EU leadership 'must be strong' on tackling global wildlife trafficking
April 7, 2014
As a major destination for wildlife trade, the EU must 'show courage' and commit to 'strong, meaningful' action in tackling wildlife trafficking, says Susan Lieberman.
Much of the world's wildlife is in crisis and one of the primary threats to many species is poaching and trafficking illegally in their parts and products.
Considered to be the fourth largest illegal trade in the world (after drugs, weapons, and human trafficking), the international wildlife trade generates approximately €14bn per year. It involves tens of thousands of wild mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, and other species.
I have worked on international wildlife trade for more than 25 years, both for non-governmental organisations and the US government. In that time wildlife trafficking and the involvement of crime syndicates and corrupt officials has never been worse.
The current wave operates through sophisticated networks using helicopters, night-vision equipment, and silencers to avoid law enforcement. In the response to this crisis, the European Union and its 28 member states have a major role to play.
There is hope, however. In early February, following a resolution recently passed by the European parliament calling for EU action on wildlife crime, the commission launched a stakeholder consultation on its approach to wildlife trafficking, which concludes on 10 April with an all-day expert conference. I will be attending the conference, which will include member state governments, invited conservation organisations and stakeholders.Read the full article on The Parliament Magazine >>