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Deficiencies in compliance with environmental regulation for orchid trade via social networks in Mexico

  • Espejo-Cruz, Abigail del Carmen
  • Espejo-Martínez, Abraham
  • Chávez-Ángeles, Manuel Gerardo
  • Lagunez-Rivera, Luicita
  • Solano, Rodolfo
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2023
Scientific Electronic Library Online - Mexico
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Abstract Background: Online commerce (e-commerce) includes wild orchids, but it may constitute illicit trade and a risk for its conservation. In Mexico, the magnitude of this e-commerce, if it shows to be illicit, and how environmental crimes are constituted according to the country's regulations are unknown. Questions: How many orchid species are offered in e-commerce? Where do the offers originate? Does this trade become a scenario for environmental crimes? What differences are there in the seller profile and earnings between e-commerce and traditional markets? Studied species: Orchids commercialized in social networks of Mexico. Study site and dates: Mexican states with orchid e-commerce, October-December 2020. Methods: Three e-commerce platforms were reviewed, documenting species richness, active sellers, points of sale and verifying compliance with environmental regulations. We compared the orchid richness and prices in e-commerce with those registered in traditional markets in Mexico. Results: We registered 344 publications, 164 orchid taxa, half Mexican native and 39 hybrids. These offers do not always originate in areas of high orchid richness. In Mexico, orchid management for commercial purposes requires registration and consent of the environmental authority, but no seller has provided evidence regarding it. Prices are higher in e-commerce than in traditional markets. Conclusions: e-commerce offers orchid varieties (native, nonnative, hybrid) and traditional markets only native. Because in e-commerce sellers do not provide evidence of compliance with the environmental regulations, the digital platforms prompt environmental crimes.

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