Global Biodiversity Framework Targets

Target 5. Use, harvesting and trade of wild species is sustainable, safe and legal

Ensure that the use, harvesting and trade of wild species is sustainable, safe and legal, preventing overexploitation, minimizing impacts on non-target species and ecosystems, and reducing the risk of pathogen spillover, applying the ecosystem approach, while respecting and protecting customary sustainable use by indigenous peoples and local communities

Following are the guidance notes prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) for Target 5

The direct exploitation of wild populations of species is the largest direct driver of biodiversity loss in marine ecosystems and the second largest in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Actions to address the legality, sustainability and safety of the use of wild species of fauna and flora need to take place at the point of harvest, landing, during transportation and trade, and at point of final consumption – the latter affecting overall demand – are key to preventing biodiversity loss.  

This target has the following scope:

  • Use, harvesting and trade – Use refers to all the various ways in which wild species are used by people, including for food and non-food purposes, such as for clothing, medicinal, cultural, scientific, recreational and work-related uses, as well as for selling or trading. Harvesting involves the gathering, catching or hunting of wild species for human uses. Trade includes the selling or exchange of live or dead wild species and/or products derived from them.
  • Wild species – This target focuses on wild species. Wild species are populations of species that have not been domesticated and can survive independently of human intervention. The can be found in any environment.

This target has the following aims:

  • Sustainable  Implies the harvesting, trade and use of organisms at a rate within the bounds of their capacity for renewal.
  • Safe – The harvesting, trade and use of wild species should be undertaken in such a way that it is safe for people, other species and ecosystems. For example, specific considerations may be needed to ensure that any risks associated with the spread of invasive alien species, the spread of disease and pathogen spillover are appropriately accounted for.
  • Legal – Implies that the harvesting, trade and use should respect all relevant international, national and local laws as appropriate.

These aims are further qualified as follows:

  • Impacts on non-target species and ecosystems  In addition to the direct pressures on species, some harvesting, trade and use can have unintentional impacts on other species, such as through bycatch and/or damage to habitat. These impacts, though unintentional, can nonetheless have major ramifications on species and ecosystem health and must be minimized. 
  • Ecosystem approach – The ecosystem approach is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way. Application of the ecosystem approach helps to reach a balance of the three objectives of the Convention. It is based on the application of appropriate scientific methodologies focused on levels of biological organization that encompass the essential processes, functions and interactions among organisms and their environment. It recognizes that humans, with their cultural diversity, are an integral component of ecosystems. The ecosystem approach is the primary framework for action under the Convention on Biological Diversity. 
  • Customary sustainable use by indigenous peoples and local communities – Actions to implement this target should take into account indigenous and local systems for the control, use and management of natural resources, and they should not restrict such customary sustainable use. Customary use of biological resources includes spiritual, cultural, economic and subsistence functions.
  • Actions to reach Target 5 should take into account all of the considerations for implementation identified in section C of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework
  • Progress towards this target will directly contribute to goals A and B of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Progress will also contribute to targets 46911. Conversely, progress towards targets 1415161821 and 22 will support the attainment of this target.
  • Target 5 addresses issues previously addressed, in part, in Aichi Biodiversity Target 6
  • Elements of Target 5 are also addressed in the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, including targets 12.214.414.715.215.7 and 15.C.  
  • Target 5 is also relevant to work being undertaken under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) species classification, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat 
  • Which wild species are currently harvested, traded or used in your country? How sustainable, safe and legal is this harvest, trade and use?
  • What impacts, if any, is the use, harvesting and trade of wild species having on non-targeted species and ecosystems? How could these impacts be mitigated?
  • What are the potential ecological, economic, and social opportunities and constraints in managing the use, harvesting and trade of wild species? Who are the stakeholders that may be affected? How can they be involved, and their needs addressed? What are the trade-offs to consider? 
  • What additional resources (financial, human and technical) will be required to reach the national target? How can additional funds be raised? What are possible funding sources?

The monitoring framework for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework identifies the following indicators for this target:

Headline indicators:

Component indicators:

  • Red List Index for used species 
  • Living Planet Index for used species 
  • Sustainable use of wild species

Complementary indicators:

  • Sustainable watershed and inland fisheries index
  • Red List Index (for internationally traded species and for migratory species)
  • Marine Stewardship Council Fish catch
  • Total catch of cetaceans under International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling
  • Bycatch of vulnerable and non-target species
  • Degree of implementation of international instruments aiming to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
  • Proportion of legal and illegal wildlife trade consisting of species threatened with extinction
  • Illegal trade by CITES species classification
  • Number of countries incorporating trade in their national biodiversity policy
  • Proportion of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecological regions that are conserved by protected areas or other effective area-based conservation measures
  • Implementation of measures designed to minimize the impacts of fisheries and hunting on migratory species and their habitats
  • Number of MSC Chain of Custody Certification holders by distribution country

Trends of trade and commercialization in biodiversity-based products that is sustainable and legal (in line with BioTrade Principles and/or CITES requirements)

Note from the Secretariat: This guidance material provides an overview of the target by briefly introducing key terms, highlighting some of the implications for national target setting, and providing key points and guiding questions for consideration as part of national target-setting exercises. It also identifies the adopted indicators to monitor progress and resources that could assist with national target setting and implementation. This material should be considered a work in progress, and it will be periodically updated with inputs from Parties and partner organizations in the light of experiences with its use. This information is meant to serve as a resource that Parties and others may wish to consider as they implement the Global Biodiversity Framework. It does not replace or qualify decision 15/4 or 15/5