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The University of Southampton
Social Statistics and DemographyPart of Economic, Social & Political Science

Research project: UKRI GCRF Trade, Development and the Environment Hub

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The trade of wild species and agricultural commodities has potential for creating employment and increasing economic growth, particularly in low and middle-income countries. However, intensive use causes entire populations of wild animals or plants to crash, and demand for agricultural land for crops removes natural habitat for wildlife, while the benefits are not enjoyed by those people who may need them most. Degradation of nature also has very real knock-on effects for marginalised people and increases the chance of the world failing to meet international ambitions such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Over the next five years the project, called the UKRI GCRF Trade, Development and the Environment Hub, will trace the trade of wildlife, wild meat and agricultural goods from their origin in eight countries, and then throughout the entire world: Brazil, China, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Indonesia, Republic of Congo, and Tanzania.

These country-level results will then be linked within a global modelling framework to look at different possible trade futures and how these might benefit or impact on people and nature. The University of Southampton co-leads the Work Package on social-economic impacts of trade.

The Hub will then be able to look at the UK trade relations and dependencies, and how trade decisions that we take in the coming years can be a positive force for sustainably living on this planet.

This project is one of twelve research hubs funded by this year’s £200m UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund (UKRI GCRF), a key supporter of the UK AID strategy which places UK-led research at the heart of efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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