earthmind-globeSelected events

Note: Our events are terribly out-of-date. Our apologies for this. We are building a new website which we are aiming to launch in July 2018.

Indicators for Sustainable Wild Trade: Measurement in the SDGS & Beyond @ Rhin Room, International Environment House 2
Nov 19 @ 13:00 – 17:00

2015-11-GenevaOrganised Earthmind and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development


The recently launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include goals on the sustainable use of marine and terrestrial ecosystems (14 and 15) and the role of trade as means of implementation (17) – all of which are directly relevant to the challenge of ensuring that the trade in wild goods and services is sustainable. For example,

• SDG 14.4 aims to “restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield;”

• SDG 15.1 aims to ensure the “sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services;” and

• SDG 17.11 commits to “increase significantly the exports of developing countries,” which for many countries could include increasing the exports of wild goods and services

Do we have indicators – economic, social, legal, cultural and biological – for measuring and monitoring the sustainability of wild trade?

The 2030 Agenda for development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Addis Ababa Action Agenda, sets out commitments to the sustainable use of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and to the use of trade as means of implementation for the achievement of the broader framework.  Measuring and monitoring the sustainability of trade in wildlife and ecosystem services will require a solid set of usable indicators covering the activity’s economic, social, legal, cultural and biological aspects.

This dialogue brought together a cross-section of experts working on trade, conservation, and sustainability to explore the indicators we have and the indicators we need to help policy-makers and practitioners ensure that any trade in wild goods and services is sustainable. The discussion covered indicators for wild trade and the 2030 Agenda, indicators for voluntary standards for wild trade, and a concluding session that will draw the discussion together.


13:00 – Light lunch

14:00 – Indicators for wild trade and the 2030 Agenda

This session covered the biodiversity trade related indicators under discussion in the Inter-Agency Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals and other indicators and criteria used by governments to measure trade in biodiversity, including in the context of follow up and review of the 2030 Agenda.

Facilitator: Francis Vorhies (Earthmind)

Speakers: Alice Tipping (ICTSD), Dena Cator (IUCN)

15:00 – Indicators in voluntary standards for wild trade

This session covered the indicators for wild trade used by the private sector in setting and meeting voluntary standards.

Facilitator: Jesse Hastings (National University of Singapore)

Speakers: Michael ‘tSas-Rolfes (University of Oxford), Eduardo Escobedo (Responsible Ecosystems Sourcing Platform) Regina Taymasova (ITC)

 16:00 – Bringing it together

This session compared the evolving public and private work on indicators for wild trade and assessed their coherence, especially in the context of policy coherence between agreements.

Facilitator: Alice Tipping (ICTSD)

Speakers: Colman OCriodain (WWF), Mark Halle (IISD)

More information

ICTSD dialogue website

Recorded webinar (Note: sound is not working until 4:35 minutes, apologies!)


Trade and sustainable development: Options for follow-up and review of the trade-related elements of the Post-2015 Agenda and Financing for Development – Alice Tipping (ICTSD) and
Robert Wolfe (Queen’s University and IISD)

The trade in wildlife – A framework to improve biodiversity and livelihood outcomes – ITC and IUCN (Cooney, R., Kasterine, A., MacMillan, D., Milledge, S., Nossal, K., Roe, D. and ’t Sas-Rolfes, M)

Forum on Trade and Natural Resources @ Trade & Development Forum
Dec 15 all-day

2015-12-tdsThree sessions within the ICTSD Trade and Development Symposium

Organised by the African Wildlife Foundation, Earthmind, ICTSD, IISD, and the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment (Oxford University)


The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and supported by the commitments made in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), was adopted in September 2015. Among the set of global priorities, the Agenda includes reform of illegal and unsustainable resource extraction (including illegal fishing, and the poaching and trafficking of protected species) and promotion of sustainable marine and terrestrial resource use. Goals 14 and 15, in particular, establish targets around ending illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and taking urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected flora and fauna – a target directly linked to the work undertaken by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The targets also refer to addressing “both the demand and supply of illegal wildlife products”.

As the attention of policy-makers and civil society turns to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the first forum on ‘wild trade,’ will be organised in parallel with the WTO’s 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. It will explore the potential for and challenges associated with sustainable trade in wild natural resources (fish, trees, other wildlife, and ecosystem services) and its support to different aspects of sustainable development, including environmental sustainability and health, livelihoods and inclusive economic growth, governance and the rule of law.

The Forum will consist of three sessions exploring the critical issues of addressing illegal trade in wild natural resources, voluntary standards for sustainable wild trade, and options for building coherent policy frameworks addressing trade in wild resources as part of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Session 1: Addressing Illegal Trade in Natural Resources

14:00-15:30 – Amboseli Room – Live coverage on the TDS webpage


Identify the distinct challenges associated with trade in illegal, unreported and unregulated fish catch; trade in illegally sourced timber; and trade in other wildlife (flora and fauna) that violates international agreements or domestic laws, as well the impact of these activities on different aspects of sustainable development (e.g. health, livelihoods, governance).

Explore how cooperative international trade policy measures by governments as well as private initiatives could help to address these challenges.


