Dr Teresa Lappe-Osthege explains the role of Europe in driving demand for illegally traded endemic wildlife and contributing to global biodiversity loss. Although Europe is a key consumer market for illegal wildlife products, interventions to tackle the illegal wildlife trade primarily focus on exotic species and overlook the dynamics around demand and consumption from European consumers. These dynamics are often rooted in cultural traditions and are enabled by socio-economic inequalities, making enforcement and monitoring alone inadequate responses. Demand and supply must be addressed in synergy, for example, by complementing the enforcement of existing legislation with demand reduction campaigns.
You can read more about this in our policy brief, Placing a spotlight on European consumers: Drivers of demand for illegal wildlife trade in Europe. The brief gives valuable context on the roots of demand from European consumers and provides actionable policy recommendations.