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Abensperg-Traun, M. 2009. CITES, sustainable use of wild species and incentive-driven conservation in developing countries, with an emphasis on southern Africa. Biological Conservation, 142(5): 948-963


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CITES, sustainable use of wild species and incentive-driven conservation in developing countries, with an emphasis on southern Africa.

Summary / Notes:

Over 30,000 species of animals and plants that are, or may be, detrimentally affected by international trade are listed on the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). The Convention aims to regulate transboundary trade in species and their derivatives through a system of permits and certificates, and to ensure that such trade conforms to the principle of sustainability. In the developing world, a considerable component of its biodiversity lives outside protected areas where governments have limited potential to manage wildlife. Based on selected vertebrate and plant species, this paper concludes that: (1) use of wildlife in developing countries is more likely to be an imperative rather than a choice; (2) the legal instruments of CITES have limited capacities to ensure that international trade is sustainable; (3) sustainable use of species is best achieved by gaining the support of affected local communities; (4) community support can be maximized by the devolution of ownership or user rights of species from the state to, e.g., the communal level, and the development of effective economic incentive structures to prevent alternative land-use strategies; (5) countries in southern Africa have pioneered devolution of ownership/user rights to the district/communal level; (6) in combination with effective CITES trade controls, trade opportunities, rather than trade restrictions, are most likely to assist in the development of incentive-driven conservation strategies; (7) to avoid negative incentives and to increase awareness of livelihoods, the international CITES community may need to consider whether CITES Appendices I and II listing decisions should be based not only on biological/trade criteria but also on socio-economic considerations, if it is in the conservation interest of the species concerned; (8) a strategic cooperation with the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) could improve strategies for sustainable trade; (9) while incentive-driven conservation can provide significant longer-term potential for the protection of animal and plant species, it may be most difficult to achieve for species whose high-value products have a long tradition in medicinal use and (10) the conditions under which incentive-driven conservation is most likely to promote sustainable use need to be clearly identified. Keywords: Community-based conservation, Compliance, Endangered species, International trade.

Year: 2009

Type: Journal Article

URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2008.12.034


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