|We live in a world with elephants. Will our children? Photo Credit: Gary M. Stolz/USFWS|
By Dan Ashe, John Cruden and Catherine Novelli
“Did you ever get to see an elephant in the wild before they became extinct?” This is a question children may soon be asking unless we take immediate action. Wildlife trafficking – not just of elephants, but also of rhinos, tigers, great apes, exotic birds and many other species – has exploded in recent years to become a multibillion-dollar criminal enterprise with increasingly grave and potentially irreversible consequences. The scourge of wildlife trafficking threatens conservation efforts, national security, the rule of law, regional stability and the sustainable livelihoods of communities. So what are we doing to stop this problem?
Today, the United States launched an implementation plan for the President’s National Strategy for Combatting Wildlife Trafficking, which will be a roadmap to fighting poaching and illegal wildlife trade. The plan focuses on three key areas: strengthening law enforcement domestically and globally, reducing demand, and building international cooperation. Wildlife trafficking is a global problem that demands a global solution. We are determined to be a part of that solution, and we will continue to work closely in our efforts with foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, community leaders, and civil society to achieve this goal.