Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


A bitter pill to swallow

Rare plants and endangered species such as tigers at risk from traditional medicine in Cambodia and Vietnam, says new TRAFFIC report

Two reports from TRAFFIC, the world's largest wildlife trade monitoring network, on traditional medicine systems in Cambodia and Vietnam suggest that illegal wildlife trade, including entire tiger skeletons, and unsustainable harvesting is depleting the region's rich and varied biodiversity and putting the primary healthcare resource of millions at risk.

The results of field studies carried out between 2005 and 2007 found a significant number of Cambodians and Vietnamese rely on traditional medicine. Relaxation of international trade barriers, the impact of free market economies and complex national government policies have led to an increase in the demand and supply for flora and fauna used in traditional medicine. The growing illegal wildlife trade in the region is fuelled by the difficulty of sourcing prescribed ingredients, including parts, from globally threatened species.

"The supply of many wild animals and plants for medicine in Cambodia and Vietnam is becoming scarce due to overexploitation," said Crawford Allan, TRAFFIC's director in North America. "Some of the trade is illegal and threatening endangered species. In Vietnam, we estimate between 5-10 tiger skeletons are sold annually to be used in traditional medicine. With each skeleton fetching approximately $20,000, there is a strong incentive to poach and trade tigers that we must address from the grassroots up."

"An overview of the use and trade of plants and animals in traditional medicine systems in Cambodia" examined the use of wildlife products in Traditional Khmer Medicine and its possible impacts. Over 800 types of plants—approximately 35 percent of the country's native species—are used in Traditional Khmer Medicine. Eight of those plants species are considered high priority for national conservation.

"An overview of the use of plants and animals in traditional medicine systems in Vietnam", presents the findings of traditional medicine market surveys conducted in north and south Vietnam where more than 3,900 species of flora and 400 species of fauna are used in traditional remedies. Seventy-one of the animals traded and used for medicinal purposes in Vietnam are listed on the IUCN Red List of globally threatened species.

"Traditional medicine systems in Cambodia and Vietnam are important components of both national healthcare systems, and are often the only means of healthcare for rural communities," said Dekila Chungyalpa, manager of the Mekong Ecoregion Program at WWF-US. "Understanding which animal and plant species and products are used and traded, and their underlying trade mechanisms, can provide a useful tool to assess the sustainability of such trade, and provide an 'early warning' for species that are threatened."

TRAFFIC, a joint program of WWF and IUCN, recommends further research, increased public awareness, action to increase information sharing among the numerous agencies, and the involvement of institutions and organizations in the harvest, trade and use of traditional medicine.

Sarah Janicke | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

TIB’s Visual Analytics Research Group to develop methods for person detection and visualisation

19.03.2018 | Information Technology

Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

19.03.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>