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'Seeking for double-win strategy for saiga conservation and TCM development' Workshop

In view of threats that saiga faces in the wild and current demand of saiga horn from TCM, WCS China Program held 'Seeking for double-win strategy for saiga conservation and TCM development' workshop on May 20th, 2005. Officials and specialists were invited from government, institutes and TCM groups. Delegates discussed about measures to protect saigas and reduce horn consumption. Main suggestions are as following.

1. Trade monitoring and management

  • To use mark to trace saiga horn component in traditional medicine or patent medicine;
  • To monitor current trade status for saiga horns;
  • To give heavy punishment on trans-boundary smuggle for saiga horns;
  • To make clear record of current store amount of the saiga horns in the country, and to do evaluation on the value of the saiga horn in TCM market.
  • To make full evaluation on applications for new medicines with the component of saiga horns, and to control yield of current medicine with saiga horns?
  • To make control on medicines that are used in medicare system, and provide only high rank of doctors with right to add saiga horn into prescriptions.
  • To prohibit the consumption of the saiga horn in TCM for a certain period until the wild population will has been increased again.

2. TCM research

  • To develop man-made product by biosynthesis technique to replace saiga horn component partially in most patent traditional medicine;
  • To develop process technique to improve utilization ratio of saiga horn and decrease consumption amount;

3. Reintroduction and recovery

  • To reintroduce saiga into historical distribution area and recovery wild population;
  • To reintroduce saiga into current captive population for development and improve staff capacity for monitoring and maintain captive population;

4. Cooperation

  • To make a systematic mechanism for saiga conservation from distribution area to consumption area by cooperation with different governments, institutes and NGOs;
  • To influence business behavior and promote large enterprises take part into to research of sustainable use of saiga horn with cooperation from governments and conservation organizations;

5. Public awareness

  • To raise public awareness on saiga conservation to reduce blind consumption of saiga horn.

At the same time, WCS China Program plans to conduct researches and activities to promote saiga conservation in China. Main proposed work will include:

  1. trade survey and evaluation on the saiga horn in the country;
  2. publication of 'Saiga News' to promote information sharing in the country and between China and other countries;
  3. propaganda to promote people from TCM groups take part into conservation of saiga and influence public consumption behavior.
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