GIZ Live Pangolin Trade Study

This study was commissioned by the “Partnership against Wildlife Crime in Africa and Asia”, a global project implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). The Partnership operates along the entire illegal trade chain in ivory, rhinoceros horn and pangolin from the countries of origin in Africa to the consumers.

To better understand the live pangolin trade in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, EIA conducted a rapid review of legislation and policies, pangolin seizure and prosecution data, as well as a deep-dive field scoping exercise in Malawi.

Pangolins are protected by law in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, and Tanzania to varying degrees with appropriate offences and penalties, although these measures could be strengthened.

Although successful in raising public awareness of the illegality of the pangolin trade, current outreach efforts are insufficient in motivating people to protect pangolins. Limited availability and access to seizure data and prosecution outcomes undermines trade trend analysis and public comprehension of the issue.

The findings indicate that the live pangolin trade in Malawi supplies the local exotic meat consumption by the Chinese community and to traditional healers for medicinal purposes. We found no indication that the live pangolin trade is large-scale for supplying scales for export. Interventions to reduce the live pangolin trade should focus on domestic audiences.

Further research is needed to gain a comprehensive understanding of live pangolin trafficking and any associated illegal trade in the region. EIA has identified information gaps and recommended collaborative actions by government and civil society stakeholders to address fundamental drivers of the illegal wildlife activities.