Scientists map global trade endangering wildlife
The study is the first to map consumer product supply chains and link them to the global register of endangered species. The findings could help improve international-trade regulations, the journal Nature reported.
"Our findings can be used to improve the regulation and product labelling of thousands of internationally traded products," said Manfred Lenzen, professor of physics at the University of Sydney, who led the study. The study evaluated over five billion supply chains connecting consumers to over 15,000 commodities produced in 187 countries.
This was cross-referenced with a global register of 25,000 endangered and vulnerable species, according to a university statement. "Until now these relationships have only been poorly understood. Our extraordinary number crunching, which took years of data collection and thousands of hours on a supercomputer to process, lets us see these global supply chains in amazing detail for the first time," said Lenzen.
Among exporting countries, where the species losses actually occur, on average 35 percent of recorded threats can be linked to export-led production. In Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Honduras, this figure is 50 to 60 percent.