International Wildlife Trade - Achieving Sustainability - DICE8710

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


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.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 20

Private study hours: 130

Total study hours: 150


MSc Conservation and cognate pathways

Method of assessment

Class presentation (20%)
Written assignment, 2000 word report (80%)

Reassessment method: Like for Like

Indicative reading

Harrop, S.R., & Bowles, D. (1998). The multilateral trade regime, morals and the welfare of animals. Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy, 1, 64-94.

Harrop, S.R. (2004). Indigenous peoples, traditional ecological knowledge and the perceived threat of the intellectual property rights regime Law, Science and Policy Vol 2 pp207-239Oldfield S. (Ed.). (2003). The Trade in wildlife: regulation for conservation. Earthscan.

Robinson, J. E., Griffiths, R. A., John, F. A. S., & Roberts, D. L. (2015). Dynamics of the global trade in live reptiles: Shifting trends in production and consequences for sustainability. Biological Conservation, 184, 42-50.

Somerville, K. (2016). Ivory: Power and Poaching in Africa. Hurst Publishers.

Wijnsteckers W. (2001). The Evolution of CITES 6th Ed. CITES, Geneva.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. understand the role of wildlife trade in species conservation and livelihood contributions
2. understand the means of prioritising and managing species endangered by trade and overuse.
3. understand the principles and tools for making sustainability findings (non-detriment) and for field and trade monitoring
4. understand the debates around different mechanisms for managing the wildlife trade at national and international levels.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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