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 Full text 
Procedure : 2016/2054(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0012/2017

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 02/03/2017 - 4
CRE 02/03/2017 - 4

Votes :

PV 02/03/2017 - 6.9
CRE 02/03/2017 - 6.9

Texts adopted :


Thursday, 2 March 2017 - Brussels Revised edition

4. Common Commercial Policy in the context of wildlife sustainability imperatives (short presentation)
Video of the speeches

  Emma McClarkin, rapporteur . – Mr President, the scale of recent trade flows in illegal wildlife and wildlife products is unprecedented, with recent data showing a sharp decline in the number of some species, many of them facing extinction. This presents a serious threat to our environment and may have a permanent consequence on our biodiversity. We must also concern ourselves with the impact illegal wildlife trade has on the global economy, good governance and the wider connections with other criminal activities.

It was with these considerations in mind that I proposed to the Committee on International Trade (INTA) to draft an own-initiative report on the EU common commercial policy in the context of wildlife sustainability, because trade policy can, and should, address wildlife conservation, support sustainable development and environmental protection. My report looks at the challenges we face and gives practical solutions on effective use of the resources available, with better implementation of our current policies giving tangible and comprehensive recommendations to the Commission on how trade and environmental policies can work together to tackle illegal wildlife trade inside the EU and globally.

However, the report strongly recommends that we do not overburden the existing framework with the creation of new rules and mechanisms. Instead, the priority should be the implementation of the present framework in the context of the global trade and environmental regimes, such as the WTO, CITES, the WCO, the UNDP and the OECD.

We must also seek further and deeper cooperation with the private sector and non-governmental organisations, ensuring that all stakeholders involved have a say and contribute to the fight against illegal wildlife trade. Initiatives such as the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce should be widely promoted, as they draw upon the linkages between e-commerce, transportation and distribution to establish well-rounded and integrated approaches addressing both supply and demand, as well as focusing on breaking chains to tackle illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products.

Sharing data and knowledge is imperative and this report stresses that there is still work to do at this level, both within the EU and with partner countries. Customs procedures must be assessed, and emphasis and resources should be put on strengthening compliance and law enforcement at national and regional levels. The EU must step up its efforts in the provision of training, information and capacity building, full customs in developing countries, and promote transparency and good governance.

To tackle illegal wildlife crime we must also tackle its enablers. Corruption is one of the main facilitators of this activity. This report strongly encourages the EU and Member States to increase their vigilance, to reinforce cross-border measures to identify and prevent money-laundering associated with wildlife trafficking. My report supports the inclusion of anti-corruption provisions in future trade agreements. And as part of the EU’s ongoing commitment to sustainable development, our trade policy must strive for solid and detailed sustainable development chapters in its future trade agreements, similar to the one included in the EU-Vietnam FTA. It is imperative that we lead on the negotiation and implementation of higher standards covering trade in wildlife in the EU and globally. Trade policy is an important tool at our disposal and we must make the best use of it to fight this crime, and to protect and promote wildlife and our natural resources. If we do nothing, they will be extinct.

Finally, I would like to thank my adviser Alex Boyd for his advice and support, and colleagues in INTA for their support and hard work on this file, proving that we are all committed to the fight against illegal wildlife crime and that we want to keep this fight a priority so that future generations to come will enjoy the magnificence of our precious wildlife.

Last updated: 27 September 2017Legal notice