|Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the High-level Event on the Illegal Wildlife Trade|
I would like to thank Gabon and Germany for convening this important High-level Event and for your leadership in wildlife protection. Wildlife protection is about our common future. It features prominently in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which provides for the protection and restoration of ecosystem and its sustainable use in order to cover the loss of bio-diversity.
As wild flora and fauna directly bear on the health and security of global ecosystem and our common homeland, their protection is critical to human civilizations and sustainable economic and social development. The international community should give priority to concerted efforts in the following areas:
First, stepping up law enforcement to combat illegal trade in wildlife. The entire process from production to trafficking, to selling should be covered by laws and subjected to law enforcement.
Second, taking a comprehensive and integrated approach to socioeconomic development. Development strategies and policies should ensure a synergy of development and ecological environment and focus on green development and green life style.
Third, deepening international cooperation in wildlife protection. All countries must act together to fully implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the relevant UNGA resolution, and honor their obligations in this regard.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to wildlife protection. China has built-up a nationwide wildlife protection regime based on a combination of practical laws, policies and measures. First, we have designated Nature Reserves and Natural Forest Protected Areas subject to special regulations and requirements. This has greatly improved the habitat of wildlife.
Second, we have been improving legislation and law enforcement to ensure that there is no blind spot in regulatory measures and wildlife protection.
Third, we have set up an effective inter-agency coordination mechanism to review and update our wildlife protection regime. These efforts have produced good results.
At the macro policy level, China’s 13th Five-Year Economic and Social Development Strategy is centered on pursuing innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development. This provides overall guidance for bio-diversity protection projects, wildlife related import and export controls and combating illegal trade of wildlife such as ivory tusks. Effective from 2015, China has prohibited the import of ivory and products, hunting mementos as well as ivory, antique. By the end of this year, China will close down the legal domestic commercial processing and sale of ivory tusks and products.
The vast African continent is home to rich wildlife resources. Cooperation with Africa is essential for wildlife protection. China is closely cooperating with African countries in this regard. In 2015, at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, President Xi Jinping proposed Ten Cooperation Plans with Africa, including a Green Development Plan to bolster Africa’s capacity for green, low-carbon and sustainable development. 100 projects were launched to support Africa in developing clean energy, protecting wildlife and improving its ecological environment. China has been working with South Africa, Kenya and others based on cooperation agreements to protect wildlife. To countries with rich diversity in wildlife species such as Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Botswana, China has provided container monitoring and wildlife protection equipment and personnel training.
These efforts have greatly improved Africa’s capacity building and law enforcement in wildlife protection.
As eco-civilization bears on the well-being and future of mankind, we must foster a paradigm of every country, everyone belonging to the same community of a shared destiny and work together for our common eco-security and green development.
Thank you, Mr. President.
(Photo by Li Muzi, Xinhua News Agency)