New Report Raises Alarm Over the Invisible Trade in Wild Plants

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    Plant Conservation
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    BGCI Partner

This week, 22-26 June, is FairWild week, an annual online event aimed to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable and equitable trade in wild plant ingredients. On this occasion, a new report by TRAFFIC highlights the plight of wild plant species used in herbal treatments of COVID-19. The report states that these species are set to come under heightened harvesting pressure, both as a result of increased demand and because of more people turning to wild harvesting as an alternative source of income during times of high unemployment and economic crisis.

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

In China, official traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formulations used in the COVID-19 response utilise over 125 plant species, a selection of them wild harvested in China and beyond.

They include Liquorice root (Glycyrrhiza spp), a protected species in parts of its range in China, and several species whose international trade is regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) such as ginseng root (Panax spp), Chinese Agarwood (Aquilaria sinensis), and Golden Chicken Fern (Cibotium barometz).

The new report: The Invisible Trade: Wild plants and you in the times of COVID-19 and the essential journey towards sustainability, draws attention to the economic, livelihoods and conservation importance of the trade in wild plants resources alongside issues of sustainability of supplies. More information and to download the report, please visit:

More information about FairWild week is available here:

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