IFAW together with more than 36,700 citizens urge the EU Environment Ministers to endorse the Action Plan on Wildlife Trafficking

Thursday, 16 June, 2016
Brussels, Belgium

On Monday 20th June 2016, EU Ministers of the Environment will be given the opportunity to create momentum for wildlife as they will be asked to endorse the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking published by the European Commission last February.

As one of the world’s most lucrative criminal activities, valued around 15-billion Euros annually, illegal wildlife trade ranks fourth globally in terms of value, behind the trafficking in drugs, people and counterfeiting. The European Council meeting is a decisive moment for Member States to come together and support a framework for a more strategic and coordinated approach on endangered wildlife trafficking.

“It has become increasingly obvious that wildlife trafficking is a transnational issue that we can only tackle efficiently by adopting a unified approach on a European scale.” Sonja Van Tichelen, EU Regional Director for IFAW explains “Last month saw a series of huge ivory seizures throughout Europe. Many European countries are now aware of the necessity to take severe measures such as France where a total ban on ivory is being adopted. However, any measure taken anywhere in the EU can only be effective if action and legislation in neighbouring countries is coherent. By endorsing this plan, the Council indicates Member States commitment to coordinate on actions to fight wildlife crime.”

Notably, the plan published in February defines wildlife trafficking as a serious crime and sets forth the framework for better implementation of laws and greater cooperation between police forces and governmental agencies, within a country as well as with their foreign counterparts.

More than 36,700 citizens asked the EU Environment Ministers to endorse the action Plan on Wildlife Trafficking. Today IFAW staffs across EU countries are delivering letters to Ministers in advance of the Council meeting. 

Last month, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released its inaugural report on wildlife crime throughout the world. The report gives an overview of wildlife seizures from 120 countries and sheds light on « the way poaching and illegal trade of thousands of different species throughout the world cause real environmental dangers, as well as threaten in the long run the rule of law by potentially fostering conflict. ».

The 2013 IFAW report, Criminal Nature: The Global Security Implications of the Illegal Wildlife Trade, documents the threat the illegal wildlife trade poses to elephants, rhinos and people.


The European Council can be watched live by clicking this link: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/env/2016/06/20/




About IFAW (The International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals 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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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Pauline Verheij, Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy