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Pangolins: Conservation

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL4013, tabled on 15 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking with international partners (1) to protect the pangolin population globally, and (2) to prevent the criminal export and trafficking of pangolin products to East Asia from (a) Nigeria, and (b) other parts of Africa; and what representations they have made to the government of Nigeria regarding such issues.

Answered on

19 November 2021

The UK Government is at the forefront of international efforts to protect endangered animals, including pangolins, from poaching and illegal trade. We are investing over £46 million between 2014 and 2022 on work to directly counter the illegal wildlife trade (IWT) in animals and plants, including counter-poaching initiatives and efforts to reduce demand for pangolin and pangolin products, to benefit wildlife and communities. The UK is also making a significant contribution to halting biodiversity loss and tackling IWT through funding the Global Environment Facility, totalling £250 million (2018-2022).

UK Border Force and National Crime Agency officers based in Nigeria are working closely with Nigerian law enforcement agencies at Lagos' port to tackle IWT. This has resulted in three major seizures totalling over 18 tonnes of pangolin scales in 2021 alone. The British Deputy High Commission in Lagos has also established a "Friends of Nigeria Wildlife" group and is supporting a number of grass-roots initiatives to protect the pangolin, from opening a rehabilitation centre for pangolins freed from the illegal wildlife trade, to supporting a conservation Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that teaches school children about Nigeria's diverse wildlife. The British High Commissioner and her team raise IWT with the Nigerian Government regularly, including in quarterly meetings (alongside US and German counterparts) with the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs, the key Nigerian Government agency responsible for this issue.

More broadly, through our £4 million contribution to of the International Consortium for Combatting Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) strategic programme, we are building capability in law enforcement and customs officials to tackle the illegal wildlife trade in key countries, including countries across Africa and Asia.