditional medicines and wild life products like furs, skins, tusks, bones and horns etc. in the world created illegal collection and trade of the natural species which led to overexploitation of many rare, endangered and vulnerable species, extinct of rare species and decline of the biodiversity. So to control the trade of threatened species, CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN (The World Conservation Union). The draft was finally adopted at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington, D.C., the USA on 3 March 1973 which entered into force on 1 July 1975. Nepal is the 12th signatory country on 18 June 1975 and entered into force on 16 September 1975. The objective of CITES is mainly to control international trade of rare and endangered species, to support sustainable trade of CITES listed species and to contribute biodiversity conservation by regulating international trade by means of a permit system. The species are grouped in the three appendices according to how threatened they are.
Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction, that are or may be affected by trade. In order to endanger further their survival trade in these species are strictly regulated. Trade is permitted only in exceptional circumstances like research, educational exhibition and ex-situ conservation purposes. In Nepal, two plants are grouped in Appendix I.
Appendix II includes species not necessarily now threatened with extinction, but may become so if trades in specimens of such species are not controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival. In Nepal, 411 plants are grouped in Appendix II.
This Appendix contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade. In Nepal, four plants are grouped in Appendix III.