United States: Clinton Vows to Combat Wildlife Trafficking
At a special conference Thursday, Hilary Clinton expressed the United States’ commitment to curtailing wildlife trafficking, an illegal trade with annual revenues between $7-10 billion, according to estimates.
OCCRP ran a story about a record seizure of illegal ivory in Hong Kong last month. That’s just one example in what the Word Wildlife Fund calls an “escalating poaching crisis around the world, pushing populations of endangered species like tigers, elephants and rhinos to the brink of extinction.”
Kenyan and Indonesian ambassadors also attended Thursday’s conference, called “Wildlife Trafficking and Conservation: A Call to Action” held at the U.S. Department of State. Both ambassadors spoke on the critical situations their countries face from the violence of wildlife trafficking.
Secretary Clinton's speech outlined a specific, four-part strategy for addressing the global problem:
- Develop a global consensus on wildlife protection.
- Spearhead a global outreach program, set to launch on December 4 (Wildlife Conservation Day).
- Establish a global system of regional wildlife enforcement networks.
- With the aid of the intelligence community, produce an assessment of large-scale wildlife trafficking's impact on security interests.
Clinton pledged $100,000 on top of the $24 million that USAID has already committed to the effort over the past five years.
USAID Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg made remarks as well. He announced that his agency is developing a Technology Challenge on Wildlife Trafficking, engaging the best and brightest scientists and entrepreneurs with the task of finding technological solutions for wildlife trafficking challenges.