∞ Three new reports show the sustainability of python farming and wild harvesting and the trade’s positive impact on local livelihoods
∞ Reports are first in the industry to provide science-based data and recommendations to improve sustainability of the python skin trade
∞ Next phase of the Python Conservation Partnership is broader industry inclusion and luxury sector adoption
Three new reports published today by the Python Conservation Partnership (PCP), a partnership between Kering, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Boa and Python Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), reveal that the wild harvesting and farming of pythons is ecologically sustainable and results in socioeconomic benefits for poor households in South-East Asia. Initially presented yesterday at the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17) in Johannesburg, South Africa, the “Sustainable Management of the Trade in Reticulated Python Skins in Indonesia and Malaysia", “Trade in Python Skins: Impact on Livelihoods in Viet Nam” and “Trade in Python Skins: Impact on Livelihoods in Peninsular Malaysia” reports represent the culmination of three years of scientific research and signify the completion of the research phase of the PCP.
The PCP has undertaken research projects since its creation in 2013 to measure the socioeconomic benefits of the trade in python skins in South-East Asia, as well as the sustainability of wild harvesting and the economic viability of python farming. The PCP has also supported training for those engaged in the trade and has tested methods to verify the source of pythons and improve the traceability of skins. Following the partnership’s first report published in 2014, on the feasibility of farming pythons - “Assessment of Python Breeding Farms Supplying the International High-end Leather Industry” - the peer-reviewed reports published today reveal the importance of the trade for the livelihoods of people in Malaysia and Viet Nam and offer detailed recommendations to improve the monitoring and management of the trade overall. Key findings include:
· Wild harvest of pythons is ecologically sustainable in Sumatra, Indonesia;
· Management of the trade through size limits, ongoing monitoring of harvested snakes and capacity development of key actors will contribute to sustainable trade; and
· In both wild harvest and captive farming in Malaysia and Viet Nam, the trade improves livelihood resilience by giving poor households the opportunity to increase and diversify income.
In addition to these reports, the PCP has developed technical documents to be published later this year on using novel techniques to verify the provenance of python skins. The PCP will also release guidance on best practices for animal welfare and management in python farms and processing facilities. These guidelines will initially be implemented and tested in Kering’s supply chain to help refine them. In 2017, the PCP will enter into a new phase, opening up the partnership to a broader group of stakeholders in the python trade, with the goal of implementing positive and durable change in the industry.
“The PCP is an excellent example of new and multi-disciplinarycollaborative models driving real, positive changetowards sustainability,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of International Institutional Affairs at Kering, “Information and transparency in the python trade was lacking and we all required more guidance to ensure a robust and sustainable trade. After 3 years of research we are very pleased to open-source the results of this important new research with ITC and IUCN. We are confident that this will improve the trade and Kering is proud to support the expert recommendations in our supply chains.“
“These studies demonstrate that trade in biodiversity is a credible strategy for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” said ITC Executive Director Arancha González. “ITC will continue to work with IUCN and the fashion industry to find innovative ways to promote the sustainable use of flora and fauna and to improve the livelihoods of the world’s poorest people.”
"It is extremely encouraging to see the extraordinary progress made by Kering, the International Trade Centre and IUCN – three organisations with different visions, working collaboratively to achieve a common goal," says Tomás Waller, Chair of the IUCN/SSC Boa and Python Specialist Group. "The results of the Python Conservation Partnership's research and successful collaboration show that it is indeed possible to enhance sustainable use of pythons while at the same time providing livelihood benefits for local communities participating in the trade."
“We welcome this work showing the benefits of python skin trade to rural communities, as well as the depth of engagement with the private sector in making sure that the global value chain is put onto a better and more sustainable footing,” said John E. Scanlon, Secretary-General Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). “This work will benefit both the species and the rural communities. We hope more private sector entities join initiatives such as those being pioneered here by the PCP.”
Download the reports here:
A world leader in apparel and accessories, Kering develops an ensemble of powerful Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle brands: Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, Christopher Kane, McQ, Stella McCartney, Tomas Maier, Boucheron, Dodo, Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard, Pomellato, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, Puma, Volcom and Cobra. By ‘empowering imagination’ in the fullest sense, Kering encourages its brands to reach their potential in the most sustainable manner.
Present in more than 120 countries, the Group generated revenue of more than €11.5 billion in 2015 and had more than 38,000 employees at year end. The Kering (previously PPR) share is listed on Euronext Paris (FR 0000121485, KER.PA, KER.FP).
IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 16,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards. IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being. www.iucn.org twitter.com/IUCN
About the Species Survival Commission
The Species Survival Commission (SSC) is the largest of IUCN’s six volunteer commissions with a global membership of around 10,000 experts. SSC advises IUCN and its members on the wide range of technical and scientific aspects of species conservation, and is dedicated to securing a future for biodiversity. SSC has significant input into the international agreements dealing with biodiversity conservation.
About Boa and Python Specialist Group (BPSG)
The Boa and Python Specialist Group (BPSG) is a global network of volunteer experts, part of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). The BPSG is the world leading authority on boas and pythons. Its mission is to provide expert opinion and scientific advice to IUCN and other conservation organizations, government and non-government agencies, applicable to the conservation of boas and pythons.
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