Cites Agreement Rosewood

CITES Agreement: Understanding the Impact of the Rosewood Trade Regulations

Rosewood trees have been a valued resource for furniture makers and musicians for centuries, but in recent years, unsustainable harvesting of rosewood has led to significant environmental and economic problems. In response, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has implemented strict regulations on trade in rosewood.

What is CITES?

CITES is an international treaty that aims to protect wildlife and plants from being exploited through international trade. The treaty regulates trade in over 35,000 species of plants and animals, requiring permits for certain activities and limiting trade in endangered species. CITES is a legally binding agreement, with over 180 member countries.

Why Rosewood?

Rosewood is a high-value wood used in furniture, musical instruments, and decorative items. It is harvested from several tree species, including Dalbergia nigra, which is now critically endangered due to overharvesting. Other species of rosewood are also under threat due to illegal harvesting and trade.

CITES Regulations on Rosewood Trade

In January 2017, CITES implemented strict regulations on the trade of rosewood and other species of Dalbergia. The regulations require that any international trade in rosewood must be accompanied by a CITES permit. The permit ensures that the wood was legally obtained and that the trade will not harm the survival of the species.

The regulations also limit the amount of rosewood that can be exported from source countries. For example, Honduras can only export 50 cubic meters of rosewood per year, while Madagascar can only export 80 cubic meters.

Impact of the Regulations

The CITES regulations have had a significant impact on the rosewood trade. In China, where demand for rosewood furniture is high, prices for rosewood have skyrocketed, leading to a decline in trade and production. In Madagascar, where illegal rosewood logging has been a major problem, the regulations have helped to curb illegal activities and promote sustainable forestry practices.

While some countries have struggled to implement the regulations, they have been largely successful in reducing illegal rosewood trade and promoting sustainable harvesting practices. As a result, the survival of many rosewood species is being safeguarded, and the environmental and economic impact of the rosewood trade is being mitigated.


The CITES regulations on rosewood trade serve as an important reminder of the importance of sustainable forestry practices. By limiting trade in endangered rosewood species, CITES is helping to promote responsible harvesting practices and ensure the long-term survival of these valuable resources. While there may be some economic challenges in the short-term, the long-term benefits of maintaining a healthy ecosystem and protecting endangered species far outweigh the costs.