THE Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on Thursday moved to put 300 species of rosewood under trade restrictions.

Rosewood was listed as the most trafficked wild product, according to a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report which also showed that it accounted for a third of all seizures by value.

Demand for rosewood was booming in China, the world’s largest consumer and processor of timber.

CITES recommends the inclusion of genus Dalbergia – rosewood found across the world – in Appendix II, which would allow only regulated international trade.

The rosewood species that were already listed on Appendix I, which prevents trade, remained on that list.

Vanessa Dick, timber policy expert from the World Wildlife Fund, said the decision by CITES was a major boost to efforts to halt the unsustainable trade in rosewood.

"By listing the entire genus, all Dalbergia species – including those in high demand – will finally receive the protection needed to avoid further local and regional extinction. This inclusive listing promotes a practical approach that avoids issues in species identification that previously hindered effective implementation."

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