Published 4 June 2010

TCM Community told of wildlife conservation concerns

Shanghai, China, June 2010—The International TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Development Forum, co-organized by the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies and the Municipality of The Hague, Netherlands, took place this June, at the Dutch Culture Center under a theme of strengthening international exchange & co-operation and promoting TCM development.

TCM market, Chengdu, China; the sustainable use of non-threatened species in TCM is seen as an essential conservation measure. © John E. Newby / WWF-Canon

Over 300 participants from TCM associations across China, pharmaceutical companies, medical treatment organizations and research institutions attended, along with TRAFFIC and the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA).

Participants discussed research & development of TCM and Chinese medical treatments, highlighting their respective achievements and experience in promoting international awareness of TCM. Several pharmaceutical companies and medical treatment organizations demonstrated their products and services in integrating TCM theory with current technological advances.

TRAFFIC China Programme Officer, Xu Ling, spoke of the importance and urgency of conserving endangered animals used for medicinal purposes. She noted that numbers of such animals were severely depleted in China and that excessive exploitation and illegal trade have driven some species to the verge of extinction.

She spoke about the severe situation affecting animals such as the Tiger, leopards, pangolins, Saiga Antelope, musk deer and Hawksbill Turtles and appealed for further amendment of laws and regulations governing wildlife conservation and the raising of public awareness.

Many asked for further information about the conservation and trade in threatened species and several of those attending said they would reject the use of endangered species and promote the sustainable use of non-endangered medicinal species. 

Yin Feng, Division Chief of the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) also spoke about conservation and management of endangered medicinal animals. He spoke of the Chinese government’s efforts to conserve Tigers and analysed the various challenges faced in Tiger conservation. There are currently fewer than 50 wild Tigers left in China. 
Yin Feng noted the TCM community should become actively involved in wildlife conservation, on which the future development of TCM depends.