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.
For a decade, Vietnam has been repeatedly highlighted for its role in the international illegal wildlife trade, so it is encouraging to see the recent efforts taken by the Government to address its involvement; it is to be congratulated for the measures it has taken and the successes it has had domestically.
Unfettered growth of TCM poses a serious threat to biodiversity in Africa, all in the name of short-term profit. Any utilisation of threatened species in TCM could stimulate further demand, incentivise wildlife crime and ultimately lead to overexploitation.
EIA encourages CITES Parties, the CITES Secretariat and Animals Committee to consider the information contained in this briefing document when reviewing the study on pangolins developed in accordance with Decision 18.240, paragraph c)