Conservative MEP begins campaign to tackle wildlife trafficking.

02-Sep-2016 @ 14:30

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Conservative MEP begins campaign to tackle wildlife trafficking.

A report proposing how international trade agreements could be used to combat wildlife trafficking will be introduced in the European Parliament by a Conservative MEP in December.

As new figures estimate the number of African elephants has fallen by a third in the last seven years, Emma McClarkin's report will identify ways of formulating trade policies to tackle the illicit trade in wildlife and wildlife products that is largely to blame for the rapid decline.

It will also call for improved use of customs technology at all stages of the supply chain and the need for an international response to ensure the EU is in step with the World Trade Organization and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Ms McClarkin, the party's International Trade spokesman, previewed her proposals during a debate on the EU's separate Wildlife Trafficking Action Plan.

She told members of the Parliament's International Trade Committee that the world was experiencing an unparalleled surge in the illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife products which threatened to overturn decades of hard won conservation gains.

"It is estimated that such trade and criminal activity has a value of between €8 billion and €20 billion a year," Ms McClarkin said.

"The illicit wildlife trade does not only have a devastating effect on its biodiversity, but it has a detrimental impact on the development of the rule of law and of good governance. Combined together these problems can lead to a very dangerous destabilisation of the security in affected nations.

She added: "It is not just about environmental protection but also about cutting off a source of financing for the corrupt and the criminal."

The EU's action plan takes a broad and linked-up approach to developing a continental response to wildlife trafficking. Ms McClarkin's report will look further in detail at how specifically the formulation of international trade policy could help in this battle and what technical mechanisms might be introduced to take on the illegal trade.

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