Exploring the Effects of Legal and Sustainable Species Trade on Nature Market Governance

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 03:03 pm

Thursday 15 June 2023 marked the release of a joint paper from the Taskforce on Nature Markets and TRAFFIC, which outlines the role of the private sector in financing and addressing sustainability challenges. The paper asserts that the business and finance sectors can play a crucial role in facilitating strong nature markets and purging illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade in their commerce.

The paper highlights that conservation, sustainable use and restoration of biodiversity can provide substantial business opportunities, while also demonstrating the high costs of inaction to address biodiversity loss. In a statement, Paola Mosig Reidl, TRAFFIC’s Co-lead, Data, Research and Enforcement Support and co-author of the paper, said: “When governed effectively, legal and sustainable nature markets involving wild species incentivise and contribute to biodiversity conservation, enhance the livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities and benefit others involved in the supply chains.”

The joint paper outlines a set of recommendations that amalgamate regulatory, economic and social interventions to promote legal, sustainable and traceable practices. It also features case studies from across the globe in order to illustrate the 15 building blocks that are essential to effective nature market governance.

Sarah Baker Ferguson, TRAFFIC’s Crime Convergence Lead and co-author of the paper, said: “Nature markets benefit national and international economies. Laws and regulations rooted in science-based evidence are vital to balance the books for those nature markets that are legally and sustainably trading in wild species supply chains and, in turn, disincentivise illegal sales of wild species products that are exacerbating the negative impact of biodiversity loss and climate change.”

In addition, the paper looks at the challenges of applying global solutions, such as the CBD’s Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and CITES, as well as the outcomes from recent non-governmental or intergovernmental reports like IPBES Sustainable Use Assessment.

Marcelo Furtado, Co-lead of the Secretariat, commented: “This paper brings nature market governance alive through a diversity of compelling and contextually complex case studies of plants and animals from across the world, such as that of the crocodile skin market in the Northern Territories of Australia. These case studies bring the urgent question of nature markets to life – snapping, roaring and singing its findings.”

Simon Zadek, Nature Finance Executive Director, concluded: “Nature crimes are at the core of much of nature’s destruction, and resulting illegal nature markets provide the economic oxygen to make these crimes profitable. TRAFFIC’s exceptional report helps the reader understand this complex world, and points not only to ways to tackle such crimes but the lessons from experience of doing do for the future governance of nature markets.”

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