Abstract Albeit initially conceived as primarily regulating trade, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has developed as one of the most important ecological treaties. More than 40 years old, it is not only a ‘grande dame’ of international environmental law but also regarded as one of the most successful environmental treaties. This chapter aims to serve as an introduction to CITES. It firstly reviews the Convention’s treaty bodies and continues by outlining its most important provisions, taking into account its development as a living instrument. After analysing CITES’s main issues it finally evaluates its prospective trends.