Library:Investing in Extinction (video)

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Investing in Extinction (video)

Part 1

This video exposes the illegal trade and use of endangered species such as tigers, pangolins, leopards, and rhinos in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It reveals how the Chinese government is licensing TCM products that contain these species, despite international and domestic bans. It also shows how the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is campaigning to close the domestic markets and protect the wildlife from extinction.


  • [00:00:46] The market value and growth of TCM
    • Estimated to increase from $28 billion to $50 billion
    • Uses a variety of herbs and animal parts
  • [00:01:12] The financial firms investing in TCM companies
    • 62 firms identified by EIA
    • Three major companies produce products with endangered species
  • [00:01:30] The uses and sources of endangered species in TCM
    • Tiger bone, pangolin scales, leopard bone, and rhino horn
    • Used for various ailments and effects
    • Poached and trafficked from Africa and Asia
  • [00:02:26] The international and domestic regulations on trade
    • CITES convention prohibits commercial trade of appendix I species
    • CITES recommends countries to close domestic markets
    • China has banned international trade but not domestic trade
  • [00:03:49] The contradiction and impact of China’s policy
    • China licenses TCM products with endangered species
    • China claims to have zero tolerance for illegal trade
    • EIA challenges China at CITES standing committee
    • Trade fuels poaching and drives species to extinction
  • [00:05:58] The recommendations and calls for action by EIA
    • China should implement better protection laws
    • China should close its domestic markets for Asian big cats
    • The real world impact of not doing this is losing wildlife

Part 2

This video is the first part of an investigation by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) into the financial sector’s involvement in the illegal wildlife trade. It exposes how major Western investors are funding Chinese companies that produce traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) using endangered species, such as pangolins and leopards. It also reveals the hypocrisy and inconsistency of these investors, who claim to follow environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles and support initiatives to combat wildlife trafficking, but fail to screen their investments for biodiversity risks.


  • [00:00:17] The market value and growth of TCM
    • Estimated at $28 billion in 2022
    • Expected to increase to $50 billion in a decade
  • [00:00:44] The methodology and findings of the EIA investigation
    • Commissioned a company called Themis to research the financial sector
    • Identified 62 Western investors who invested in three Chinese TCM companies
    • Found household names such as HSBC, AXA, BlackRock, etc.
  • [00:02:26] The ESG commitments and contradictions of the investors
    • Claim to have a positive impact on the environment, society and governance
    • Sign up to principles of responsible investment and United for Wildlife Financial Task Force
    • Ignore the risks and impacts of their investments on endangered species and illegal wildlife trade
  • [00:05:02] The responses and excuses of the investors
    • Only 14 of them replied to the EIA’s letter
    • Some gave generic responses that they were passive funds or invested on behalf of clients
    • Some appeared to be just excuses
  • [00:05:39] The recommendations and implications of the EIA report
    • Urge the investors to stop investing in the three TCM companies
    • Ask the investors to report on their investment decisions and capture the biodiversity risks
    • Warn that the real world impact of not doing this is the extinction of pangolins, leopards and other endangered species

See also

External links