July 2, 2013 -- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today expressed support for the United States’ newly-enlarged initiative to fight international wildlife trafficking and poaching.
In a teleconference with David Hayes of the Department of the Interior, Carter Roberts of the World Wildlife Fund and Melissa Simpson of Safari Club International Foundation, NFWF executive director and CEO Jeff Trandahl endorsed the President's recent Executive Order concerning illegal wildlife trade. "It's incredibly important that the U.S. provides the leadership necessary to countries facing this situation," Trandahl stated.
Trandahl also pointed out the economic cost of poaching. "These natural resources have enormous benefits," he said. “To lose them would put these countries in disarray."
President Obama announced his Executive Order on July 1 in Tanzania. The initiative will enhance government efforts to halt a multi-billion dollar illicit business that is decimating animal populations in Africa and Asia. Priorities include regional and bilateral training and technical assistance to strengthen legal frameworks, enhance law enforcement, and apply new technologies to prevent wildlife trafficking.
With its partners, NFWF has provided more than $28 million in grants to combat wildlife trafficking and poaching abroad. NFWF programs in Africa focused on endangered rhinoceroses, one of the species most affected by poaching. In Asia, NFWF led a campaign to save wild tigers, which are disappearing from the landscape.