The Action Plan was prepared jointly by a core team co-chaired by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, with the close involvement of Commissioners for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos.
On 26 February 2016 the European Commission adopted a Communication on the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, which sets out a comprehensive blueprint for joined-up efforts to fight wildlife crime inside the EU, and for strengthening the EU’s role in the global fight against these illegal activities.
The Action Plan comprises 32 measures to be carried out by 2020 by the EU (Commission services, EEAS, Europol, Eurojust) and its Member States. It focuses on three priorities:
- Prevent trafficking and reduce supply and demand of illegal wildlife products: for example by the end of 2016 the Commission will prepare guidelines aiming to suspend the export of old ivory items from the EU.
- Enhance implementation of existing rules and combat organised crime more effectively by increasing cooperation between competent enforcement agencies such as Europol.
- Strengthen cooperation between source, destination and transit countries, including strategic EU financial support to tackle trafficking in source countries, help build capacity for enforcement and provide long term sources of income to rural communities living in wildlife-rich areas.
The tasks of Wildlife Trade Sub-Group foreseen under EPPA are focused on the following:
- Establishment of a regional wildlife trade regulation enforcement network for cooperation between the relevant authorities in the beneficiaries and similar EU networks will provide its members with a platform for information exchange and enhance their capacities with regards to the relevant legislation frameworks
- Organisation of expert missions on permitting system in line with the CITES will strengthen capacities of stakeholders for implementation of CITES
- Organisation of regional workshops on CITES implementation will provide an opportunity for exchange of information and best practices between the beneficiaries and the EU MS experts