The development of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and their implementation in Austria and the European UnionThe Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was adopted on 3 March 1973 in Washington, United States of America and was coming into force on 1 July 1975. It is an international agreement between governments and an international organization.In 2010 all 27 member states of the European Union and totally 175 countries are now Parties of the Convention.The main goal is to protect animals and plants from extinction. The Convention contains three Appendices (I, II and III). About 8.000 animals and 40.000 plants are listed in the CITES Appendices. It is of particular importance to secure their viability for the future.An international trade with protected species is only allowed with suitable documents. Export and import permissions adjust their trade.CITES consists of different enforcement institutions. These are: The Conference of the Parties, the CITES Secretariat, UNEP and the subsidiary bodies (Standing Committee, Animals Committee, Plants Committee and Nomenclature Committee).On 1 January 1984 the Convention was unitary implemented in the European Union. Thirteen years later the primal rule got replaced by two EU regulations. They adjust the international trade and also the trade in the European Union. The regulation of the European Union has four Appendices (A, B, C and D). In Appendix D there are animals and plants listed that are not part of the CITES Appendices.In Austria the Convention was coming into force on 27 April 1982. All federal states have the possibility to create their own law of nature.It has to be assured that in one of the next Conferences the main focus is set on the protection of nearly extincted species. Otherwise in a few years some of the most unique species will have got lost for the whole mankind.