Combatting corruption key in fight against wildlife crime - European Parliament Resolution
WWF welcomes MEP’s call for more action in the global fight against corruption in the context of wildlife trafficking, and better enforcement of CITES by parties, including the use of sanctions when they do not comply.
The motion for a resolution sets out the Parliament’s key objectives for the upcoming CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP), taking place from 24 September to 5 October, in Johannesburg, South Africa. CITES is the international convention regulating the international trade in endangered species. While the focus is usually on elephants, rhinos and other iconic species, wildlife crime threatens the survival of a wide array of animals and plants including European protected species. Over 33,000 species of animals and plants are given protection by the convention, including over 2,000 European species, such as the sturgeon, the wolf, the wild cat, the lynx, the Mediterranean monk seal, the Atlantic dolphin, the golden eagle, the brown bear and the lady’s slipper orchid.
This year, the WWF delegation at CoP17 will play a critical role in the process, providing critical advice to participating countries and the EU and advocating strongly for issues that will help tackle wildlife crime, in particular for strong measures on illegal wildlife trade, corruption, demand reduction and compliance.
This CITES CoP will be the first the EU attends as a party in its own right since the convention entered into force in 1975. Earlier this year, the European Commission published its ‘EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking’ to address the root causes of trafficking, improve the enforcement of existing rules and combat wildlife crime more effectively.
With 20,000-30,000 African elephants poached each year as well as a record 1,338 rhinos, EU leadership is critical in the fight to end wildlife crime in Europe and around the world, which threatens not only species but also security and sustainable development.
The European Parliament will soon adopt a report in response to the Action Plan.
Angelika Pullen, Communication Director, WWF European Policy Office
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