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Illegal Wildlife Trade

Volume 576: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2014

12. What reports he has received on the outcomes of the London conference on the illegal wildlife trade 2014. (902795)

More than 40 nations attended the illegal wildlife trade conference and vowed to help save iconic species from the brink of extinction. The London declaration contains commitments for practical steps to end the illegal trade in rhino horn, tiger parts and elephant tusks, which fuels criminal activity. Botswana will host the next conference.

Does my right hon. Friend accept that the London declaration marks significant progress made in combating wildlife crime? But can he assure the House that what has been put on paper will be translated into positive action before the Botswana conference next year?

I very much hope so. In particular, the elephant protection plan, which was endorsed during the conference by five key African states, now needs to be implemented in those states, and funded by other states and by the private sector. If that happens, it can become a game-changing agreement on preserving the African elephant. I certainly hope that major progress will be made on that before we get to Botswana in a year’s time.

This is an extremely important matter of much interest to a great many of our constituents, and if the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr Burns) or other Members wanted an Adjournment debate on it, they might find themselves successful.