Traffic: Wildlife trade in Belgium An analysis of CITES trade and seizure data-New study highlights Belgium’s role as wildlife trade hub

 

 

Please download the Document here below:

wildlife-trade-belgium.pdf (4.9 MiB)

 

 

The new study, Wildlife trade in Belgium: An analysis of CITES trade and seizure data, examines trade in species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and builds on earlier studies identifying Belgium as an important destination and transit point of such species, particularly from Africa to Asia.

 

 

The latest study identified Belgium “as the top EU importer of reptile commodities within the EU, as reported by weight.” This trade was dominated by reptile meat with Belgium responsible for importing 787,251 kg of mainly Nile Crocodile Crocodylus niloticus meat, predominantly from Zimbabwe over the period studied, 2007–2016. However, based on the available data, it is unclear if the imported meat is consumed in Belgium or traded on within the EU to other Member States, due to the EU single market and free movement of goods.

 

 

Belgium was also the second largest importer of plant products, including timber, as reported by volume, into the EU during the time period with trade dominated by sawn wood—just over 68,129 cubic metres in total—particularly Afrormosia Pericopsis elata originating from Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Yet despite the large volumes of timber entering Belgium, seizures of wood deemed to be illegally imported were rare: “this disparity highlights the need for Belgium to ensure it is not being used as an illegal trade hub for protected timber species,” write the report’s authors.

 

 

Plant imports included significant quantities of species with known medicinal properties, including 213,919 kg of wild-sourced African Cherry Prunus africana bark, used to treat a variety of ailments ranging from fevers and even insanity, through to use as an appetite stimulant.

 

 

An analysis of wildlife seizures found Belgium to be a major intermediary in the illegal transport of CITES-listed commodities such as plant-derived medicinal products, reptile derived leather products, ivory and seahorse bodies. The data suggest that these commodities in transit through Belgium are mainly coming from West and Central Africa, going to China and are being shipped through air transport and postal systems. Most seizures took place because of a lack of or invalid CITES permits, or a breach of International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations.

 

 

Among a number of key recommendations made by the report’s authors are encouraging the country’s CITES Management Authority to continue to ensure the legality of shipments entering Belgium, particularly for timber imports; further regular training for enforcement staff dealing with CITES issues; more targeted controls of CITES-listed timber imports at Antwerp sea port; enhanced co-operation between enforcement agencies; and increased awareness and understanding of market trade dynamics.

 

 

    International trade in wildlife products can by highly lucrative, but unless properly managed can threaten biodiversity, public health and even the socio-economic stability of countries

 

Louisa Musing, one of the study’s authors

 

“It is clearly in the best interests of governments to ensure such trade is operated in a legal and sustainable fashion.”

 

Dr Sofie Ruysschaert, Wildlife policy officer with WWF Belgium, said: “The research presented today shows a need for stronger co-ordinated efforts by all actors in the enforcement chain, including customs, police and the judiciary, to fight illegal wildlife trade in Belgium.”

 

“WWF Belgium believes a national action plan on illegal wildlife trade is needed, with a long-term vision and dedicated actions—in line with the existing EU action plan.”

 

The Belgian CITES Management Authority is especially thanked for providing authorisation to analyse their seizure data, for their continued support towards the project and for their review of the report.

 

For more Information, please consult the following PDF Documents:

Go back

CBFP News

CIFOR : The grand young age for environmental efforts

When Tabi Joda of GreenAid returned from university to the rural Cameroon villages he knew as a child, he found some of them totally abandoned because the land had become too degraded to support villagers’ livelihoods. He was horrified and asked himself, “Why did I go to university, if not to make a difference?”

Read more …

CIFOR : Protecting Congo’s botanical treasures

It was in 2017 that a ‘game changing’ opportunity arrived. INERA and the Meise Botanic Garden partnered with FORETS, a project coordinated by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and financed by the European Union. FORETS aims to transform Yangambi into a sustainable landscape, where forests and research double up to improve the living conditions of local people. This has meant a commitment to invest in the herbarium’s infrastructure, its staff, and facilitate research on the site.

Read more …

DSA2019: Opening up Development The Open University, Milton Keynes, 19-21 June

The DSA's annual conference in 2019 will take place at the Open University, which celebrates its 50th birthday that year. The conference will focus centrally on "Opening up Development", while also encompassing the broad range of development studies interests. As with DSA2018, we will have sessions for early career scholars - including on publishing and an ECR plenary; as well as assisting participants from the Global South to attend.

Read more …

Who’s going to save the planet in 2019? The Nature Conservancy names 10 unexpected groups influencing environmental action.

LET'S BE FRANK: 2018 was not exactly a banner year for the planet. Nearly every major environmental assessment presented grim results: crucial habitats like tropical forests continue to disappear; wildlife populations declined 60% over the last 40 years; and, perhaps most alarming, we’re failing to make the progress we need to keep the climate within safe boundaries.

Read more …

Ipsnews-Climate Change: In Africa, extreme weather conditions threaten food security for millions of people.

East Africa has encountered droughts at increasingly shorter intervals in recent years, most recently in 2005-6, 2009, 2011, 2014-15, and 2017.Apart from drought, the conditions for agriculture are also becoming increasingly difficult due to the gradual rise in temperature, salinization and changing rainy seasons. Serious consequences include decreasing availability of food and increasing conflicts over water–both obstacles to development opportunities of the affected states and possible triggers for migration.

Read more …

IITA-New mobile app to tackle crop disease in Sub-Saharan Africa

IITA signs MOU with RightMesh to develop a mesh-enabled mobile app to tackle crop disease in Sub-Saharan Africa. This co-created mesh-enabled mobile app will allow smallholder farmers to detect and report new pests and diseases without incurring costs for internet or data.

Read more …

His Excellency François-Xavier de Donnea, CBFP Facilitator wishes you a very joyful holiday season 2018 and extends best wishes for 2019!

Throughout this year 2018, I have appreciated your rich and diverse contributions that have enhanced our shared Partnership. Together, we have made further strides as several new members have joined us, bringing the number of CBFP members to 113. On the other hand, we have acquired a "Brussels Declaration" which was adopted during the 18th Meeting of CBFP Parties, and comes to crown all the Belgian CBFP Facilitation’s efforts to foster dialogue and drive action towards stronger...

Read more …

boell.de-Great expectations, low execution: The Katowice climate change conference COP 24

The Katowice climate package brings minor progress, but COP 24 failed to deliver on the most fundamental issues such as raising ambition of national contributions, implementing human rights, and ensuring support for developing countries.

Read more …

CBFP News Archive