Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

Philippine delegation led by DENR Usec. Ernesto Adobo Jr. (with headphones) at the COP17 plenary session in Johannesburg, South Africa in October 2016. [Esteven Toledo]

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between governments which aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. All imports, exports, re-exports, and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention have to be authorized through a standard permitting/licensing system.

Species subject to regulation are contained in three Appendices of the Convention:
- Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction which are prohibited from international commercial trade except in very specific circumstances (46 species in the Philippines)
- Appendix II includes species which may not be threatened with extinction but will require control in trade to avoid affecting their survival rate (1,955 species in the Philippines)
- Appendix III includes species protected in at least one party requesting other parties for assistance in trade control (only 6 species occur in the Philippines)

The Conference of the Parties, the governing body of the Convention, meets every two to three years to discuss progress and issues in CITES implementation, adopt decisions and resolutions to address such issues and decide on species to be covered by CITES control. The CITES works through the Management and Scientific Authorities of each member-country.
Focal Office:
Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB)
Date Ratified:
August 18, 1981
Focal Persons/Offices:
Secretary, DENR
Tel. No. (632) 926 3011, 920 4301, 929 6626 loc 2258

OIC-Assistant Secretary for Staff Bureaus and Director, DENR-BMB
Tel. Nos. (632) 924 6031 to 35 local 222, 925 8952 to 53

Chief, Wildlife Regulation Section, Wildlife Resources Division, DENR-BMB
Tel. Nos. (632) 924 6031 to 35 local 222, 925 8952 to 53

Wildlife Resources Division, DENR-BMB
Tel. No. (632) 925 8946, 925 8952, 925 8953
As a legally binding Convention, each Party must adopt national legislation to implement CITES' rules. This includes laws prohibiting trade in violation of the Convention, penalties for such trade, and laws providing for the confiscation of illegally traded specimens. Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act is the national legislation to apply the provisions of the Convention.
Under RA 9147, the designated CITES Management Authorities (CMAs) in the Philippines are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) for terrestrial wildlife, the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DENR-BFAR) for aquatic and marine species and the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (DENR-PCSD) for wildlife species found in the Province of Palawan. The designated CITES Scientific Authorities (CSAs) for terrestrial species are the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (DENR-ERDB), the Philippine National Museum and the University of the Philippines-Los Banos. For marine and aquatic species, designated scientific authorities are DA-BFAR, UP Marine Science Institute, UP Visayas, Siliman University and the National Museum. CMAs are in charge of administering the licensing system while the CSAs advise the CMAs on whether exports are sustainable and not detrimental to the survival of a species in the wild.
The enforcement focal points are the BFAR, the Environmental Crime Division of the National Bureau of Investigation, Environmental Protection Unit of the Bureau of Customs, and the DENR-PCSD. They deal with illegal trafficking in CITES-listed species.
As a Party to the Convention, the Philippines is required to submit an annual report on CITES trade, illegal trade annual report and a biennial report (now called an implementation report) on legislative, regulatory, and administrative measures taken to enforce the Convention.
Policy Issuances:
Republic Act 10654 of 2014 An Act to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. Amending Republic Act 8550 Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 (Sec. 11. Protection of Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species; Sec. 97. Fishing or Taking of Rare, Threatened or Endangered Species). RA 10654 has specific provisions that address and penalize unlawful catching, possession and transport of aquatic species (Section 102) listed in Appendices I, II and III of the CITES.
DENR-DAO No. 2017-11 Updated National List of Threatened Philippine Plants and Their Categories. The threatened plants include those that are listed under CITES Appendices.
Sources / Relevant Links:


The CITES Annual Trade Report and Annual Illegal Trade Report have been submitted for 2016 and 2017. Likewise, the Implementation Report for 2015 to 2017 was submitted following the structure of the CITES Strategic Vision: 2008-2020. The contents of the report include the following:

-  Transfer of the Philippine pangolin from Appendix II to Appendix I (https://
-  The CITES Electronic Permitting and Management Information System (CEMPIS) on terrestrial species was initiated by the BMB and is for pilot-testing within the National Capital Region.
-   Enhancement of the CEPMIS to include data exchange with the Philippine Customs will be made after the pilot-testing.
-   Development and pilot-testing of simplified procedure issuance of Certificate of Exemption instead of CITES Export Permit for products made of specimens from saltwater crocodile produced by CITES-registered captive-breeding facilities.
-   To address illegal wildlife trade, the DENR-BMB undertook the following: implementation of the National Ivory Action Plan (NIAP); collaboration with the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC); cooperation with the ASEAN Enforcement Network; crafted the Philippine Wildlife Law Enforcement Action Plan in CY 2017; operationalized the Philippine Operations Group on Ivory and Illegal Wildlife Trade (POGI); worked with National Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (NALECC), and is signatory to the London and Hanoi Declarations;.
-   In partnership with the University of the Philippines Diliman, the country has the capacity to use forensic technology to support the investigation of CITES offences.
International trade by two wildlife farm permit holders was suspended due to the alteration of their CITES permits and acquisition of undocumented wildlife stocks.
-   Capacity-building programmes are in place, such as the CITES Virtual College. More than five trainings and capacity building activities were done from 2015 to 2017 by the Philippine government without the assistance from the CITES Secretariat.
This Page was updated on 25 January 2016 and will be updated on 10 December 2020
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