U. Rashid SUMAILA (Professor & Director, Fisheries Economics Research Unit & OceanCanada Partnership Research Director, University of British Columbia)

Paul Gathitu MASELA (Wildlife Manager, Kenya Wildlife Services)

Philip MURUTHI (Vice President for Species Conservation, African Wildlife Foundation)

Juan Carlos VASQUEZ (Legal Affairs and Trade Policy Unit of the CITES Secretariat – United Nations Environment Programme)

Mohamed AWER (Country Director, WWF Kenya)


Alice TIPPING (Senior Programme Officer, Environment and Natural Resources, ICTSD)

Session 2: Voluntary Standards for Sustainable Trade in Natural Resources

15:45-17:15 – Ivory Room –  Live coverage on the TDS webpage


Explore the opportunities and challenges for developing countries associated with the role of voluntary private standards in creating demand for sustainably sourced living natural resources (fish, timber, other wildlife, and ecosystem services).

Explore how these opportunities and challenges could be addressed, including through hard or soft law, private initiatives, public-private partnerships or Aid for Trade.


Victoria CHOMO (Trade Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization)

Michael ‘t SAS-ROLFES (Independent Conservation Economist, Cape Town, South Africa & Oxford University)

Dr. Evita SCHMIEG (Research Fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs)

Calvin COTTAR (Director, Cottar Safaris Services)

George WATENE (Monitoring & Evaluation Manager, 4C Association)


Francis VORHIES (Founder and Executive Director, Earthmind)

Session 3: Trade, Nature and the 2030 Agenda: The Quest for Policy Coherence

17:30-19:00 – Ivory Room – Live coverage on the TDS webpage


Identify the key inter-dependencies between trade, environment, and other policy areas that need to be addressed to build a coherent policy framework to support legal and sustainable trade in natural resources and the achievement of 2030 Agenda.


Selina JACKSON (Special Representative to the UN and the WTO, World Bank)

Daudi SUMBA (Vice President, Government Relations & Program Design, African Wildlife Foundation)

David RUNNALLS (Distinguished Fellow and former President, International Institute for Sustainable Development)

Ana ESCOBEDO (Director of International Government Affairs, ArcelorMittal)

Prof. Jaime DE MELO (Emeritus Professor, University of Geneva)


Ricardo MELENDEZ-ORTIZ (Chief Executive Officer, ICTSD)


Wildlife Trade Policy and the 2030 Agenda for Trade and Sustainable Use @ CICG Room 7&8
Jan 12 @ 12:15 – 13:45

2016-01-elephantA side-event at the 66th CITES Standing Committee Meeting


CITES SC66 Agenda Item 13: UN General Assembly Resolutions on tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife and Sustainable Development Goals


Building on discussions at the Trade and Development Symposium alongside the WTO Ministerial in December 2015 in Nairobi, the side event will explore the role of CITES within international trade policy to address illegal trade, promote sustainable trade, and enhance policy coherence regarding the trade in wild goods and services.

Under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, international trade is explicitly recognised as a means of implementation and includes the following commitments expressed as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • 17.10 Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organisation; and
  • 17.11 Significantly increase the exports of developing countries.

This side event focused on how these SDGs relate to CITES in the context the SDG following commitments relevant to the trade in wild goods and services:

  • 14.4 Effectively regulate… illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and…. implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield
  • 14.6 Prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies
  • 15.1 Ensure the… sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services
  • 15.7 Take urgent action to… address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products


Steven Broad, TRAFFIC


Alice Tipping, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
Francis Vorhies, Earthmind

CITES SC66 Doc. 13: United Nations General Assembly Resolutions on Tackling Illicit Trafficking in Wildlife and the Sustainable Development Goals

Discussion note: The SDGS, the trade in wild goods and services, and CITES

A vision for a coherent African wildlife industry @ Willow Country Lodge
Mar 22 – Mar 23 all-day

2016-05-workshopThis private workshop was organised by Wildlife Ranching South Africa to explore the following issues:

A strategy and process for acquiring relevant standardised information and data on the African wildlife industry, that will enable on-going credible research on the socio-economic costs and benefits of alternative forms of land use related to wildlife in southern and eastern Africa

A strategy for effective and coordinated future analysis and dissemination of information to policy-makers and the public

A strategy to overcome areas of contention and friction within the industry, both within and outside of South Africa

Agenda & background articles

Workshop agenda

An assessment of the economic, social and conservation value of the wildlife ranching industry and its potential to support the green economy in South Africa

The economics and institutional economics of wildlife on private land in Africa

The Kenya Story: 1977 – 2015

New directions

9th International Wildlife Ranching Symposium @ Safari Court Hotel
Sep 12 – Sep 16 all-day


The 9th International Wildlife Ranching Symposium will be hosted at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek, Namibia from 12-16 September 2016. It is the ideal network opportunity to exchange ideas with fellow game ranchers from all around the world to meet new people and to solidify existing relationships.

The timing of this Symposium precedes the CITES COP 17 meeting, which will be held in South Africa from 24 September 2016 – 5 October 2016. Attendance of the 9th IWRS will benefit discerning delegates and national stakeholders, to network for the upcoming discussions at CITES CoP 17.

