An attempt to restrict sustainable wildlife trade was defeated in the European Parliament (EP) this week. In a critical move for wildlife conservation and hunters, the European Parliament voted to adopt Amendment No. 24 to the EP’s resolution on the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, an amendment supported by SCI, FACE, community leaders in southern Africa and the scientific community.
The EP was considering a resolution to ban trade in ivory at the European level, as well as export and or re-export. However, the resolution also asked “for similar restrictions for other endangered species,” which could have detrimentally impacted sustainable use conservation programs throughout southern Africa. Fortunately, a majority of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) supported the inclusion of the word “commercial” to the text. In approving the amendment, the text will not restrict legal and sustainable wildlife trade. This is a major victory for European sportsmen and women, rural African communities, and wildlife.
Safari Club International (SCI), alongside our partners in Europe including the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), were active in ensuring Amendment No. 24 was adopted.
SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin stated, “SCI applauds the European Parliament for upholding sound conservation strategies and listening to the interests of African nations. While we must continue to fight against anti-hunting sentiments globally, we are celebrating this success in the EU for African wildlife. Allowing hunters to continue their conservation work stands on the side of science, rural African communities, and wildlife populations.”
SCI strongly supports the preeminent role of African communities in managing wildlife, ecosystems, and coexistence initiatives, and this language was supported by African community representatives. It was also supported by Ambassadors from African nations to the EU, who advocated to exclude hunting trophies from any further trade restrictions in recognition of the crucial conservation incentives generated by regulated hunting in Africa. Had this language not been added, the EU would have circumvented African leadership and attempted to dictate African wildlife management.
SCI will continue to defend sustainable use, rural livelihood enhancement and sound science as other elected bodies consider ideologically motivated bans across the globe.