ENVI committee recognizes marine concerns for 7th Environment Action Programme

With colleagues from different member states IFAW drafted specific text focusing on additional attention for marine issues. The International Fund for Animal Welfare recently had the opportunity to give solid input to the European Parliamentary report by Gaston Franco on a General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 “Living well within the limits of our planet”, also referred to as the 7th Environment Action Programme or 7th EAP.

Together with colleagues from different member states, we drafted specific text to include in the report focusing on additional attention for marine issues.

Through these text suggestions, IFAW emphasized the severe pressure on marine mammals caused by human-induced threats, including ocean noise pollution, combined with effects of climate change; like the acidification of the oceans.

IFAW also added there is a need to fully integrate environmental issues into other policies such as international trade, development, foreign affairs and security. 

The latter to ensure the EU and member states fulfill commitments in multilateral environmental agreements both at home through their internal policies, as well as globally through contributions at the international level.

In other words; the EU should practice what it preaches both at internal and international levels when it comes to international conventions like CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and ICRW (International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling).

No more backtracking on vital issues at the last moment due to failed last-minute EU coordination on a common position; but ensuring that the EU follows through under the (consistent) guidance of the European Commission.

Wednesday afternoon I followed the vote in the Environment Committee and the results were fantastic! Three political groups supported tabling the IFAW suggestions related to marine issues.

The Environment Committee adopted crucial text changes related to marine concerns. It was clearly acknowledged that the degradation of the marine environment, including from marine pollution and ocean noise, pose significant threats to the EU marine environment. It is time to deal with these threats and fill the gaps in legislation.

To be continued.

--Barbara Slee

For more information on our efforts to fight for animal welfare at a national level, check out our campaign page.

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Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Dr. Ralf (Perry) Sonntag, Country Director, Germany
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IFAW Japan Representative
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
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Robbie Marsland, Regional Director, United Kingdom
Regional Director, United Kingdom