European Union opens its draft ivory proposals for public consultation

Feb 19, 2021 | Commentary

On 28th January, the European Commission published its draft proposals to further tighten the rules on ivory trade and reduce the risk of the EU market contributing to illegal ivory trading. These legislative provisions are supplemented by a draft revised guidance on ivory trade.

The proposals are now open for public consultation.

Remaining loopholes in the draft proposal

While the EU has made significant strides in regulating it’s domestic ivory market, there is concern that the amendments made to the EU proposal is just a guidance document and are not reflected in regulation. Without legally binding rules, the guidance will not be enough to address key concerns relating to the potential impact of the EU ivory market on elephant poaching and ivory trafficking.

There is also no effective monitoring scheme to regularly evaluate the extent to which the new rules have been implemented by Member States. 

Ideally, if the EU is serious about providing protection for African elephants, the Commission ought to definitively end all ivory trade inside the Union.

China, Hong Kong SAR, Israel, New Zealand, the UK, the US and other international EU partners have already closed their domestic markets, and it is time for the EU to join the club. As long as Europe’s legal ivory market exists, it gives the green light to poachers to continue to kill elephants in Africa.

Have your say

The EU draft proposal is open for public consultation until midnight CET on 25th February. One can sign in or register to provide feedback.

This is a key opportunity to communicate your views on the proposal and is effective in formulating policy. In 2017, when the last ivory public consultation took place, 90 000 submissions supported the closure of Europe’s domestic ivory market. This significantly changed the outlook of the EU Commission in drafting the latest proposals.

The EU needs to go much further though. Strong action by Europe to close its market would motivate the closure of other key markets around the world, notably Japan, and would mark a huge step forward in the fight to save the African elephant from becoming extinct in many parts of its range. You can make that change.

To submit your comments, please find the link below:

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