As the international conference on trade in endangered
species just ended, let’s recall one of its most prominent issues – the efforts
to prevent elephants from becoming extinct – and what the European Union and
its Member States are expected to do next.
Elephants are facing their worst crisis in
decades due to poaching for their ivory. Populations are thought to be falling
by about 8 percent annually and at least 20,000 African elephants continue to
be killed each year.
world’s wild animals are in serious decline. Humanity has wiped out 60% of wild
animal populations since 1970. The International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN)’s ‘Red List’ classifies a quarter of all mammals, a third of
sharks, rays and corals, and 40% of amphibians, as threatened with extinction.
Many more species may be falling under the radar.
Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, published
recently by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and
Ecosystem Services (IPBES), estimated that a million species may be at risk of
extinction, identified economic exploitation among the key drivers of
biodiversity loss, emphasised that ‘transformative changes’ are required to
restore and protect nature, and indicated the need for opposition from vested
interests to be overcome. These are strong words from an intergovernmental
body, and they come not a moment too soon.