Revised EU Action Plan to End Wildlife Trafficking
9 December 2022
Pingen Kopie Dr. Anna Pingen

As announced in the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the Commission adopted a revised EU Action Plan on 10 November 2022 in order to put an end to wildlife trafficking. The revised plan, which builds on the original Action Plan adopted six years ago, will direct EU efforts in combating wildlife trafficking (until 2027) and follows on the European Parliament’s recently adopted resolution on the fight against illegal trade in wildlife fauna and flora (→ related link).

In the updated Action Plan, four primary priorities stand out:

  • Preventing wildlife trafficking and addressing its underlying causes by lowering consumer demand for wildlife that is being trafficked illegally, promoting sustainable livelihoods in the source nations, and combating corruption on all levels;
  • Strengthening the legal and policy framework against wildlife trafficking through engagement with corporate sectors active in the wildlife trade, aligning EU and national policies with international commitments, and referring to the most recent research in this field;
  • Effectively enforcing laws and policies to combat wildlife trafficking by increasing the rate of illegal activity detection within the EU, putting an emphasis on capacity-building along the entire enforcement chain, promoting coordination and cooperation within and between Member States, and stepping up efforts to address the online aspects of wildlife trafficking;
  • Strengthening the global partnership for source, consumer, and transit countries in the fight against wildlife trafficking by boosting the capacity and coordination between the Member States, EU enforcement actors, and important non-EU nations.

The EP's resolution of October 2022 and the Commission's revised Action Plan mark the EU's viewpoint ahead of two major international conferences: the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Panama (14 to 25 November 2022) and the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15 in Montreal (7-19 December 2022).

It was emphasised that the EU is a major hub for global wildlife trafficking. The reported value of the illegal wildlife trade in the EU was a minimum of €4.7 million in 2019. EU Member State authorities consistently seize wildlife in various commodity types ranging from medicinal, corals, reptiles, birds, plants, and mammals.

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