WCS is issuing the following statements concerning the revised EU Action Plan Against Wildlife Trafficking.

This updated EU Action Plan was issued on 10 November 2022 and will guide new EU actions against wildlife trafficking until 2027, building on the first Action Plan adopted in 2016.

Said Scott Roberton, Executive Director of Counter-Wildlife Trafficking:

“WCS welcomes the issuance of the revision of the European Union (EU) action plan against wildlife trafficking (2022 – 2027) just before the CITES Conference of the Parties where countries will seek to address overexploitation of wildlife, and the illegal wildlife trade. The EU plays an important role in tackling wildlife trafficking as a significant global market and transit hub for legal and illegal wildlife and wildlife products.

“This revised Action Plan demonstrates that the EU takes wildlife trafficking seriously by continuing its ambitious agenda to tackle this criminal activity, which threatens species populations, undermines local security and governance, and weakens rural livelihoods.

“In particular, we strongly support actions aiming to strengthen engagement of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and Civil Society Organisations. We also firmly believe that the proposed evidence-based approach to behavior change initiatives is critical to reduce the consumption of wildlife in consumer countries.”

Said Arnaud Goessens, Associate Director, EU Policy, WCS EU:

“We hope to see an increase in the resources to ensure the full implementation of this revised Action Plan, both within the EU and with partner organisations and governments.

“In September 2021, European Commission President von der Leyen announced that the EU will double its funding for biodiversity globally. We hope this new funding commitment will  also translate into addressing wildlife trafficking as well as unsustainable wildlife trade.

“We strongly support the EU's ongoing commitment to combat wildlife trafficking and we look forward to continuing to work with the EU and its Member States on this issue. We also hope that this increased commitment will help inform the positions of the EU delegation at the CITES Conference in Panama.”

WCS is a strong supporter of CITES and has staff who have attended all meetings of the Conference of the Parties since CoP7 in 1989. WCS is represented by many international wildlife and policy experts at CoP19. WCS staff at the CoP are from WCS Headquarters in the U.S., along with WCS offices and programs in Bangladesh, China, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, Rwanda, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. WCS EU is a legal entity based in Brussels, affiliated to WCS, that supports the development and implementation of EU policies that benefit wildlife globally.