BRUSSELS, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) said on Monday that members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will on Nov. 23 debate about how the 28-member bloc should step up their efforts to combat wildlife trafficking.
Earlier this year, the European Commission launched an action plan on wildlife trafficking, which the EU and its member states have until 2020 to implement. The action plan has three priorities: prevention, enforcement and cooperation.
Regarding cooperation, the MEPs stressed the importance of global cooperation between countries where the animals lived, the transit countries and the countries where the products were being bought.
Wildlife trafficking reduces biodiversity, unbalances ecosystems and endangers the survival of numerous animal species such as tiger and sharks and plant species such as tropical timber and orchids. In recent years, wildlife trafficking has reached unprecedented levels due to the increase in global demand for wildlife and related products, the bloc said in a statement.
The EU is not only a major destination market for illegal wildlife products, but also serves as a transit hub for trafficking to other regions. Certain species in the EU, such as European glass eels, are also subject to wildlife trafficking, the statement added.