In February, the European Commission announced the development of a draft Wildlife Conservation Strategy focusing on terrestrial species, with the Commission emphasizing that flora and fauna from marine as well as inland waters will be added in the future.
February 2015: In February, the European Commission (EC) announced the development of a draft Wildlife Conservation Strategy for Africa, which according to the EC, will define a holistic strategy for wildlife conservation on the continent over the next 10 years, “with a view to orienting and optimizing EC investments to best address the wildlife crisis.” The EU will base its activities on a technical document, ‘Larger than Elephants: Inputs for the design of an EU Strategic Approach to Wildlife Conservation in Africa,’ which addresses, inter alia: landscapes for conservation; local development; law enforcement; capacity building and stopping illegal wildlife trafficking.
Also this month, the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), Emirates Wildlife Society, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and partners convened a workshop of international experts to develop a strategy to conserve humpback whales. Meanwhile, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) took further steps to combat rhinoceros poaching and associated illegal trade.
The workshop to conserve humpback whales, held from 27-29 January 2015, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was attended by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Office – Abu Dhabi, offered an avenue to discuss updates on the status of these whales across their range and recognized the urgent need to conserve the endangered Arabian Sea humpback population.
With regard to CITES, the Secretariat hosted a Ministerial-level and Senior Officials meetings for key States concerned with rhinoceros poaching and illegal trade. Ministers and high-level delegates from the Czech Republic, Mozambique, South Africa and Viet Nam – the key States identified by decisions taken under CITES as affected by poaching and illegal trade of rhinoceros horn as range, transit or destination countries – reaffirmed their commitments by adopting the ‘Geneva Statement on Combating Rhinoceros-related Crimes.’
The CITES Ministerial dialogue followed a two-day Senior Officials meeting at which national customs, police and wildlife authorities worked with experts from the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) to prepare recommendations on well-targeted interventions and specific areas of cooperation. [EC Press Release] [CMS Press Release] [IUCN Press Release] [CITES Press Release]