A new tool has been launched by the CITES Secretariat to monitor and track the trade in some of our most threatened species of animals and plants. The Review of Significant Trade (RST) Management System works on those cases within CITES where there is concern that trade could be affecting the viability of a specific species from a specific country.
RST is a review of significant trade. It was designed to identify species that may be subject to unsustainable levels of international trade, and to identify problems and solutions concerning effective implementation of the Convention. This RST Management system tracks the progress of species for the range States that have been selected for review, through the 22 stages of the Significant Trade Review Procedure. Species/country combinations currently subject to review are included, as well as those that have been eliminated from review, following satisfactory reports from the range State.
This new RST Management System will be an essential online tool for the effective implementation of CITES and give full transparency of the process, which will help all stakeholders to better understand how it’s working and the history of individual cases. It will be particularly important for CITES Parties to engage throughout the RST process and include the 85 ongoing RST cases (including those where there is currently a recommendation to suspend trade in place).
International trade in over 38,000 species of wild plants and animals is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). One of the key conditions for such trade to occur is an assessment to ensure that the survival of the species in trade will not be threatened due to the international trade.
The online RST Management System will contain details of all species-country combinations that are being tracked. As an example, the queen conch (Strombus gigas) is widely found in and around the waters of the Caribbean Sea. There are two outstanding RST cases looking into its international trade and whether that is threatening its viability in specific locations. Other range States for this species have previously been removed from the process having successfully implemented recommendations made by CITES’ Animals Committee under RST, helping to ensure any trade in this species is sustainable.
The RST has also proven pivotal in the establishment of sustainable harvest quotas and long-term management plans for keystone forest species, from the Gran Chaco Region in South America to the Himalayas.
The RST Management System was developed by the United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC) and funded by the European Union.
The RST Management System includes a summary of the case details and status of all ongoing RST cases, any recommendations of the CITES Animals or Plants Committee (depending on the species) or the CITES Standing Committee directed to the Party concerned, and correspondence between that Party and the CITES Secretariat. The System provides more transparency in the process and allows Parties, that are subject to the RST process, and other interested users, to track the status of recommendations and receive alerts on outstanding actions. It also provides a portal for Parties to communicate with the CITES Secretariat on progress in the implementation of these recommendations.
The RST Management System was developed using a ‘best-of-breed’ solution/technology approach and according to the chosen design. It utilises widely-recognized open-source solutions and frameworks selected for the specific requirements of the application. The system is presented in a user friendly, modern and intuitive design.
Explore the RST Management system here: https://rst.cites.org/public