Saturday, January 18, 2014

European Parliament Takes Dynamic Action Against Illegal Wildlife Trade; Demands Moratoria on All Ivory Sales

Confiscated ivory from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service storehouse that was crushed on November 14, 2013.

The European Parliament recently took strong action against the illegal killing of elephants through the approach of a pioneering resolution on wildlife trafficking that demands moratoria on the illegal ivory trade and other measurements against wildlife crimes. The decision indicates that the Parliament views the trafficking of wildlife as a serious economic, environmental, and national security threat. It entails improved action by the member states of the European Union to halt the crisis through restraints on the trade and trafficking of illicit wildlife goods. Among these measurements includes a request for the European Commission to organize a European Union action plan against the illegal wildlife trade and advocates improved measurements for the prosecution of criminals of wildlife crime and on-the-ground protection for elephants, rhinos, tigers, and other endangered species.
Roughly 35,000 elephants were killed last year with some 96 animals killed per day.

The resolution was introduced by M.E.P Gerban-Jan Gerbrandy and passed through the Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety (ENVI) in November. It refers to the statement of eleven African elephant range countries at a September meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, an assemblage of global leaders intended on addressing the world's most urgent challenges, which encouraged countries to assert national moratoria on any trade in ivory because of the crisis. In that vein, the resolution calls upon European Union Member States to propose their own moratoria on all commercial imports, exports, and domestic sales and purchases of ivory tusks and products until the populations of wild elephants are no longer threatened by illegal poaching. The momentum in Europe will continue next month with a London summit on the illegal wildlife trade hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron that will engage wildlife experts and heads of state from around the world.
South Africa has lost a total of 1,004 white rhinos to poaching in 2013.

It is absolutely astounding to see what decision the European Parliament has made regarding the crisis concerning the illegal killing of African elephants and the trade of their tusks. This article indicates that the parliament has recognized the illegal wildlife trade as global threat not just in terms of the environment, but also at economic and national security levels. Furthermore, it calls for all the countries that are part of the European Union to take action by placing restrictions on the trade and trafficking of ivory and other wildlife goods. I feel that this is a huge step for the entire continent of Europe to bolster up its efforts in the battle against the illegal trade of endangered wildlife. The world has seen enough mass slaughter of endangered species, especially elephants and rhinos. In fact, 2013 has witnessed one of the worst cases of rhino deaths consisting of around 1,000 animals ruthlessly massacred for profit. This is why it is absolutely crucial for not just developed countries, but developing countries to increase their efforts through joint collaboration in order to ensure the survival of endangered species worldwide.

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