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Key objectives for the Conference of the Parties to the CITES

Today Catherine Bearder MEP gave a speech to the European Parliament on the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Please see the full text below:

"Mr President, I welcome the assurances we have been given here this evening that the EU will not support any proposals which would lead to an increase in illegal ivory poaching, yet I am dismayed to hear that the Commission then goes on to state that any proposals to downgrade the African elephant from CITES Appendix I to Appendix II need to be assessed objectively on the basis of the rules laid down by CITES."

"These two statements are in direct contradiction to each other. Any discussion of relaxing the protection afforded to elephants under the CITES Convention will send a green light to poachers in the hope that soon there will be a market for their illegal and cruelly acquired goods."

"Zambia and Tanzania are in violation of the Convention as they did not consult all the elephant range states as required in Resolution 9.24 of the CITES criteria for amendments. We expect the Commission and Council to ensure that the constitution of CITES, and the agreed moratorium, are respected. How do they intend to prevent the illegal proposals from Tanzania and Zambia from being placed on the agenda in the very first place?"

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