We spend a lot of money during our holiday. It matters where, to what and how we spend this money. If we go to the local shopkeeper and eat at that local restaurant, our money will go directly to the locals. Buying souvenirs is also good for the local economy, but unfortunately many souvenirs of endangered species and plants are still made. Awareness of this among tourists and souvenir sellers is important to reduce this. Laws that prohibit this are necessary to prevent the trade in prohibited souvenirs. Dutch Customs also hands out fines to holidaymakers who come home with souvenirs made from plants and animals.
The issue of the import of banned products such as ivory, fur and coral was the reason for the public campaign for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF): ‘Watch, watch, don’t buy’. Almost everyone knows that ivory trade is illegal, but which holiday souvenirs are illegal is often less well known. WWF has launched a campaign to educate travellers about holiday souvenirs which should not be taken home. Many animal and plant species are on the international CITES list of endangered species, and products incorporating some of these animals or plants are prohibited. Although bags of fur and figurines of coral are simply offered for sale at your holiday destination, you run the risk of being fined a large number on importation.
The World Wildlife Fund has compiled a top 10 with animal and plant species that often bear the brunt of the trade in souvenirs. Of course, you can also come across souvenirs that are not mentioned here. If they are made from wild animals or plants, it is recommended not to buy if in doubt. Animal and plant species that often suffer from the trade in souvenirs include corals, large shells, turtles, snakes, crocodiles, lizards and butterflies.
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