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The European Commission’s Green Deal is failing wildlife


11 Dec 2019


Climate & Environment

Brussels, 11 December 2019 – The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) welcomes the  much awaited European Commission’s Green Deal, which sets a high ambition to put Europe at the forefront to fight climate change.

IFAW however urges the Commission and the Member States to do more for the protection of wildlife and natural habitat.

The current proposal for the European Green Deal, despite mentioning a Biodiversity Strategy by March 2020, is failing wildlife. It does nothing to tackle the serious issue of wildlife crime, which is the fourth largest illegal global trade and a key driver for biodiversity loss. The Commission must take concrete and immediate actions to address the situation and incorporate those pressing topics in a clear and concise way, as it is already late,” says Joep van Mierlo, IFAW’s Regional Director for Europe.

Wildlife trafficking is a billion-euro business, and the European Union (EU) being a critical transit hub, destination market and even source market, which must be dealt with urgently. The Commission’s proposal aims to follow up with concrete measures to address biodiversity loss in 2021 but in doing so also needs to consider wildlife trafficking a serious crime.

While IFAW praises the recognition of the oceans’ role in mitigating and adapting to climate change, more needs to be done on marine conservation.

We believe that the Green Deal should have a stronger ‘blue’ touch and address the terrible impact of shipping on ocean life such as underwater noise and ship strikes. If the EU and Member States are seriously committed to have a lasting impact, then they cannot ignore such crucial issues from their plans,” added van Mierlo.

IFAW hopes the Member States will now follow suit and that the new policies will be implemented immediately.



The previous Commission had launched in 2016 an Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking – which ends next year – and considering the goal of the new Commission to do more for the environment, this plan must be renewed and strengthened. IFAW is working on a position paper on the current action plan and on concrete measures that must be included post-2020 along with strenuous advocacy work toward an EU-wide ivory ban since 2017 in order to reduce the demand, which fuels poaching.

For more information or to arrange interview with IFAW experts, please contact:

Benjamin Wiacek, Communications Manager, +32 472 17 15 81

About the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) - The International Fund for Animal Welfare is a global non-profit helping animals and people thrive together. We are experts and everyday people, working across seas, oceans and in more than 40 countries around the world. We rescue, rehabilitate and release animals, and we restore and protect their natural habitats. The problems we’re up against are urgent and complicated. To solve them, we match fresh thinking with bold action. We partner with local communities, governments, non-governmental organisations and businesses. Together, we pioneer new and innovative ways to help all species flourish. See how at


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