Earthmind is are speaking on ‘Rhino economics and ‘Verifying conservation in wildlife ranches.’

IWRS 2016 Programme

Rhinos: Economics, Trade and Politics 

The Verified Conservation Area (VCA) Approach


CITES COP17 & Sustainable Wildlife Trade @ Sandton Convention Centre
Sep 24 – Oct 5 all-day

cites-cop17CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

The 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17) takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 24 September to 5 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

This will be the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES held on the African continent since CITES came into force on 1 July 1975, but it will the first held on the continent since 2000.

wildtrade with sloganEarthmind Wild Trade Side Events

Enhancing policy coherence for the trade of legal wildlife products

Tue 27 Sep – 17:30-18:30 – Room: Exhibition 2 D

SDG Target 17.14 aims to “enhance policy coherence for sustainable development.” This event will explore the international policy framework for trade in legal wildlife products in support of sustainable development. It will be organised as a panel discussion.

Discussion questions include (a) What is the suitable international policy platform for recognising and supporting the sustainable use of wild resources in support of SDGs 14 and 15 and (b) As a trade agreement, should CITES sit under the WTO rather than UNEP, and (c) Should CITES Parties support research on delisting species to enable a legal and sustainable trade in wildlife products?

Panel members

Peter Bridgewater (former Ramsar Secretary General & Global Garden Consulting)
Rosie Cooney (IUCN Sustainable Use & Livelihoods Group Chair)
Alejandra Garcia (Responsible Ecosystem Sourcing Platform Sustainable Use Specialist)
Maxwell Gomera (UNEP Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services Director)

Background reference

The SDGs, the trade in wild good and services, and CITES
(prepared for CITES SS66, Jan 2016)

Voluntary standards for sustainable trade of legal wildlife products

Wed 28 Sep – 17:30-18:30 – Room: Com. Room 1

Can voluntary standards and certification schemes play a role in enhancing legal, regulated and report trade in wildlife products? If so, is there a role for CITES Parties to support the development and use of such schemes in support of delisting species to enable sustainable trade in wildlife products for sustainable development. The session will be organised as a panel discussion with references to lessons learned from wild trade standards such as FairWild, the Marine Aquarium Council, the Marine Stewardship Council.

Panel members

Steven Broad (TRAFFIC Executive Director)
Christopher Galliers (WESSA Wildlife & Conservation Initiatives Manager)
Andrew Taylor (Endangered Wildlife Trust)
Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes (IUCN SULi & Earthmind Research Associate)

Background reference

The trade in wildlife – A framework to improve biodiversity and livelihood outcomes
(ITC & IUCN, 2015)

Investing in conservation @ Dukascopy TV interview
Feb 17 all-day

Investing in Conservation

Dukascopy TV interview with Francis Vorhies, Founder and Executive Director, Earthmind


Wildlife Economy Workshop @ Willows Country Lodge
Mar 15 @ 15:00 – Mar 17 @ 14:00



The contribution of wildlife ranching to conservation and development
– Assessing the contribution and the role of governance

Building upon two previous workshops held in the USA in 2015 and in South Africa in 2016, the purpose of this Wildlife Economy Workshop was to establish existing levels of knowledge and identify areas where further research is needed relating to two key questions:

What do we know about the contributions of the southern African wildlife ranching industry to conservation and development?

What do we know about the relationship between governance (e.g. institutional arrangements, legislation and policy frameworks) and the nature and extent of the industry’s contributions?

The objective is to work towards a more coherent wildlife industry that contributes to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in the region. Workshop outputs will assist the wildlife industry, policy-makers and other stakeholders to better understand how the industry contributes to conservation and development and how this contribution can be enhanced.  

This workshop benefited from the participation of leading academics from southern Africa and the USA who will share their research on practical matters and methodological approaches relating to the interface of private and public interests in wildlife management.

Workshop agenda

Workshop report


Introduction to the workshop – Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes

Insights from the history of conservation outside protected areas in southern Africa – Brian Child

Fake views and alternative stats: Recent conflicting economic assessments of trophy hunting – Francis Vorhies

Reviewing the literature on the contributions of wildlife ranching to the green economy – Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes

From Market Hunting to Hunting Markets: A Property Rights Approach to Wildlife Conservation – Terry Anderson

The Public Trust Doctrine in South African Environmental Law ‒ Andrew Blackmore

The Comparative Economic Institutions Approach to Wildlife Management ‒ Dean Lueck

Papers & Reports

Relevant papers and reports are being added to our Wildlife Economy Library.

WRSA Conference 2017 @ Protea Hotel Ranch Resort
Mar 24 – Mar 25 all-day

Wildlife Ranching South Africa Conference 2017

Earthmind will be participating, reporting back on the recent Wildlife Economy Workshop, and exploring opportunities for listing member ranchers as Verified Conservation Areas.


Wildlife Economy Workshop (Mar 2017)

Earthmind presentation

Ideal Hotspot for VCAs – Wildlife Ranching 2017 Issue 1

How to register a Verified Conservation Area