Momentum building in EU to tackle wildlife crime

The EU is a major player in the global illegal trade in wildlife products; it needs to start acting like it with an Action Plan to stop wildlife trade.Last week officials in Vietnam seized a 65kg shipment of ivory and rhino horn. In monetary terms, it was worth hundreds of thousands of euro. The shipment arrived by plane from Paris, France. 

The EU is a major player in the global illegal trade in wildlife products; it needs to start acting like it with an Action Plan to stop wildlife trade.

The good news is that momentum is growing in the EU, and internationally, for action to confront this global, multi-billion euro trade.

French Environment Minister Ségolène Royal, along with five of her European colleagues, recently sent a letter to the other 22 EU environment ministers calling for an EU ban on the export of raw ivory.

The move came shortly after a joint letter from IFAW and 41 other NGOs calling for just such a ban. In my last blog post I wrote about how the Belgian environment minister had also called for an EU approach to the export of raw ivory.

The bad news is that we have limited time to act.

At a recent event on wildlife trade in the European Parliament (attended by IFAW’s Staci McLennan) the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime noted that Tanzania’s elephants will be extinct in just 7 years.

 

Considering Tanzania had well over 100,000 elephants in 1976 the drop is precipitous.

Globally there is reason to hope.

At the Thirteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha last week illegal wildlife trade was included in the final declaration.

We will not save the world’s biodiversity from the ravages of organized crime and profiteering if the EU does not play its part. It has been over a year since the EU hosted experts on wildlife crime to develop on EU approach to wildlife crime.

We need to see the results of that conference.

We need an EU Action Plan on Wildlife Trafficking.

We need to see it now.

--SVT

Learn more about IFAW political advocacy efforts for wildlife on our campaign page.

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Experts

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. Joseph Okori
Regional Director, Southern Africa and Program Director, Landscape Conservation
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
Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
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