Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) more than 180 nations regulate international trade in certain species of wildlife to prevent the decline of species threatened (listed in Appendix I of CITES) or potentially threatened (listed in Appendix II) with extinction. 

Trade, which is defined as import, export, or re-export, of a long list of such threatened animal and plant species, is either virtually prohibited (Appendix I species) or restricted (Appendix II or III species)

Kenya is a signatory State to the CITES Convention and the Government has designated Kenya Wildlife Service, the CITES Management Authority and CITES Scientific Authority of the country for purposes of implementation of the Convention. Kenya Wildlife Service has established a fully fledged department; CITES Implementation Department within the Species Conservation and Management Division to coordinate CITES implementation activities in the country. 

Specific functions of the Department are as follows:

  • Serve as Depository for CITES information and focal point for communication
  • Prepare  CITES  reports  on implementation of Convention  in the country
  • Advise  Regulatory, Enforcement and Compliance Affairs department on  permitting relating to CITES listed species
  • Communication and follow up  with Secretariat and CITES Parties on CITES Implementation
  • Undertake capacity building  and awareness raising in the country,  on matters of CITES
  • Coordinates Preparation of CITES listing proposals to CITES Conference of the Parties
  • Coordinates Preparation of country positions on CITES matters
  • Monitors and evaluates compliance in CITES implementation
  • Requests  for information  from relevant  agencies, departments and offices for report compilation and reporting  to ensure country compliance with  CITES  implementation
  • Studies  /Analyzes reports  received from relevant agencies, departments, offices and  prepares for submission to CITES Secretariat  and exchange/share with relevant Parties
  • Distributes to relevant agencies, departments , stakeholders and offices,  CITES information required to facilitate implementation of the Convention
  • Exchanges  with relevant offices, scientific or technical  information  aimed at implementation of CITES
  • Plans/ Organizes CITES related meetings  and provides secretariat of such meetings