Anastasiya Timoshyna, Programme Leader, Medicinal Plants, TRAFFIC, gives a talk for the symposium on her research on sustainable wildlife trade.
Wild plants are used in products consumed daily around the world, including food, medicines and cosmetics, often as ‘hidden ingredients’ that consumers and companies are unaware of due to the complexity of trade chains. This trade contributes to the livelihoods of millions of people, but many of the plant species used are under pressure from unsustainable harvesting and all too often the economic benefits are inequitably shared. Best practices for verifying wild collection sustainability are available, for example the FairWild Standard. Its implementation as a certification scheme (in India, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, Poland among others), as well as the best practice by industry (for example with the traditional Chinese medicine manufacturers and traders), and for policy frameworks by governments provide lessons learnt around the impacts of this work on trade chains. Looking into the future, a number of interventions are required to create a significant change in this business and to have an impact on the number of species and volume of wild-collected material in trade. These include a combination of increased incentives and pathways for businesses, communities and consumers to engage in responsible trade practices.