A number of international treaties provide the legal framework aimed to address the issue of species threatened with extinction.
Among those treaties, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC), the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP).
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), of which Brazil is a member since 1975, has so far 183 Parties. It regulates international trade in wild animals and plants and provides for a certification and licensing system to control trade in endangered species. CITES rules apply only to international trade; therefore other factors threatening biodiversity such as illegal trade within national borders are not subject to them. The 18th CITES Conference of the Parties was held in Geneva, in 2019.
The three CITES Appendices list species covered by the agreement according to the degree of protection they need. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction in which trade is permitted only in exceptional circumstances. Appendix II lists species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival. Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one that has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling its trade. In total, more than 35 thousand plant and animal species are covered by the different degrees of protection.
The Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC), which Brazil ratified in 2001, “promotes the protection, conservation, and recovery of the populations of sea turtles and those habitats on which they depend, on the basis of the best available data and taking into consideration the environmental, socioeconomic and cultural characteristics of the Parties”.
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS or the Bonn Convention) entered into force in 1983 and today brings together 127 States Parties. Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed in Appendix I of the Convention. CMS Parties commit to protecting these animals, preserving their habitats and mitigating obstacles to their migration. Because of their nature, these animals pass through many States, thus calling for a collaborative approach in any efforts aimed at their protection. Species that would benefit from international cooperation, though they are not under imminent threat of extinction, are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. Brazil became a Party to the Bonn Convention in 2015.
Brazil is a signatory to the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP), an instrument signed within the scope of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS or the Bonn Convention). Under ACAP, binding agreements and memorandums of understanding, at the international or regional levels, are negotiated with the aim of conserving albatrosses and petrels by coordinating international activities to mitigate threats to their populations. Today, ACAP covers 22 albatrosses and 9 petrels species, as listed in Appendix I of the Agreement.