Emma McClarkin MEP begins campaign to tackle wildlife trafficking

Elephant Census photo

A report proposing how trade agreements and tools could be used to combat wildlife trafficking will be introduced in the European Parliament by East Midlands MEP Emma McClarkin in December.

She spoke today on the need for a comprehensive action plan to combat this illicit trade, following new figures from the Great Elephant Census which estimated the total number of African Elephants in the last seven years to have fallen by a third.

In particular, Miss McClarkin called for better and improved use of modern day customs technology, but also on the need for an international response to this crime. This would ensure the EU is in step with the World Trade Organization and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Miss McClarkin, the Conservative spokesman for International Trade in the European Parliament, previewed her proposals during a debate on the EU’s 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.
She said:

“It is estimated that such trade and criminal activity has a value of between £6.75 billion and £17 billion a year.
“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. This is a global challenge and requires a global response.”

Further information can be found at www.greatelephantcensus.com

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