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Strengthening the Implementation and Effective Enforcement of CITES for Timber in North America

Status: Active
Operational Plan: 2021
Project Duration: 24 months
Start date: November 15, 2021

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) provides crucial mechanisms to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants is carried out in a controlled manner, that does not threaten a species’ survival. CITES Appendix II covers species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but whose trade must be controlled in order to avoid the possibility that they become endangered. The Appendix also includes so-called “look-alike species”; those whose specimens closely resemble species that are listed for conservation. These species must be better monitored to ensure that they are not adversely affected by international trade.

To find out more about this project, here is the complete project description.

CITES for Timber


  • Timber species listed in Appendix II need strict regulation and the cooperation of countries to avoid illegal exploitation that could impair their survival in North America.
  • The need for enhancing enforcement officials’ ability to identify CITES timber species and for exploring new systems for tracing these species.
  • The need for creating alliances between laboratories in order to facilitate collaboration on wood identification between the three countries.


  • This project will develop information on CITES enforcement that is relevant to the trinational North American context and enhance the capacity of enforcement officials to identify CITES timber species reaching our borders. It will also explore methods and systems for tracking timber species in trade and support scientific assessment of a new CITES source code related to timber species.
  • These efforts will strengthen communication and coordination between key actors throughout North American CITES implementation and provide them with invaluable information to strengthen CITES enforcement. This will contribute to addressing the root causes of illegal trafficking of timber species.


  • A report compiling relevant national legislation, regulations, and processes for implementation of CITES by enforcements officers in North America.
  • Training for enforcement officers on identification tools and risk assessment for suspicious wood products of CITES-regulated species.
  • Exchanges and training sessions will be organized between laboratories in the three countries to share reference samples and data, facilitate identification of timber evidence, and develop relevant standard operating procedures.
  • A report compiled on best practices and recommendations for improving North American capacity to track the origin of timber in trade.
  • A report on guidelines and tools on source code Y implementation and conducting non-detriment findings (NDFs).
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Government of Canada
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Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales
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For more information about this project or to partner with us, contact:

Armando Yáñez Sandoval
Head of Unit, Green Growth
(514) 350-4337