Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, europarlementariër D66
Thank you for your help, the letter below has been sent on a massive scale to the European Commission. To follow the European Commission in the fight against wildlife crime click here.
Dank voor uw hulp, onderstaande brief is massaal naar de Europese Commissie verstuurd! Als u de Europese Commissie hun werk in het gevecht tegen wildlife crime wilt volgen klik dan hier.
Dear European Commission,
Hereby I, European citizen, urgently call on you to put forward an EU Action Plan to stop wildlife crime.
I agree with the European Parliament that the EU should develop a Council approved EU Action Plan. To tackle wildlife crime, the European Commission and EU Member States will have to use justice and home affairs tools, development and external action tools, as well as environmental legislation, because only a holistic action plan can bring together all the necessary people and tools in one place to ensure action is carried forward and monitored.
The EU Action Plan must also develop a strategy to help range states deal with poaching and trafficking, as well as to reduce demand in key destination markets. It should also have a Trust Fund, as called for by the European Parliament, to bring together sufficient funds to support Africa in particular in its fight against the poachers.
I fully support the Commission Recommendation on enforcement which calls for greater penalties, training for the judiciary and enforcers, and more cooperation between Member States. But this should be reflected in a binding EU Action Plan. In addition, Member States and enforcers must use all the tools available to them to combat wildlife crime and the organised crime groups who engage in it. This includes making full use of money laundering laws, anti-terror laws and laws targeted to combat organised crime.
By developing a conservation strategy for Africa and Asia under the EU’s development cooperation, the EU can bring together partners to co-fund and support initiatives in the countries where animals are most at risk. The EU should also work with partners such as the US and China to improve global coordination of enforcement. The EU should also use its trade partnerships to further combat wildlife crime, and it should work with partners to develop and implement regional wildlife enforcement strategies and networks.
The EU must support demand reduction campaigns for the people buying wildlife products in the key countries. Awareness-raising through advertising campaigns is a start, but the EU must provide research into the reasons people buy wildlife products so that they can change that behaviour.
The EU should re-double its efforts to root out corruption in the criminal justice systems in Africa and Asia, provide training and equipment to rangers and law enforcement officials and provide alternative livelihoods for those communities that live around wildlife.
Member States should each create binding national action plans for wildlife crime. In order to improve data on wildlife crime in the EU, Member States should be able to log wildlife crime as its own separate heading. In addition, they should share data on seizures to allow enforcers to study the trafficking routes. They should also measure the amount of wildlife traded on platforms such as the internet which is increasingly becoming a market for illegal wildlife products.