The Foreign Secretary meets the International Development Secretary regularly to discuss Government action on the illegal wildlife trade and to plan for the UK-hosted international conference in October, which will focus on countering that hideous crime.
Welcome back, Mr Speaker. I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement last week that Britain’s international aid budget will be used to boost mutual trade. Would my hon. Friend the Minister also like to see more aid used to support conservation efforts to similarly boost the protection of endangered species through, for example, more invaluable park rangers?
My hon. Friend draws attention to the work we are already doing in this area. I had the privilege during the recess of complimenting the British Army, which is helping to train and work with rangers in Malawi. While I was out there I announced a programme that helps with alternative livelihoods to poaching for people who live around that park.
It is good to be back, Mr Speaker. Last week the press informed us that 10 black rhinos, which are an endangered species, were moved from one location to another without the water there having even been checked. It turned out to be salt water and the 10 rhinos died. Is it not possible to do things better when trying to save endangered species, rather than letting such things happen?
I did see reports of that very unfortunate incident. I am not clear whether there was any UK Government involvement, but it was a very sad incident. The summit we will host in October will see delegations from all over the world putting their heads together on the ways in which we can tackle the issue, both through law enforcement and through creating areas and safe space for species, and other ways in which we can work together with the rest of the world to tackle this hideous trade.