At the Johannesburg Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), a number of important decisions were taken regarding certain species threatened with extinction. Belgium maintained its decisions and proclaimed its support for African Elephant Fund, which combats the illegal ivory trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), stated Thursday the Food Chain Security and Environment branch of SPF Santé publique.
Belgium decided to actively contribute towards the fight against the illegal ivory trade by funding projects presented by the African nations in the framework of African Elephant Fund and by supporting the Virunga National Park in DRC, whose Belgian director Emmanuel de Mérode combats elephant poaching.
“I consider the results of this CITES conference a veritable success. Belgium has defended the highest level of protection for most African elephants. This is a strong signal which shows that we must continue to promote sustainable management models,” declared Marie Christine Marghem, Federal Minister for the Environment.
A total of 62 proposals seeking to protect specific animals and plants were discussed by representatives of the 183 member states of CITES and over 80 policy and technical measures aimed at improving sustainable trade in these species were examined.
Belgium and the European Union defended several species which will from now on benefit from a higher level of protection with the prohibition of their capture in nature in order to be sold. Included are pangolins, red-tailed grey parakeets, rhesus monkeys, and several reptile species.