Jump to content
Ornithology Exchange

Experts Release Recommendations on Wildlife Trafficking Plan


Recommended Posts

Two white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum) enjoy the relative safety of Nakuru National Park in Kenya. Rhinos are under threat from poachers interested in selling their valuable horns illegally — one of the many aspects of wildlife trafficking the President’s Strategy for Combatting Wildlife Trafficking aims to address. (Credit: Karl Stromayer, USFWS)

Two white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum) enjoy the relative safety of Nakuru National Park in Kenya. Rhinos are under threat from poachers interested in selling their valuable horns illegally — one of the many aspects of wildlife trafficking the President’s Strategy for Combatting Wildlife Trafficking aims to address. (Credit: Karl Stromayer, USFWS)

The Federal Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking (Council) — an advisory body of experts in wildlife trade — recently released a list of specific recommendations on how to implement the President’s National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking announced in February. The Council is led by Judith McHale, former Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Affairs and includes members from the World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, and African Wildlife Foundation. The document will now be reviewed by the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, a panel of federal officials headed by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell. The Council and Task Force will work jointly to implement the recommendations once they are finalized.

The U.S. is one of the world’s largest markets for both legal and illegal wildlife and wildlife products. The national strategy seeks to address these and other issues by acting as a guiding document to direct U.S. federal agencies to share information and resources to address the problem of illegal wildlife trade, which is purported to bring in over $19 billion per year to international crime syndicates.

The Council’s recommendations fall within three main categories — strengthening enforcement, reducing demand, and expanding international cooperation and commitment. In order to strengthen enforcement, the Council proposes an increase in funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the three U.S. agencies mainly responsible for enforcing wildlife-related laws. The Council further recommends that U.S. federal law enforcement agencies increase the number of wildlife trafficking prosecutions, seek more serious punishments for violators, and expand undercover investigations into suspected wildlife trafficking operations.

By convening experts in behavior change and communication, the Council hopes to achieve more effective demand reduction strategies. Specifically, in order to make poaching-related activities socially unacceptable in countries where most poaching occurs, plans to facilitate behavior change should be encouraged and matching funds provided for private initiatives which engage in these pursuits.

To meet the Council’s recommendation on expanding international cooperation and commitment, the U.S. CITES delegation is encouraged to aggressively advance the President’s agenda on wildlife trafficking. Further, the establishment of an African wildlife trafficking information center, which would provide a single, comprehensive and searchable database of information relating to African wildlife trafficking is highly encouraged. The information center would also provide a credible third-party source of information on population trends of particular African species of concern, such as the African elephant and rhinoceros.

Sources: Greenwire (June 18, 2014), Federal Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking Report (June 9, 2014), USFWS (accessed June, 2014)



This article was automatically imported from The Wildlife Society's policy news feed.

View the full article
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...