Ending Pirate Fishing & Seafood Fraud & Protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay

12/16/2014
Seafood fraud can happen at any point in the supply chain, undermining law-abiding fishers and misleading consumers. (Photo credit: NOAA)

Seafood fraud can happen at any point in the supply chain, undermining law-abiding fishers and misleading consumers. (Photo credit: NOAA)

New Recommendations to End Pirate Fishing and Seafood Fraud

America’s fisheries drive coastal economies and put food on the tables of families across the country. Unfortunately, the twin global issues of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud undermine the economic and environmental sustainability of fisheries and fish stocks.

Global losses attributable to IUU fishing are estimated at $10 billion to $23 billion annually. Pirate fishing vessels take in fish without regard to the sustainability of ocean ecosystems. Not required to file trip plans or carry transponders, the ships roam the oceans in the shadows and become vectors for human, drug, and arms trafficking. Black-market fishing distorts legal markets and displaces law-abiding fishermen, ultimately serving as a drag on the global economy. These challenges can be compounded by seafood fraud — the mislabeling, misbranding, or falsification of product origins — which can occur at any point in the supply chain.

Today, the federal task force on combatting IUU fishing and seafood fraud released its final recommendations to tackle these complex challenges. President Obama announced the creation of the task force at the State Department’s Our Ocean conference in June, and for the last six months, under the leadership of NOAA Administrator Kathy Sullivan and Under Secretary of State Cathy Novelli, representatives from 14 agencies have come together to answer the President’s call to action.

The 15 recommendations being released by the task force today will:

  • Combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud at the international level by directing agencies to identify specific diplomatic, development assistance, and trade-related actions
  • Strengthen enforcement and enhance enforcement tools to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud by improving resource and information sharing and supporting risk-based targeting of illicit seafood shipments
  • Create and expand partnerships with state and local governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations to identify and eliminate seafood fraud and IUU seafood in U.S. commerce
  • Create a risk-based traceability program to track seafood from harvest to entry into the U.S. commerce to prevent entry of illegal product into the supply chain and better inform retailers and consumers.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/12/16/new-recommendations-end-pirate-fishing-and-seafood-fraud

.

bristol baybristol bay - whale tail
President Obama Protects Alaska’s Bristol Bay From Future Oil and Gas Drilling

Published on Dec 16, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama designated the pristine waters of Bristol Bay as off limits to consideration for oil and gas leasing.  This action safeguards one of the nation’s most productive fisheries and preserves an ecologically rich area of the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska that is vital to the commercial fishing and tourism economy and to Alaska Native communities.

Bristol Bay is at the heart one of the world’s most valuable fisheries, helping to provide 40 percent of America’s wild-caught seafood and support a $2 billion annual fishing industry.  The beautiful and remote area is also an economic engine for tourism in Alaska, driving $100 million in recreational fishing and tourism activity every year. Bristol Bay hosts the largest runs of wild sockeye salmon in the world, and provides important habitat for many species, including the threatened Stellar’s eider, sea otters, seals, walruses, Beluga and Killer whales, and the endangered North Pacific Right Whale.

Today’s decision to withdraw the area from all future oil and gas leasing extends indefinitely a temporary withdrawal that President Obama issued in 2010 and was set to expire in 2017.  This action builds on decades of local efforts to protect Bristol Bay from oil and gas development by Alaska Native tribes and organizations, as well as local seafood and tourism businesses that create jobs and strengthen Alaska and the nation’s economy. It also honors the legacy of Alaska residents like Harold ‘Harvey’ Samuelsen, a salmon fisherman who is legendary for his lifelong dedication to Bristol Bay and to creating economic opportunities for Alaska Native and rural communities.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/16/president-obama-protects-alaska-s-bristol-bay-future-oil-and-gas-drillin


.

5 Things You Need to Know About Alaska’s Bristol Bay

Tanya Somanader December 16, 2014 05:12 PM EST

1. BRISTOL BAY PROVIDES 40 PERCENT OF AMERICA’S WILD-CAUGHT SEAFOOD.
Bristol Bay is one of the world’s most valuable fisheries, providing 40 percent of America’s seafood and supporting up to $2 billion in commercial fishing every year.

2. BRISTOL BAY HOSTS ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST WILD SALMON RUNS.
While remote, this area is also an economic engine for tourism in Alaska. Bristol Bay drives $100 million in recreational fishing and tourism activity every year.

3. BRISTOL BAY IS HOME TO MULTIPLE THREATENED SPECIES.
Bristol Bay provides important habitat for many species, including the threatened Stellar’s eider, sea otters, seals, walruses, Beluga and Killer whales, and the endangered North Pacific Right Whale.

4. THE PRESIDENT’S ACTION PROTECTS MILLIONS OF ACRES FROM DRILLING.
The North Aleutian Basin Planning Area that includes Bristol Bay consists of about 32.5 million acres. The previous Administration set in motion a new lease sale for 2011 that would have opened approximately 5.6 million acres — about one-fifth of the planning area — for drilling. In 2010, President Obama temporarily withdrew the Bristol Bay area from oil and gas development, and today’s action extends that protection indefinitely.

