New report highlights the opportunities for sustainable trade of wild plant ingredients amid a surge in its global demand
A collaborative report by FAO, TRAFFIC, and the IUCN Species Survival Commission Medicinal Plant Specialist Group (MPSG) evaluates twelve flagship wild-harvested ingredients, assigning them social and biological risk ratings to highlight where improvements can be made.
Photo: FAO/TRAFFIC/IUCN SSC Medicinal Specialist Group
Over the years, the use of wild plants has been common in many household products, including herbal tea, food, drink, beauty and personal care supplements, and even furniture. Nowadays, the use of these plants is at risk primarily due to habitat loss and degradation, climate change, and over-exploitation.
The new report, titled ‘Wildcheck: Assessing the risks and opportunities of trade in wild plant ingredients’, reviews the so-called ‘Wild Dozen’, and highlights the opportunities for sustainable trade development amid an increase of more than 75% in global demand for wild plant ingredients.
Also, the publication shows that these ingredients must be considered in due diligence, policies, and purchasing decisions. “The purpose of our social and biological risk ratings is not to dissuade businesses and consumers from using wild plant ingredients that can be harvested sustainably. On the contrary, it is to guide where steps can be taken to secure the long-term survival of wild-harvested species and availability of the sourced ingredients, improve marginalised livelihoods and enhance business ethics,” says Danna J. Leaman, Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Medicinal Plant Specialist Group and co-author of the report.
Report’s co-authors call to governments, private sector and public to play an important role through the #WeUseWild pledge. If managed well, sustainable wild-harvesting and trade in plant ingredients could support broader wildlife conservation and marginalized livelihoods.
Read the full report here: https://doi.org/10.4060/cb9267en