Clinton Seeks Intelligence Help in War on Wildlife Traffickers
(Adenoid Hynkel posted this in LBN -- go give it a kick so it stays on the front page for a bit...)
Source: N.Y. Times (Dot Earth blog)
The Obama administration, and the State Department in particular, face a long list of urgent issues, from Iran’s nuclear weapons program to trade disputes with China. That makes it hard to maintain a focus on the environment, whether the issue is new approaches to climate diplomacy or endangered species.
That’s why it was encouraging to see Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton take an hour today at State Department headquarters to stress the importance of stemming the booming illicit global trade in wildlife. She spoke to an audience of ambassadors, government officials, conservationists and scientists, noting that while much of the focus of late has been on Asian markets, the fast-growing middle class around the world – including in the United States – has created a huge market for a wide range of rare species and products derived from them. Shen announced several new initiatives, including having United States intelligence agencies to produce “an assessment of the impact of large-scale wildlife trafficking on our security interests.” (The Times has launched a series on the connection between African poaching and insurgent groups on that continent.)
National Geographic has posted a report on the event. During a panel discussion at the event, Cristián Samper, president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, summarized things this way: “We need to protect the source, break the chain and stop demand.”