Dijksma to pursue international ban on trophy hunting

Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma has written a letter to Parliament announcing her intention to investigate means for instituting an international ban on big-game trophy hunting. In her letter, she also announces a plan to organise an international Wildlife Crime Conference in The Hague from 1 to 3 March 2016. Furthermore, Ms Dijksma will advocate at the United Nations to have wildlife crime recognised as an international offence, according to her letter.

Ms Dijksma explains: “I feel that the poaching of ivory and rhino horn and other forms of trophy hunting are crimes that threaten biodiversity and the overall health of the natural environment. We need to work together in the international context to put an end to this despicable situation. The conference in March will be a major step toward ensuring the preservation of wildlife on our planet.”

CITES Convention

A ban on trophy hunting will be most effective if enacted in an international context. Ms Dijksma therefore intends to investigate whether additional measures can be undertaken to ban trophy hunting under the auspices of the CITES Convention. CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna) is a multilateral treaty between 181 countries that has been in force since 1975. CITES regulates global trade in approximately 5,000 endangered animal species and 30,000 species of protected plants. Trade in some species is completely prohibited, while permits or certificates are needed in other cases.

International conference against poaching

In her letter to Parliament, Ms Dijksma also wrote about the fight against poaching. To address the poaching of wild animals such as rhinos and elephants, Ms Dijksma intends to advocate at the United Nations to have wildlife crime recognised as an international offence. Furthermore, Ms Dijksma announced her intention to organise an international conference on wildlife crime from 1 to 3 March 2016. She hopes that the conference will result in a vigorous international commitment to enact new measures designed to protect and preserve wildlife.