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Elephants: Conservation

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 70940, tabled on 13 April 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how the Government intends to secure a long-term future for wild elephants and their natural habitats.

Answered on

24 April 2017

The Government works with a range of governments and international organisations to conserve endangered species, including elephants, through various fora, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). I attended the CITES Conference of Parties in 2016 where the UK played a major role in achieving strong outcomes for elephants, that will help ensure their survival in the wild.

Additionally, the Darwin Initiative is a UK Government grant scheme focussed on preserving animal and plant species and their habitats. This has recently funded a project in Mali that aims to protect elephants by halting and reversing degradation, and habitat loss.

Poaching and trafficking pose a major threat to elephants and other species and demand coordinated international action. The UK is leading the global response to tackling the illegal wildlife trade, and last year we supported Vietnam to host a third successful high level conference on the issue, where new actions to deliver on the commitments agreed at the previous London and Botswana conferences in 2014 and 2015 were secured.

At the conference we announced an additional £13million for tackling the illegal wildlife trade, doubling our existing investment. This funding will support a range of initiatives, including British military training for anti-poaching rangers in key African states and financial support for global action by Interpol and other international organisations involved in the fight against wildlife crime.