The Action Plan 2016-2020 against Wildlife Trafficking has been published by the EU Commission on Friday 26 February 2016. It is the result of joint work of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini, and Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, with some support from the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos. The Action Plan is a response to the growing European problem regarding Wildlife Trafficking, which requires taking actions immediately in order to combat the illicit wildlife trade.
The newest EU blueprint concerning boosting problem of the illegal wildlife trade, which has been estimated for 8 to 20 billion euro of the income of organised criminal groups, comprises 32 measures to be implemented in the European Member States until 2020. There are three priorities in Action Plan: preventing trafficking and declining supply and demand of illegal wildlife products (mainly in illicit export of ivory from the EU), enforcing the existing EU rules immediately in order to better combat the organised crime (mainly in set up more effective international cooperation), enhancing cooperation between source, destination and countries by providing the rural communities living in wildlife-rich areas with long-term sources of income, so that constrain trafficking in source countries. According to the newest Action Plan 2016-2020, the European Member States should improve cooperation against wildlife crime, which is estimated as one of the most lucrative and undetected forms of the illicit income for organised crime groups (after the trafficking of drugs, people and arms).
Firstly, Action Plan will mainly focus on diminishing demand and supply of illicit wildlife products (e.g. by constraining ivory trade) and combating corruption. The next aim is enforcement of rules of wildlife trade with better support from Europol and Eurojust. Lastly, more EU funds will be earmarked for developing countries.
It is worth pinpointing that problem of wildlife trafficking is accruing dramatically. As a result, for instance “the elephant population has fallen by more than 60% in Tanzania over the last 5 years from 110 000 to under 44 000”, as the EU Commission’s statistics presented.
You can find out the whole EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking here: