African pangolins continue to face an unprecedented threat from the transnational trafficking of their scales. This is primarily driven by demand from China, where the scales are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), both legally and illegally.
Ahead of the 74th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), EIA has prepared comments and recommendations on agenda items relating to Elephants, Pangolins, Tigers and other Asian Big Cats, Rhinos, Totoaba, Saiga, enforcement and compliance matters.
EIA research reveals that at least twenty-four Chinese pharmaceutical companies have been listing leopard bones as an ingredient in their traditional medicines, although there are fewer than 450 wild leopards left in that country.
There is no escaping the fact that countries from which wild tigers have been wiped out or virtually wiped out in recent years – Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and China – are countries where the tiger has been valued solely for the sum of its body parts.
These resolutions, decisions and recommendations demonstrate that CITES Parties have agreed on a mandate to address domestic trade issues, including legal and illegal domestic trade, in certain circumstances. Below is a non-exhaustive list of examples of such recommendations adopted by the CoP.