[PCA] FW: NPCC News: New Report - Wild Plants Endangered by Trade in “COVID Remedies”

Emily Roberson emilyr at plantsocieties.org
Fri Jun 26 16:20:16 CDT 2020

Native Plant Conservation Campaign News: The Invisible Trade - Wild plants and you in the time of COVID-19 report exposes new threats to plants.

June 25, 2020


This week (22nd-26th June) is FairWild week <https://www.fairwild.org/fairwild-week> , an annual online event to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable and equitable trade in   <https://ymlps4.com/imgz/09yp_gensengFWS.jpg> wild plant ingredients.


For FairWild week, TRAFFIC – the Wildlife Trade Specialists <https://www.traffic.org/>  has released a new report The Invisible Trade Wild plants and you in the time of COVID-19 <https://www.traffic.org/publications/reports/the-invisible-trade-wild-plants-and-you-in-the-time-of-covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR0TJnsj0hhSd1JGrRbtdckjHIT8oupJW5FPGPk126x_XTOikfvNpHDVH6w> .  The report details how wild plant species used in herbal treatments of COVID-19 are under heightened harvesting pressure, both as a result of increased demand and because of more people turning to wild harvesting as a source of income during times of economic crisis.


Some of the report’s key findings from TRAFFIC:

*        Worldwide there are reports of the use of herbal products to prevent and treat COVID-19 in South America, Africa, Europe, USA, and Asia.

*        There is a complete lack of attention to the issues of sustainability in wild plant supplies.

*        In China, official traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formulations used in the COVID-19 response utilise over 125 plant species. They include species whose international trade is regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES <https://cites.org/> ) such as ginseng root Panax spp, Chinese Agarwood Aquilaria sinensis, and Golden Chicken Fern Cibotium barometz.

*        The value of the global trade in medicinal and aromatic plant species has almost tripled in recent years (from $1.3 billion in 1998 to $3.3 billion in 2018).

*        The report includes a “wild dozen” list of key wild-harvested plants in trade that are susceptible to harvesting pressure, and/or whose supply chains are problematic for the social inequality of trading practices.

*        A combination of full traceability, compliance with existing regulations (for example for species listed in the CITES appendices), increasing the value to producers, and credible certification schemes are important elements of creating conditions for an all-encompassing “win-win” situation. 

Since 2008, TRAFFIC has partnered with the FairWild Foundation <http://www.fairwild.org/> , to promote the sustainable use of wild ingredients by applying the FairWild Standard <https://www.fairwild.org/the-fairwild-standard>  throughout the herbal products supply chain. FairWild certification is a guarantee of sustainable wild harvesting, as well as fair and equitable share of resources.


Photo: Ginseng. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service <https://www.fws.gov/international/plants/american-ginseng.html>  American Ginseng root is exported in larger volumes than any other native CITES <https://cites.org/>  plant species. Photo - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.




Emily B. Roberson, Ph.D.

Native Plant Conservation Campaign <http://plantsocieties.cnps.org/> 

415 531 4439

emilyr@ <mailto:emilyr at plantsocieties.org> plantsocieties.org <mailto:emilyr at plantsocieties.org> 


The mission of the Native Plant Conservation Campaign is to promote the conservation of native plants and their habitats through collaboration, research, education, and advocacy.

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