Result check: the role of the European Union to save endangered species.
The International Conference on Trade in Endangered Species ended. We provide a brief analysis and address future challenges for the European Union and its Member States.
Earlier this year, the
public was shaken up when an international forum of scientists demonstrated that
we are on the path to a mass extinction of unimaginable proportions. All the
more attention was paid to the three-yearly Conference of the Parties to the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CITES), which ended on 28 August 2019 in Geneva.
The CITES species conservation conference and the role of the EU
In May 2019, a report by IPBES, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity, shocked the world: One million species could disappear from the Earth in the coming decades. The report clearly identifies the exploitation of wild populations as one of the five main causes of mass extinction. In the light of such urgent warnings, it’s hard to believe that keeping up the trade ban on ivory and rhino horn still needs strenuous efforts. Further, countless animals of hundreds, if not thousands of endangered reptile, amphibian and fish species continue to be taken from the wild without any control, because the species still lack international protection.
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.