The U.S. embassies of Gabon and the Central African Republic will hold a workshop April 3-5, 2012, in Libreville, Gabon, in response to the growing threat of poaching and trafficking of protected and endangered species. U.S. Ambassadors to the Central African Republic and Gabon, Laurence Wohlers and Eric Benjaminson, will co-chair the proceedings. Daniel A. Clune, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs will lead the Washington delegation participating in the workshop and will engage in other bilateral activities to promote conservation.
This workshop is an important step towards creating stronger local and regional approaches and collaborative platforms to combat wildlife poaching and trafficking.
Participants will include law enforcement and government officials as well as representatives of environmental organizations from Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Equatorial Guinea. Bringing together participants from within and outside the region offers an opportunity for Central Africa to establish a regional wildlife enforcement network, joining Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Central America in a global system of regional wildlife enforcement networks to combat these crimes.
The Department of State has been at the forefront of international efforts to develop global partnerships to dismantle transnational networks in the illegal trade of wildlife. In 2005, the Department launched the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking and, in July 2011, the White House released the President’s National Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime and Converging Threats to National Security, which highlighted environmental crimes among the top five most lucrative criminal activities.
To view the U.S. National Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/nsc/transnational-crime.
To learn more about the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking, visit:www.cawtglobal.org.