Today, Belgium becomes a member of the Southern Ocean Research Partnership of the International Whaling Commission. This partnership of 12 countries conducts non-lethal whale research and counterbalances the position of Japan who continues whaling for a so-called scientific research. With its membership, Belgium aims to give a strong signal in favour of the protection of cetaceans and marine ecosystems.
36 500 elephants are killed every year for their ivory ; that is 100 per day, 4 per hour or 1 every fifteen minutes. The Belgian government is taking a firm stand to show their opposition to the illegal trade in ivory. On April 9th, 1553 kg of ivory seized by customs will be transported to the Palais des Colonies in Tervuren to be destroyed. Ivory traffickers be warned : the ivory they attempt to smuggle into black markets will end up seized and destroyed.
As of 2004 the Federal Public Service of Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment represents our country in the International Whaling Commission (IWC). This year’s meeting of the Commission took place in Panama, from July 2nd until July 6th. On that occasion our country was elected to the vice-chairmanship, which might be an indication that it could access to the chair of this commission in 2014.