The Belgian Senate has passed a non-binding resolution calling on the European Commission to urgently implement a general trade ban in elephant ivory throughout the European Union (EU).
The Chamber Committee has expressed support for the Law proposal 54K3202001, which once adopted will ban domestic sales, export and import of elephant ivory within, from, and to Belgium.
In a reaction to the development, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has congratulated Belgium for what looks like a landmark development.
Arnaud Goessens, EU Policy Manager, for WCS EU, said in a statement issued on Tuesday, March 19, 2019: “We applaud Belgian Minister for Environment Marie-Christine Marghem who pledged during a recent visit in Kenya to support a total ivory trade ban at the EU level.
“In recent months, momentum has been growing for a strong domestic ban on ivory trade within the EU. Several European governments, including the UK, France and Luxembourg have been taking individual action and going beyond current EU rules on the domestic EU ivory market which they consider to be insufficient.
“The continuation of legal domestic ivory markets creates a loophole that is used to launder trafficked ivory. The poaching of elephants will thus continue if there are open markets for their ivory.
“We commend Belgian representatives for their leadership and appreciate the broad political support for a domestic ivory ban.
“We urge other EU Member States to implement similar national ivory bans and to call on the European Commission to close the EU domestic ivory market and enact the strongest ban possible.”
The WCS was founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society and currently works to conserve more than two million square miles of wild places around the world.