Launch of the EU Action Plan against Wildlife trafficking
During the last years, Eurogroup for Animals in collaboration with its member organisations, has participated to the consultation process on the EU approach to wildlife trafficking, asking for the prompt publication of the Action Plan and submitting a list of priorities that should have been addressed by it.
Illegal wildlife trade has escalated exponentially in recent years, and has attracted the involvement of organised criminal networks as a result of it being considered a low risk – high return activity. Consequently it is impacting wildlife conservation and ecological integrity, and threatens economic and political stability in many regions. More than 20,000 elephants and 1,200 rhinoceroses were killed in 2014 and, after years of recovery, their populations are once more in decline. Many more plant and animal species are also affected by wildlife trafficking.
Given the role EU Member States play as source, transit points and major destinations for many wildlife products in illegal trade, and the influential role the EU and its Member States have at an international level, we advocated for the development and implementation of an Action Plan as a high priority.
Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals commented: “today is a decisive day in the fight against wildlife trafficking. The Action Plan will finally allow the EU to dedicate sufficient resources and political attention to an issue at the core of its external policy, affecting biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, peace and security. We are happy to see that most of our recommendations to the Commission have been incorporated, particularly the ones concerning the need for the Commission to further limit trade in ivory within and from the EU”.
Eurogroup for Animals is also part of a coalition of international NGOs that provided advice to the MEPs for Wildlife, a group that played a crucial role during the process of development of the Commission Action Plan.
Prevention, stronger enforcement and global partnerships are the 3 strands of the EU Action Plan which need now to be discussed by Member States to obtain the Council endorsement. We hope that Member States will fully support the Action Plan, in order to ensure that the destruction of some of the world’s most endangered species will finally be halted.
Please, have a look at the Action Plan by clicking here.
The Action Plan will finally allow the EU to dedicate sufficient resources and political attention to an issue at the core of its external policy, affecting biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, peace and security.Reineke Hameleers, Director at Eurogroup for Animals