The Invisible Trade Wild plants and you in the time of COVID-19

Published 18 June 2020

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The essential but invisible trade: TRAFFIC sounds alarm over sustainability of wild plants used to treat COVID-19

Cambridge, UK, 18th June 2020—wild plant species used in herbal treatments of COVID-19 are set to come under heightened harvesting pressure, both as a result of increased demand and because of more people turning to wild harvesting as an alternative source of income during times of high unemployment and economic crisis. The future availability of plant ingredients to support human health—through medicines, food and well-being products—is dependent on prioritising the conservation and sustainable use of their source species in the long-term.

The Invisible Trade: Wild plants and you in the time of COVID-19

Report author(s):
Anastasiya Timoshyna, Zhang Ke, Yuqi Yang, Xu Ling, Danna Leaman

Publication date:
June 2020


FairWild Week kicks off on 22nd June 2020, visit the FairWild website for more information.

FairWild Week 2020

About FairWild

The increasing demand for wild plants—as ingredients for food, cosmetics, well-being and medicinal products—poses major ecological and social challenges. The pressure on potentially vulnerable plant species can endanger local ecosystems and the livelihoods of collectors, who often belong to the poorest social groups in the countries of origin.

As a response to these concerns, the FairWild Foundation is working with partners worldwide to improve the conservation, management and sustainable use of wild plants in trade, as well as the livelihoods of rural harvesters involved in wild collection. TRAFFIC has supported the development of the FairWild Standard, and now hosts the organization’s Secretariat under a partnership agreement.