Illegal Wildlife Trade

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th February 2018.

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Photo of Alister Jack Alister Jack Conservative, Dumfries and Galloway 12:00 am, 20th February 2018

What steps his Department is taking to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.

Photo of Anne-Marie Trevelyan Anne-Marie Trevelyan Conservative, Berwick-upon-Tweed

What steps his Department is taking to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The United Kingdom will host an ambitious, high-level illegal wildlife trade conference in London in October this year. I believe that the ambition to crack down on the illegal wildlife trade is shared by the entire British people.

Photo of Alister Jack Alister Jack Conservative, Dumfries and Galloway

At that conference, will my right hon. Friend ensure that the United Kingdom remains at the forefront of efforts to stamp out the illegal trade in ivory?

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

As my hon. Friend will know, we are nearing the conclusion of a consultation about a total ban on ivory, which I think many people in the House and in the country would agree is devoutly to be wished for. We will see where we get to, but I think my hon. Friend can count on us once again to be in the lead, and I believe that the October summit will produce some very substantive conclusions on saving elephants.

Photo of Anne-Marie Trevelyan Anne-Marie Trevelyan Conservative, Berwick-upon-Tweed

During his recent trip to south-east Asia, what discussions did my right hon. Friend have with palm oil-producing countries about the illegal wildlife trade and deforestation?

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

I am acutely aware of the problems caused by palm oil cultivation. We are in urgent dialogue with our partners to discourage them from deforestation and the consequent loss of species.

Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Labour, Hornsey and Wood Green

China has come a long way in the ivory trade discussions, but what discussions is the team having with Vietnam and some of the other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations?

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Only the other day, I had discussions with Thailand. We absolutely appreciate the importance of not simply diverting the flow of ivory from China to other countries in south-east Asia.

Photo of Gregory Campbell Gregory Campbell Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

Will the Foreign Secretary assure the House, and the people of the United Kingdom, that an international approach is being taken to ensure that nations across the developed globe take a similar position, so that we can ostracise and alienate those who are engaged in this sort of trade?

Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. That is why we are hosting a global summit, and the participation rates are already very high indeed.