2017 Wildlife Trade Symposium: Evolving Perspectives on the Demand for Illegal Wildlife Products
The illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade is a major and growing threat to biodiversity, contributing to severe population declines. Annually, hundreds of millions of plants and animals are traded and derived into numerous products, consumed for different motivations and values, such as medicinal, food, gifting and cultural. Estimated to be worth $8-10 billon (excluding fish and timber), this is one of the highest valued illicit trade sectors in the world.
The 2017 Wildlife Trade Symposium: Evolving Perspectives on the Demand for Illegal Wildlife Products aimed to share new ideas and approaches to better understand and address this challenge, discuss practical and pragmatic possibilities to move forward and bridge the gap between academia and practice. This three-day event was co-hosted with generous support from San Diego Zoo Global and TRAFFIC.
The first day of the Symposium, September 25 showcased a series of invited presentations, panel discussions and an open poster session themed on:
– Diverse approaches to illegal wildlife trade research
– Linking the supply and demand for wildlife products
– Changing wildlife consumption onto a legal, sustainable path
Keynote speakers presenting case studies, research and initiatives:
– Gayle Burgess, TRAFFIC
– Shannon Randolph, San Diego Zoo Global
– Joss Wright, University of Oxford
– Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes, University of Oxford
– Hollie Booth, Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia
– Anastasiya Timoshyna, TRAFFIC & IUCN SSC Medicinal Plant Specialist Group
– Lixin Huang, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine at California Institute of Integral Studies
September 26 & 27 consisted of in-depth interactive sessions covering a range of methodological and conceptual challenges of the illegal wildlife trade more broadly, such as:
– Supply-demand market dynamics
– Quantifying and surveying the online trade
– Measuring demand reduction impact
– Changing business sector behavior
September 26 also featured an evening Debate on the Illegal Wildlife Trade chaired by renowned BBC journalist John Simpson.