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International Update Volume 48, Issue 27

UK PLEDGES FUNDING TO SAVE SUMATRAN TIGERS AND AFRICAN CHIMPANZEES

United Kingdom

The UK's secretary of state for international development, Penny Mordaunt, has pledged to contribute £2.1m to tackle the underlying causes of the illegal wildlife trade and protect critically endangered Sumatran tigers and west African chimpanzees. The funding will help create sustainable jobs and livelihoods for local communities in Africa and Southeast Asia, and provide them with a financial alternative to hunting wildlife and clearing forests that are essential to the species' long-term survival.

AUSTRALIA SENATE COMMITTEE PROPOSES BAN ON IVORY AND RHINO HORN TRADE

Australia

An Australian senate committee has proposed a national ban on the domestic trade of elephant ivory and rhino horn. The committee found weaknesses in the country's wildlife trade control framework, including its lack of regulations for the domestic market. The committee's report recommends that federal, state, and territory governments develop and implement a national ban with some exemptions, such as musical instruments containing less than 20% ivory. Australia's environment minister, Melissa Price, is considering the recommendations.

INDONESIA SIGNS MORATORIUM ON OIL PALM LICENSES

Indonesia

On September 19, Indonesia's President, Joko Widodo, signed a three-year moratorium on new licenses for oil palm plantations. The moratorium applies not only to new requests for licenses but also to projects that have obtained some but not all of the permits needed to begin operating. It also mandates a massive review of oil palm licenses across Indonesia. Widodo first announced plans to impose the moratorium over two years ago after the 2015 fire and haze crisis in Southeast Asia.