“The EU took a giant step today toward eliminating wildlife trafficking which is threatening species worldwide.”

Link to the EU Action Plan

BRUSSELS (26 FEBRUARY, 2016) – WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) applauded the creation and launch of the EU Action Plan Against Wildlife Trafficking.

The following statement was released by Cristián Samper, WCS President and CEO:

“The very survival of elephants, rhinos, tigers and so many other species in every corner of the globe is threatened by wildlife trafficking. Poaching and trafficking operations are growing in scale and sophistication, with much of the billions of euros generated financing transnational organized criminal syndicates. The EU took a giant step today toward eliminating wildlife trafficking which is threatening species worldwide.

“I thank European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Karmenu Vella for their strong leadership in creating an Action Plan that will aggressively target the criminal networks that have turned wildlife trafficking into a billion euro industry.

“As a major destination for wildlife trade, the EU needs a coherent approach to how it will play its part in combating it. We need and appreciate the leadership of the EU to address this crisis now, before it is too late.

“Specifically, we are pleased that the Action Plan takes a comprehensive approach to tackling the problem by including measures to: reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products; step up enforcement and the fight against organized criminal groups; and substantially increase support to source countries, including much-needed increased financing from EU development aid programmes. We are also pleased to see that some first steps will be taken toward more strictly controlling the ivory trade, where action at a global level is urgently needed to halt the devastating declines in African elephant populations that we’ve seen in recent years.” 

“WCS is proud to have contributed scientific and technical expertise based on our field conservation programmes in nearly 60 countries around the world. Our experience working on the frontline of wildlife protection in many developing countries has demonstrated the often devastating impacts of wildlife trafficking, not just on wildlife but also on local communities, by undermining local livelihoods, governance and security.

“We are eager and committed to working with the EU and its 28 member states to put the components of this Action Plan into practice, in order to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand for illegal wildlife products.”


NOTE: MEPs4Wildlife is organising an event in the European Parliament on the 2nd March to discuss the new EU Action Plan Against Wildlife Trafficking, featuring remarks by EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella and a screening of the National Geographic film 'Warlords of Ivory' in partnership with WCS.

For more information, contact: catherine.bearder-office@europarl.europa.eu


WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: +1 347-840-1242.