European Commission invites NGOs to help prepare wildlife crime action plan

IFAW has been campaigning for an EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking for the past few years. Days after the announcement that the European Commission will prepare a Wildlife Crime Action Plan, the commissioner specifically invited the International Fund for Animal Welfare and our NGO partners to engage in the preparation of the strategy.

IFAW has been campaigning for an EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking for the past few years. Along the road we have had many successes:

  • two Resolutions in the European Parliament calling for an EU Action Plan,
  •  a European Commission conference on wildlife trafficking at which IFAW made the case for an EU Action Plan and
  • goodwill from many in the Commission and Member States in our efforts.

As part of this process, our friends in organisations as varied as Wildlife Conservation Society, Species Survival Network and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) have recently joined us in our efforts to secure this ground-breaking policy initiative.

In March this year, these NGOs co-signed a letter to the Commissioner outlining our expectations on the contents for an EU Action Plan.

Today, the Commission responded, with the following reply:

“I am pleased to inform you that the Commission has decided to include an EU Action Plan on Wildlife Crime in its work programme. I am cooperating closely with my colleagues to ensure that the Action Plan will take a comprehensive and strategic approach to address this complex problem. We have already started internal preparatory work with an inter-service group, bringing together all Directorates-General of the Commission concerned by the topic, and we will shortly publish the roadmap on the next steps in the development of the initiative. 

Click here to see the letter in its entirety

Although the road map is not clear, IFAW will continue to demand that the Action Plan is prepared as soon as possible.

To this end, we are calling on the Commission and Member States to draft and agree such a strategy within 12 months. Under this schedule, it would fall within the Dutch presidency and be ready in advance of the upcoming CITES CoP in South Africa.

So the countdown begins, with IFAW doing all it can to move the process along.


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Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation