Supporting sustainable trade of Southeast Asian python skins
Pythons are largely farmed in Southeast Asia and their skin is exported to Europe to make high-end leather products as part of the luxury fashion industry. A study by ITC estimates the value of trade in python skins to be US$ 1 billion annually, and raises concerns about sustainability, illegality and animal welfare along the value chain.
In 2014, ITC partnered with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Kering, a fashion company for major luxury brands such as Gucci, to form the Python Conservation Partnership (PCP), a public-private partnership to promote sustainable sourcing and support local livelihoods in the python skin trade.
This partnership involves a joint programme of research and capacity building for python conservation and supports livelihoods and sustainable trade practices in the Southeast Asian python value chain.
In May, ITC undertook an assessment of the livelihoods of households and communities involved in the python skin trade in Viet Nam. This provided a comprehensive overview of the socioeconomic aspects of the trade needed to inform changes in policy as well as buyer requirements in order to move towards a more transparent and sustainable value chain.