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About the Specialist Group

Global Trade Sub-Group ​

This Global Trade Sub-Group of the IUCN Orchid Specialist Group provides expertise related to the trade of orchids, including sustainable wild harvest, artificial propagation and illegal trade.  Orchids are traded as ornamental plants for horticulture, as well as for use in a wide range of edible, medicinal and cosmetic products.  This includes widespread domestic trade, and international trade regulated by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and orchids represent ±75% of all CITES-listed species globally.


Established in October 2016, the Global Trade Programme is a group of more than 40 orchid experts globally.  It aims to generate and coordinate expert inputs about the trade of orchids and their derivatives, to inform domestic, regional and international conservation and sustainable use efforts.  This includes actions related to the:

  1. The compilation, generation and provision of information about orchid trade;

  2. Policy engagement about trade issues, such as via CITES and with the horticultural community, and

  3. Public engagement to raise the profile of orchid trade. ​

The group is co-chaired by Jacob Phelps (Lancaster Environment Centre) and Martha Charitonidou (University of Ioannina)

IUCN SSC Orchid Specialist Group

The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) is a science-based network of more than 10,000 volunteer experts from almost every country of the world, all working together towards achieving the vision of, "A just world that values and conserves nature through positive action to reduce the loss of diversity of life on earth".  The Commission includes that Orchid Specialist Group (OSG), which draws on the expertise of its members to support global orchid conservation efforts. 

Orchid represent >70% of species listed on the CITES Convention.

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