BRUSSELS (IDN) – The 79-nation African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States has welcomed the European Union’s decision to launch a coordinated action jointly with the United Nations to counter the illegal killing and trafficking of wildlife in Southern and Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean.
As part of a 30 million Euro (35.3 million U.S. dollars) intervention, the European Union (EU) has signed a 17.2 million Euro (20.35 million U.S. dollars) agreement with three United Nations (UN) agencies – CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, UNODC, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and CMS, the Convention on Migratory Species.
The new ‘cross-regional wildlife programme’ will focus its activities in the regions’ most important protected areas, national transit points, and in some of Africa’s most important transboundary ecosystems, according to a joint press release issued in Nairobi on December 5 after the agreement was signed at the United Nations Headquarters in Africa.
Stefano A. Dejak, the EU ambassador to Kenya said: “Illegal killing and trafficking of wildlife now runs into billions of dollars. To combat it, we need find new ways to work together more effectively . . . The aim is to build on our various strengths and experiences in protecting wildlife across borders.”
ACP Secretary General Dr. Patrick I. Gomes told IDN, “We are very pleased to be joining forces with the UN and the EU on fighting Wildlife Trafficking by committing a substantial allocation from the European Development Fund (EDF) which is co-managed by the ACP Group and the European Commission.”
Created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome and launched in 1959, the European Development Fund is the EU’s main instrument for providing development aid to the ACP) Group of States and to overseas countries and territories. According to the European Commission, “the EDF funds cooperation activities in the fields of economic development, social and human development as well as regional cooperation and integration.” [IDN-InDepthNews – 12 December 2017]
Photo: Presentation of the 17.2 million Euro cheque on December 5 to fund initiatives to combat wildlife killing and trafficking in Africa. Credit: CMS.
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