Trade in Vicuña Fibre

Implications for Conservation and Rural Livelihoods

image of Trade in Vicuña Fibre

Once overhunted and on the brink of extinction, the vicuña species (a small member of the camelid family) is thriving again in South America’s Andes region. The decision to grant usufructory rights to communities to shear and sell vicuña fibre increased their economic incentive to sustainably manage and protect the species. As a result, vicuña populations have recovered and trade has grown by 78% since 2007, which is generating income for Andean rural communities and textile-processing sectors. This study maps the value chain, assesses the factors that have helped the species recover, and identifies current challenges facing the vicuña fibre trade, including the distribution of benefits and threats to conservation.



Conclusions and recommendations

The following conclusions and recommendations are made to policy makers at the international and national levels, as well as the industry itself and community organizations. The aim of these recommendations is to build on this success conservation policy, to find ways to increase the share of value addition captured by communities, increase competition between buyers, improve the working conditions of women and improve traceability and transparency in the value chain.


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