CITES Non-detriment Findings

A nine-step process to support CITES Scientific Authorities making science-based non-detriment findings (NDFs) for species listed in CITES Appendix II

Non-Detriment Findings in the CITES Context

Ensuring trade is within sustainable limits is at the core of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). According to the Convention, Parties shall allow trade in specimens of species included in Appendix II only if the Scientific Authority of the State of export has advised that “such export will not be detrimental to the survival of that species" (Article IV).

Further, a Scientific Authority in each Party shall monitor both the export permits granted by that State for specimens of species included in Appendix II and the actual exports of such specimens. Whenever a Scientific Authority determines that the export of specimens of any such species should be limited in order to maintain that species throughout its range at a level consistent with its role in the ecosystems in which it occurs and well above the level at which that species might become eligible for inclusion in Appendix I, the Scientific Authority shall advice the appropriate Management Authority of suitable measures to be taken to limit the grant of export permits for specimens of that species (Article IV).

Collectively these requirements are referred to as ‘non-detriment findings’ (NDFs). How NDFs are made for Appendix II species is the responsibility of the Scientific Authority of each exporting Party. The Conference of the Parties (CoP) has decided not to adopt specific technical criteria for how NDFs are undertaken, instead the CoP adopted non-binding general guidelines on making NDFs, outlined in Resolution Conf. 16.7 on Non-detriment findings.