Global Financial Sector Profits from Endangered Species, Reveals Report
A report by the Environmental Investigation Agency has exposed how the global financial sector is profiting from traditional Chinese medicine firms using threatened species such as leopards, pangolins, tigers and rhinos.
The report, titled Investing in Extinction, documents the online availability of at least 88 traditional Chinese medicine products stated to contain leopard, pangolin, tiger or rhino. These products are manufactured by 72 Chinese companies with licenses from the National Medical Products Administration of China. The report also highlights the loopholes and weaknesses in China’s Wildlife Protection Law that enable the continued exploitation and trade of these species for traditional Chinese medicine.
The authors identified 62 foreign investors based in seven jurisdictions that have invested in three major Chinese traditional Chinese medicine groups which produce nine products stated to contain leopard and/or pangolin. These investors manage more than $24 trillion in assets. However, most investors do not have adequate biodiversity-related ESG policies or exclusions for threatened species.
The report also acknowledges that some members of the global traditional Chinese medicine community and allies have recognised the need to align traditional Chinese medicine with wildlife protection and promote sustainable alternatives to medicinal preparations that use threatened species. However, the Chinese Government has not taken any measures to prohibit or restrict the use of these species in traditional Chinese medicine.
The report provides several recommendations for different stakeholders to address this issue. For stakeholders in the financial sector, it recommends publicly committing not to invest in companies that use and market products containing threatened wild animals, screening their investments for this threat to biodiversity and divesting themselves of such shareholdings when it comes to their notice.
For the Government of China, it recommends fulfilling CITES recommendations, amending legislation and prohibiting the use of leopards, pangolins, tigers and rhinos for all commercial purposes. For CITES Parties, it recommends adopting a zero export quota for all Appendix I Asian big cats at CoP20, supporting efforts to close domestic markets for leopards and pangolins, and ensuring effective implementation and enforcement of CITES provisions and decisions.
For consumers, it recommends avoiding buying or using any products that contain or claim to contain parts or derivatives of leopards, pangolins, tigers or rhinos.
- Report:Investing in Extinction
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
- Investing in Extinction: How the global financial sector profits from traditional medicine firms using threatened species Environmental Investigation Agency
- Full report Environmental Investigation Agency
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