Uncovering the trade of wild-collected ornamental plants in Thailand, including imports from Myanmar and Lao PDR

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Wild-collected botanical resources are widely traded across Southeast Asia. There is growing concern over the trade in ornamental plant species, notably Orchidaceae, between LaoPDR and Myanmar and Thailand. The largest family of flowering plants, all orchids are CITES-protected. However, there is virtually no data on their regional trade. Based on interviews, observations and surveys of Thailand?s largest plant markets, this multidisciplinary study provides initial baseline data on (1) plant species traded; (2) regional trade dynamics as explored through value chain analysis, and (3) trader socioeconomic data and motivations. It further leverages the orchid case study to explore wildlife trade through three themes: (1) the potential for wildlife farming/cultivation to reduce pressures on wild populations; (2) the potential for CITES to successfully regulate wildlife trade, (3) and local conservation rule-breaking as a barrier to traditional top-down conservation restrictions.

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