Europe’s double-standards on saving elephants


Europe’s double-standards on saving elephants

25 August 2020
The EU’s new Green Deal strategy offers ‘guidance’ to African countries but does nothing to stop Europe’s own ivory market, Rosei Awori writes.

As part of its plans to be the first net zero emissions, zero pollution continent by 2050, the EU published its Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, personally championed by First Executive Vice-President Timmermans, on 20th May.

It proposes among other issues “… a further tightening of the rules on EU ivory trade” while nonetheless maintaining a thriving ivory market itself.

“A further tightening of the rules …” is hardly progress. Under the Juncker Commission, which left office on 30th November 2019, significant strides were being made to close the loopholes in the EU’s ivory trade.

The Von der Leyen “Green Deal” Commission has, however, demonstrated scant political will to maintain - let alone increase - that momentum. It is this type of double standard that we can no longer stand for.

“We are tired of these lectures that constantly come from the North, telling us how to manage our spaces while they ignore the implications of their actions. Frankly, the EU has failed to read the mood across the world,” says Dr Winnie Kiiru, Senior Technical Advisor for the Elephant Protection Initiative Foundation (EPI), an organisation comprising of 21 African countries working to secure the protection of African elephants.