Posted 26/07/2022

Source Certain is joining forces with Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund, Kew Gardens, TRAFFIC and Agroisolab on a project to fight the illegal trade of succulent plants.

This project will address the supply and sale of illegally traded African succulent species in an effort to stop the destruction of globally important ecosystems and potential extinction of species across South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The surging demand for succulents by collectors around the globe has spurred an illegal trade in rare species, prompting a rise in ‘succulent poaching’ across regions these species are endemic to, like the South African Karoo.

The plants are then distributed via a black market to collectors primarily in China, Japan and South Korea.

A number of these succulent species now considered critically endangered, with the risk of extinction possible due to the growing number of poaching incidents occurring each year.

The application of chemical fingerprinting and marking techniques will support greater transparency in the trade of these plants whilst also aiding the reintroduction of confiscated plants to their place of origin.

Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens) is the lead organisation on the project, alongside TRAFFIC, a leading non-governmental organisation working globally on illegal trade in wild animals and plants.

Source Certain will be working alongside Agroisolab, a UK and Germany-based analytical laboratory delivering isotope analysis for provenance testing, counter-fraud and authentication of organic produce.

This is a three-year program with a two-year involvement from Source Certain. The program is funded by the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund (IWTCF).