Understanding markets to conserve trade-threatened species in CITES

MacMillan, Douglas C. (2015) Understanding markets to conserve trade-threatened species in CITES. Biological Conservation, 187 . pp. 249-259. ISSN 0006-3207. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2015.04.015) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

International trade in wildlife is a major threat to biodiversity conservation. CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, is the primary mechanism for maintaining sustainability in international wildlife trade. Although a comparatively well-designed legal instrument, CITES has been criticised because of its emphasis on regulatory measures and disregard for the economic reality of wildlife trade. Through means of a case study on the trade in pangolins (Pholidota: Manidae) in Asia, we evaluate the CITES approach to controlling trade and demonstrate significant areas to be addressed. These arise because CITES fails to accurately monitor supply, particularly where trade is illegal, it fails to consider the impact of trade controls in realistic terms, and it does little to consider the complex nature of demand or contend with changing market dynamics. To more effectively manage trade we argue that reforms are needed within CITES. Specifically, we highlight improved monitoring of supply (by accounting for illegal and legal trade) and of demand and prices for wildlife (through national wildlife consumption surveys). This information would generate a more holistic understanding of wildlife trade and, if integrated with the Convention’s existing trade database, would allow a more realistic evaluation of the performance of trade controls, and could inform decision-making and the implementation of interventions which go beyond regulation and address demand directly. In a world of rapid economic and social change understanding markets and addressing demand as well as supply is essential to conserving the world’s trade threatened species.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: CITES Demand Economics Markets Pangolin Special reporting requirements Wildlife trade
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Douglas MacMillan
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2015 11:02 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2017 16:54 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/48997 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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