UE-International ivory trade ban - here to stay
In advance of the World Conference on wildlife trade in Johannesburg this September, I wanted to outline some important points regarding the EU position.
First and foremost, the EU 100% supports the ban on International ivory trade. Ivory trafficking and elephant poaching are a tragedy. The EU is extremely proud to be a world leader in the fight against this crime..
So how are we leading the fight? The "EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking", launched in February, is a clear commitment by us and our 28 Member States to fight wildlife trafficking, at source, in transit and in market countries.
Not only does this action plan tackle the movement of trafficked wildlife, it also tackles one of the biggest problems – corruption. Corruption represents a crack in the system And corruption is the biggest threat to elephants.
The CITES CoP will be an important opportunity for the international community to strengthen its approach against ivory trafficking. It is a chance to seal those cracks. The EU priority at the CITES CoP is to push for actions which have a direct impact on elephant poaching and ivory trafficking: stepping up enforcement, addressing corruption, supporting local communities and reducing the demand for illegal wildlife products. The European Commission considers that trade sanctions under CITES should be fully used when countries fail to act against wildlife trafficking.
Let me be clear. Our main aim is to protect living elephants now and in the future . Our efforts should be focussed on reducing risk to these animals so that populations can recover.
The Commission agrees that CITES should call for measures to restrict or ban internal trade in ivory in cases where there are links between international illegal ivory trade and such internal trade. This is justified as strong measures are needed against international illegal ivory trade and there are situations where illegal ivory has been laundered in domestic legal markets.
The EU has already banned domestic ivory trade, going well beyond current CITES requirements. The only exemptions relate to ivory items acquired before 1990, that is before all African elephants got the maximum protection under CITES. These exemptions are strictly monitored by enforcement officers in the EU Member States and the EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking has called for increased control on the legality of these items.
In April the European Commission praised the destruction of ivory stockpiles. The Commission notes that the destruction of stockpiles of illegal ivory can represent an efficient way to dispose of ivory which could otherwise be leaked to the black market. What is essential, in any case, is that there are no leakages from stockpiled ivory to the black market. This is why we think that corruption should be more firmly tackled and so the EU has tabled a Resolution for CoP17 on corruption to push countries and the global community into resolute action.
For more Information, please check: HERE
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