CITES is one of the largest and oldest conservation and use agreements in existence. Participation is voluntary and countries that have agreed to be bound by the Convention are designated as Contracting Parties. Although CITES is legally binding on Contracting Parties, it is not a substitute for national laws. On the contrary, it provides a framework that is respected by each party and must adopt its own national legislation for the implementation of CITES at the national level. Often, there is no national legislation (especially in contracting parties that have not ratified it) or there are penalties with the gravity of the crime and insufficient deterrents for wildlife traffickers. [3] As of 2002, 50% of Contracting Parties have failed to meet one or more of the four main requirements applicable to a Contracting Party: the designation of management and scientific authorities; laws prohibiting trade in violation of CITES; the penalties applicable to such trade; Laws that provide for the seizure of copies. [4] Since 2018[Update], Ivonne Higuero has been Secretary-General of the CITES Secretariat. [2] Appendix I, about 1200 species, is an endangered species and is or may be affected by trade. Commercial trade in wild-caught specimens of these species is illegal (allowed only in exceptional circumstances under licence). Animals or plants grown in captivity of Appendix I species are considered annex II specimens, with accompanying requirements (see below and Article VII). .