The following statement was released by Dr. Susan Lieberman, WCS Vice President, International Policy and member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking:
“We are pleased that the EU Environment Ministers have endorsed the findings of the European Commission’s EU Action Plan Against Wildlife Trafficking. The European Union is not only a major leader in wildlife conservation globally but also a destination for illegal wildlife products, so the support and leadership of the EU and its Member State governments are vital in tackling this scourge.
“Poaching and trafficking operations are growing in scale and sophistication, threatening elephants, rhinos, tigers, pangolins, parrots, and many other species. The EU Action Plan will aggressively target the transnational criminal networks that have turned wildlife trafficking into a billion euro industry. One of the priorities is specifically to reduce the trafficking of illegal wildlife products through, among other provisions, limiting trade in ivory within and from the EU.
“We need and appreciate the leadership of the EU to address the poaching and wildlife trafficking crisis now, as well as to support strong measures at this fall’s meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). We now look to all Member States of the EU to turn this Action Plan into reality through policies, enhanced enforcement, and funding support."