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Friday 16 March: Giants Club Summit and air quality

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Giants Club Summit and a UK ban on ivory sales

Elephant in field

The Giants Club Summit (15 – 17 March) is being held in Botswana, Africa, and has received media coverage on BBC Breakfast and Today Programme.

Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin is representing the UK at the summit which will look at further ways to help protect some of Africa’s biggest animals including elephants.

The British Government has held a consultation on proposals to ban the sale of ivory and received more than 70,000 responses from the public, conservation NGOs and the antiques trade.

We will shortly publish a response to this consultation.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

It is imperative we halt the decline in the elephant population to protect these wonderful animals for future generations. Ivory should never be seen as a commodity for financial gain or a status symbol and we are ready to take radical and robust action to protect one of the world’s most iconic and treasured species.

It’s incredibly heartening that so many people have contributed to our consultation. The response underlines that we are a nation which cares for wildlife. In 2018 the UK must be front and centre of global efforts to end this insidious trade.

There has also been coverage in today’s Daily Mail and on ITV News of the African Wildlife Forensics Network, the first phase of which was funded through Defra’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund.

Minister Coffey writes to Derby City Council about their air quality plans

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey has written a letter to Derby City Council expressing her “serious and increasing concern” over the authority’s plans to improve air quality.

Derby is one of five cities, along with Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham and Southampton, required to present plans by 15 Sept 2018 to deliver compliance in the shortest possible time.

In the letter to the leader of Derby City Council, Ranjit Banwait, Minister Coffey said she was disappointed with the council’s lack of progress and raised the concern that the government is yet see any of the detail or modelling outputs for the options they have been developing.

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