Library:Investing in Extinction (report)

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Investing in Extinction (report)

Investing in Extinction is a report published by the Environmental Investigation Agency in October 2023. The report exposes how the global financial sector profits from traditional Chinese medicine traditional Chinese medicine firms using threatened species such as leopards, pangolins, tigers and rhinos. The report also provides recommendations for the financial sector, the Chinese government and the international community to address this issue.


The report consists of three parts:

  • Part 1: The report documents the online availability of at least 88 traditional Chinese medicine products stated to contain leopard, pangolin, tiger or rhino, manufactured by 72 Chinese companies with licenses from the National Medical Products Administration of China. The report also reveals the loopholes and weaknesses in China’s Wildlife Protection Law and the CITES context that enable the continued exploitation and trade of these species for traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Part 2: The report identifies 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. The report also reviews the responses and commitments of these investors regarding biodiversity and wildlife protection, and highlights the case of Norges Bank, which excluded five Chinese pharmaceutical companies from its portfolio due to their use and sale of traditional Chinese medicine products containing parts from globally threatened animal species.
  • Part 3: The report 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 report also notes that 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 the issue of investing in extinction:

  • For stakeholders in the financial sector: To publicly commit not to invest in companies that use and market products containing threatened wild animals, to screen their investments for this threat to biodiversity and to divest themselves of such shareholdings when it comes to their notice.
  • For the Government of China: To fulfil CITES recommendations, amend legislation and prohibit the use of leopards, pangolins, tigers and rhinos for all commercial purposes.
  • For CITES Parties: To adopt a zero export quota for all Appendix I Asian big cats at CoP20, to support efforts to close domestic markets for leopards and pangolins, and to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of CITES provisions and decisions.
  • For consumers: To avoid buying or using any products that contain or claim to contain parts or derivatives of leopards, pangolins, tigers or rhinos.

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