International Wildlife Trade - Achieving Sustainability - DI871

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
(version 2)
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7 15 (7.5) DR DL Roberts


Fundamentals of conservation science and social science perspectives on conservation would be an advantage





Wildlife trade and use contributes on the one hand to peoples' livelihoods but on the other may threaten species. Management of such trade relies on a number of multilateral agreements including CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Such management requires an appropriate policy, legislative, management and scientific framework for its successful implementation at national and international levels. Details of each these aspects will be examined and students will have the opportunity to examine a number of multilateral organisations as well as legal aspects of eco-labelling and Intellectual property rights. This module will guide students through the steps of implementing a legal framework, from the adoption of national wildlife trade policies, prioritization of species for management intervention, making sustainability findings and providing incentives for conservation through to the multilateral governance structures. The module will be delivered through combined methods, of lecture, discussion, and practical exercises which will contribute to achievement of the module specific learning outcomes as well as developing key skills. Particular topics will include:
  • Prioritization & management of species endangered by trade and overuse
  • Making sustainability findings (non-detriment) and trade monitoring
  • Multilateral environment agreements and trade and environment.
  • Ecolabels and intellectual property rights
  • Details

    This module appears in:

    Contact hours



    Spring Term

    Method of assessment

    The attainment of learning outcomes will be assessed by an assignment (2500 words) to demonstrate ability to link the theoretical learning to practical application (80% of module marks); and by participation in seminars and class tests which will demonstrate acquisition of knowledge and critical and reflective evaluation of case studies (20%).

    Preliminary reading

    Harrop, SR and Bowles, D (1998). The multilateral trade regime, morals and the welfare of animals. Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy, 1, 64-94.
    Harrop SR (2004) Indigenous peoples, traditional ecological knowledge and the perceived threat of the intellectual property rights regime Law, Science and Policy Vol 2 pp207-239
    Oldfield S. (Ed.). (2003). The Trade in wildlife: regulation for conservation. Earthscan.
    Reeve, R. 2002. Policing the International Trade in Endangered Species: The CITES Treaty and Compliance. Royal Institute for International Affairs & Earthscan Publications. London.
    Sutherland, William J. (2000). The Conservation Handbook: research, management and policy. 1st ed. Oxford, England: Blackwell Science Ltd.
    Gary P. Sampson. (2005). The WTO and Sustainable Development. UN University Press.
    Wijnsteckers W. (2001). The Evolution of CITES 6th Ed. CITES, Geneva.

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

    Learning outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this module will understand:
    The role of wildlife trade in species conservation and livelihood contributions
    Means of prioritising and managing species endangered by trade and overuse.
    Principles and tools for making sustainability findings (non-detriment) and for field and trade monitoring
    Debates around different mechanisms for managing the wildlife trade at national and international levels.
    Skills to integrate conservation and management
    Critical analysis of case studies
    Reflective evaluation of case studies within an interdisciplinary framework
    Linking theory and practice within the field

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