Backing for Conservative MEP’s plan to tackle wildlife trafficking
Proposals by Conservative MEP Emma McClarkin for trade policy to be used to tackle wildlife trafficking cleared an important hurdle today.
Members of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee backed Ms McClarkin’s report, meaning it will now be considered by all MEPs in April.
Ms McClarkin, the party’s International Trade spokesman, said: “This was a vote to keep the fight against illegal wildlife crime a priority. The scale of this crime is unprecedented and we must do all we can to ensure the sustainability of wildlife so future generations are not deprived of the beauty and diversity of our environment.
“I would like to praise my colleagues for their support, hard work and commitment to this cause. I am confident of a similar result in April’s plenary vote, proving that we can work together in areas of common interest.
“My own-initiative report is a positive contribution to the European Union’s policy on tackling illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products, and strengthens the premise that trade policy can and should address environmental and sustainable development issues.”
Ms McClarkin’s report calls for improved use of customs technology at all stages of the supply chain and stresses the need for an international response to ensure the EU is in step with the World Trade Organisation and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
The world is experiencing an unparalleled surge in the illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife products which threaten 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 added: “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.
“It is not just about environmental protection but also about cutting off a source of financing for the corrupt and the criminal.”
If approved by the full parliament in April, the report will provide the European Commission with a strong mandate for action.