GCRF_NF94: Identifying and mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on legal and sustainable wildlife trade in LMICs

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: IDD


To contain COVID-19, there has been a clampdown on wildlife trade, which is a key source of livelihood and food security for hundreds of millions of people in LMICs. Wildlife markets have been closed, new bans on wildlife trade are being enforced and governments are proposing drastic changes to wildlife trade regulations. These reforms aim to safeguard global public health and global food systems, yet they disrupt wildlife supply chains that meet peoples' food security and economic needs. The clampdown on global wildlife trade also risks pushing trade underground with implications for public health, conservation and crime. The aim of this project is to develop evidence-based guidelines for regulating wildlife trade to address the risks of COVID-19 without undermining legal and sustainable wildlife trade economies. This project will use trade data, interviews and the Delphi method to: (1) track changing wildlife trade trends during the pandemic; (2) assess the impacts of these changing trends on people engaged in wildlife economies; and (3) formulate new guidelines for safe, legal and sustainable wildlife trade in the COVID-19 era. The project will be informed by evidence from Kenya and Cameroon - two LMICs with wildlife sectors that stand to be significantly impacted by COVID-19. This project will be led by an international, interdisciplinary team of wildlife trade, conservation and livelihood experts, and implemented in collaboration with CIFOR, an institute at the forefront of research on wildlife trade in LMICs. An Expert Impact Network (IUCN, IIED, TRAFFIC) has been established to realise impact.


10 25 50
Description This project began a monthly virtual seminar series in February 2021. The seminar series, called 'Blind Spots in Research on COVID-19 and Wildlife: Marginalised Perspectives and Neglected Trends', aims to bring under-represented critical perspectives and under-appreciated issues into the core of discussions on COVID-19 and wildlife trade. The target audience for the seminar series is academic and nonacademic researchers, representatives from civil society and nongovernmental, and policymakers. Nearly 300 individuals registered for the first two seminars, and each seminar had 57 and 71 unique viewers respectively. Additionally, each seminar is recorded and posted on the project website, www.wildlifetradefutures.com, so that others can view and share the seminar at a later date. The virtual seminar series brings together experts from around the world - privileging underrepresented members of the research community - to highlight how different critical lines of inquiry might help us to better understand the relationships between COVID-19, wildlife trade, and zoonosis, and devise alternative, equitable pathways for moving forward. Thus far, seminars have focused on advancing political ecology and postcolonial perspectives of the relationship between COVID-19 and wildlife trade. Future events will highlight critical research perspectives such as racial inequalities, feminist perspectives, more-than-human relations, and critical geopolitics. With this in mind, this virtual seminar series fills a crucial gap in discourse and research on COVID-19 and wildlife trade by making critical perspectives and under-appreciated issues accessible to a nonacademic policy and research audience.
First Year Of Impact 2021
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment
Impact Types Policy & public services

Description Contributed to UK Parliament POSTnote on "Preventing Emerging Zoonoses"
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to a national consultation/review
Impact The results of this objective are detailed in our attached policy brief published in English and French. Note that Wildlife Trade Futures was asked to contribute to a UK Parliament POSTnote based on this work. (See Section 2.)
URL https://wildlifetradefutures.com/
Description Biodiversity Conservation and Zoonosis
Amount £32,952 (GBP)
Organisation Northumbria University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2022 
End 06/2023
Description COVID-19 and Wildlife Trade Impact Accelerator Grant
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Manchester 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2021 
End 07/2021
Description Virtual Seminar Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Thus far, 123 people have attended our virtual seminar series that aims to centre critical perspectives and under-appreciated issues in debates and decision-making processes around the relationship between COVID-19, zoonosis, and wildlife trade. Attendees a from a range of epistemic, nongovernmental, and third sector organisations internationally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL http://www.wildlifetradefutures.com