Written by Anne Altmayer,
On 26 February 2016, the European Commission adopted a communication on the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking. The action plan is aimed at combatting illegal wildlife trade by improving the implementation of existing legislation and raising awareness about the seriousness of the crime. It is based on three priorities: prevention, better enforcement and closer cooperation worldwide.
In recent years, wildlife trafficking has reached unprecedented levels, and global demand for wildlife and related products has increased. Whereas existing EU-level legislation is considered sufficient to combat illegal wildlife trade, the action plan calls for more stringent law enforcement.
Wildlife trafficking can deplete the populations of certain species heavily, thereby disrupting entire ecosystems. Moreover, it has economic and security implications.
Furthermore, the issue has a European dimension, since the EU is a destination as well as a transfer and source region for wildlife trafficking.
After having called for a blueprint to fight wildlife crime in 2014, the European Parliament is expected to adopt an own-initiative report on the EU action plan in late 2016.
Stakeholders have welcomed the action plan and its main purpose of improving the implementation of existing legislation; in particular, businesses see it as a chance to better protect their legal activities.
Read the complete briefing on ‘EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking‘.