European Commission and CITES Sign EUR 12 million Agreement to Protect Endangered Species
Last week, the European Commission and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) announced the signature of a EUR 12 million agreement to collaborate in the minimization of the poaching of flagship species in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.
The initiative, named Minimizing the Illegal Killing of Elephants and other Endangered Species (MIKES), is designed around a 50-months timeline and will be based on the generation of reliable information on the status and threats to elephants and other flagship species using innovative law enforcement mechanisms and monitoring systems.
As explained by CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon, the European Union, in partnership with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, has been a key supporter of CITES, its effective implementation at the country level, and the global efforts to combat wildlife crime. “This project will provide practical and real time support to the brave and committed rangers who are serving in the field in selected sites, which is exactly where more support is needed,” added Scanlon.
When announcing the European Commission support to the program in December 2013, European Commissioner for Environment Janez Potocnik said: “This new programme shows that the EU, in partnership with ACP countries, is ready to strengthen its efforts to combat wildlife trafficking and reduce its devastating impacts on biodiversity.” Potocnik particularly welcomed its focus on the enforcement of CITES rules and country capacity for enforcement.
This major programme builds on the success of the Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) Programme, which has been developed and implemented by CITES since 2001. MIKE was designed to generate data on African elephant populations, illegal killing, and illegal trade in ivory as a basis for international and nationald ecision-making and action concerning elephant conservation.
The CITES Standing Committee, which will meet in Geneva on July 7th to 11th, will evaluate the results of the MIKE programme and of National Ivory Action Plans in eight countries: China, Kenya, Malaysia, Philippines, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Viet Nam. The Committee will also consider the extension of some of the enforcement-related decisions taken by the 16th Conference of the Parties in 2013 to other species being pressured by illegal trade, including elephants, rhinos, pangolins, and great apes.
For more information on the new MIKES programme click here