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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

EU must take lead in protecting endangered wildlife

THE EU should lead international support to stop poaching of elephants and rhinos and call on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to be more transparent, the European Parliament said today.

Parliament’s resolution, adopted with a large majority, asks CITES to step up its commitments when parties meet in Bangkok (Thailand) from 3 to 14 March.

Several shark species should be added to the list of animals whose trade must be controlled and polar bears should be put in a higher profile CITES category to continue to raise awareness of their situation, MEPs said. The resolution also urged countries to step up the fight against poaching of elephants and rhinos for their ivory and horn.

Green MEP Jean Lambert said the EU had a key role to play in efforts to protect endangered wildlife.

Speaking after the vote, she said: “Protecting threatened wildlife species isn’t just about providing viable alternatives to poaching in the developing world, it’s about protecting habitats and adopting wildlife-friendly and sustainable trade, agriculture and development policies.

“The EU must take this message to the CITES conference in March, and show some real leadership in making sure some of the world’s most threatened wildlife doesn’t fall victim to human economic activity.

” As well as helping nations prevent poaching, we must seek to end the dubious practise of CITES votes being taken in secret, so countries don’t have to admit their views on protecting individual species in public. This has to become more transparent.”