After a systematic policy evaluation, the European Commission published the revised EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking in early November 2022. Dr Teresa Lappe-Osthege analysed the new policy and collated an assessment on behalf of the Beastly Business team, identifying 3 remaining challenges.
Following two years of evaluation and revision, which included rounds of public consultations, expert surveys and interviews, the European Commission published the revised EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking in early November 2022. The new policy provides strategic guidance as key international environmental agreements are renegotiated, such as CITES regulations and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
Since the inception of the 2016 Action Plan, wildlife trafficking has moved up on the policy agenda due to its severe implications for both people and nature. The revised Action Plan commits the European Union to address the root causes of wildlife trafficking (Priority 1), strengthen the legislative framework (Priority 2) and streamline enforcement of existing regulations (Priority 3) through global partnerships between source, consumer and transit markets (Priority 4).
The European Union remains a major player in the illegal wildlife trade. Although the revised Action Plan has made significant advancements in tackling demand, improving the quality of regulations and supporting effective implementation, critical challenges remain unaddressed.
We provide a summary of the three most pressing, interconnected challenges below which must be addressed as the revised Action Plan is implemented across the Member States. These challenges revolve around the following issues:
- Reduction of consumer demand overlooks non-CITES-listed species and importance of conservation in EU.
- Multilevel implementation requires the integration of stakeholders and systematic reporting.
- Emphasis on organised crime overlooks the involvement of legally registered entities.
You can read the detailed assessment of the revised Action Plan here.