New EU Environment Action Programme neglects wildlife in crisis

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Brussels, Belgium

The new Environment Action Programme adopted today is a clear signal that the environment remains a priority for the European Union. However, the continued unsustainable use and abuse of wildlife calls for more urgent and drastic measures than those outlined in the programme according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org). As an international animal welfare NGO with local expertise and projects from South Africa to Russia, from Australia to Canada, IFAW has first-hand and daily experience with the disappearance of wildlife.

“Last year more than 25,000 elephants were killed for their ivory, there are only 3,000 tigers left in the wild, prices for polar bear pelts have doubled and the number of skins up for auction has tripled (in the last five years),” said IFAW EU Director Sonja Van Tichelen. “Saving the environment can only be done in conjunction with a halt to the devastation of the world’s most charismatic wildlife.”

The first opportunity to stop the carnage of our wildlife will be the Conference on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) this March in Thailand. The EU is currently drafting the position for the Irish-led delegation.

“IFAW would like to see the EU meet with and work to support wildlife law enforcement officials at the CITES conference. This support would strengthen law and order in developing countries, punish those who seek to profit from the demise of a species or animal and stop the loss of our shared biological heritage,” continued Van Tichelen.

40 years of environmental policy at an EU level have accomplished a great deal but much remains to be done. Unsustainable trends in biodiversity and the use of natural resources must be confronted directly and soon.

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About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Experts

Azzedine Downes,Executive Vice President for International Operations, VP of P
President and Chief Executive Officer
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Dr. Ralf (Perry) Sonntag, Country Director, Germany
Country Director, Germany
Erica Martin, Vice President of Communications
Vice President of Communications
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Isabel McCrea, Regional Director, Oceania
Regional Director, Oceania
Jason Bell, Program Director, Elephants Regional Director, South Africa
Program Director, Elephants, Regional Director, South Africa
Jeffrey Flocken, Regional Director, North America
Regional Director, North America
Jordi Casamitjana, Campaigns and Enforcement Manager, IFAW UK
Campaigns and Enforcement Manager, IFAW UK
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Whales
Paul Todd, Director, International Policy & Program Planning
Director, International Policy & Program Planning
Peter Pueschel, Director, International Environmental Agreements
Director, International Environmental Agreements
Sonja Van Tichelen, Regional Director, European Union
Regional Director, European Union
Tania McCrea-Steele, Campaigns and Enforcement Manager, IFAW UK
Campaigns and Enforcement Manager, IFAW UK