Python Conservation Partnership launched to ensure sustainability of python trade (en)
In 2012 ITC published the report “The trade in South-East Asian python skins”. The study estimated the value of legal trade in python skins to be $1 USD billion. The increased trade has raised concerns about sustainability, and global trade in python skins is regulated under Appendix II of CITES.
On the backbone of this publication, Kering, a company with major luxury brands such as Gucci has formed a public private partnership with ITC and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The partnership seeks to implement a joint programme of research and capacity building in the python skin production in South-East Asia focusing on python conservation and sustainable trade practices.
The majority of South-East Asian python skins go to the European Union where they are used in the luxury fashion industry. The skins are used in the production of high-end leather products. The main exporters of python skins are Indonesia, Malaysia and Viet Nam, where Indonesia and Malaysia export wild harvest pythons and Viet Nam exports captive-bred pythons.
The “Python Conservation Partnership” will, during the following three years, focus on analysis and recommendations on sustainability, transparency, animal welfare and local livelihoods for the python trade. The results from the studies will be available as public reports and peer-reviewed scientific articles in order for stakeholders to improve management across trade.
The first report of the Python conservation partnership on the “Assessment of Python Breeding Farms Supplying the International High-end Leather Industry” has been released by IUCN and Kering. This looks into the economic feasibility and viability of captive breeding of pythons as a possible element of sustainable use and conservation of the species. Its aim is to provide guidance to those involved in the python trade to adopt sustainable practices when sourcing skins.