5. PRESIDENT OBAMA IS NOT THE ONLY PRESIDENT TO USE HIS EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY TO PROTECT LANDS.
The President issues his temporary withdrawal in 2010 using his authority under section 12 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which gives the president authority to withdraw offshore areas from potential oil and gas leasing. President Eisenhower was the first to exercise the authority in 1960, withdrawing an area now included in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Since then, presidents on both sides of the aisle have acted to withdraw areas of the Outer Continental Shelf from oil and gas leasing.

.

Reaction to President Obama’s Presidential Memorandum

Oceana Hails Announcement as Huge Victory for Our Wallets, Health & Oceans – Oceana

NRDC Lauds Obama Drilling Ban in Alaska’s Spectacular Bristol Bay – National Resources Defense Council
 .

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


World AIDS Day 2014

11/30/2014

World AIDS Day, observed December 1 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. It is common to hold memorials to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS on this day. Government and health officials also observe the event, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_AIDS_Day

 

U.S. Office of National AIDS Policy http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/onap

* Download the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (PDF)
* Download the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Implementation Plan (PDF)
* Key activities ONAP has undertaken so far
* Next steps in developing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

* December 01, 2014 FACT SHEET: Focus, Partner, Achieve – the U.S. Commitment to Addressing HIV/AIDS


.

Presidential ProclamationWorld AIDS Day, 2014

United Nations – World AIDS Day, 1 December

Obama Biden


US Voters Deciding on Money for Wildlife Conservation

10/31/2014

VOTE_buttonVote for Conservation 2014

US voters deciding on billions for conservation

10/30/14  By JASON DEAREN – AP

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Voters across the nation are deciding whether to set aside billions of dollars for parks and preservation in what some environmentalists are calling one of the most significant elections for land conservation in American history.

Pollsters say it’s one of the few places on Tuesday’s ballots where voters of all kinds can find common ground.

The most money at stake is in Florida, California and New Jersey.

“These are highly developed and dense states, and they are watching the good natural places disappear,” said Will Rogers, president and CEO of the Trust for Public Land, which tracks and raises money for the ballot measures. “People know if they don’t step up and protect it, it will be gone.”

Nationwide, it adds up to more than $15.7 billion overall in taxes and bonds for land and water conservation, the most in a quarter-century of elections, according to the trust’s data, which was independently verified by The Associated Press.

Other states with significant conservation funding on their ballots include Utah, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oregon. There are local measures, too: voters in Larimer County, Colorado could renew a sales tax to generate $131 million over 25 years for open spaces.

“One of the things we see in this hyper-partisan age is that support for these measures can extend across party lines,” said Lori Weigel, a pollster in Denver, Colorado, who has been tracking voter preferences on this year’s measures. “There’s something appealing about conserving these natural areas, whether that’s for sportsmen like hunters or environmentalists.”

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/us-voters-decide-billions-conservation-143430202–politics.html

.

voter-protection-hotline

Polling Place Locator http://pollingplaces.democrats.org

Vote Forward

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


San Gabriel Mountains National Monument – Dedication

10/09/2014
President Obama signs the proclamation designating the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

President Obama signs the proclamation designating the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

The San Gabriel Mountains are a mountain range located in northern Los Angeles County and western San Bernardino County, California, United States. The mountain range lies between the Los Angeles Basin and the Mojave Desert, with Interstate 5 to the west and Interstate 15 to the east. This Transverse Range lies in, and is surrounded by, the Angeles National Forest, with the San Andreas Fault as the northern border of the range. The highest peak in the range is Mount San Antonio, commonly referred to as Mt. Baldy.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gabriel_Mountains

.

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Frequently Asked Questions

Potential San Gabriel Mountains National Monument:

Why do the San Gabriel Mountains need additional protection?

The San Gabriel Mountains attract over 3 million visitors a year. What many people don’t realize is just how much strain this area is under to keep up with the growing demand for outdoor space and recreation. The Los Angeles area is one of the most park poor regions of the country. As a result, the mountains are one of few places Angelenos can enjoy the outdoors, but they are under immense stress from overuse.

There is persistent trash, graffiti, safety hazards, and few visitor facilities and services in the Mountains. These conditions increase fire dangers, decrease water quality, and threaten the diverse ecology and other features that make these mountains unique in the world.

How did the idea for a national monument come about?

The need for a national monument designation is an extension of ongoing conversations over the past decade on how to protect, preserve, and enhance the San Gabriel Mountains. The many public meetings, town halls, and stakeholder roundtables over the last ten years have laid the foundation for today’s effort to achieve a national monument.

For over a decade, constituents and stakeholders in the Los Angeles area have called for increased protection of local natural resources, as well as greater community engagement with the outdoors. The National Park Service (NPS) conducted a Special Resource Study over a ten year period and recommended additional protections for the Mountains as a National Recreation Area (NRA). Rep. Chu then introduced H.R. 4858, the San Gabriel National Recreation Area Act. However, residents continue to demand tangible change. In response, Rep. Chu reached out to President Obama to help make the community’s priorities a reality at long last.

For more: http://chu.house.gov/sites/chu.house.gov/files/documents/SGNM_FAQs.pdf

.

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Will Protect Clean Water
Improve Healthy Outdoor Recreation in Nation’s Largest Urban Backyard

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A diverse partnership of cities, residents and organizations applaud the announcement that President Barack Obama will designate a San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. The San Gabriel Mountains, north of Los Angeles within the Angeles National Forest, provide one-third of the region’s clean water supply and 70 percent of the region’s open space.

“For more than a decade, community support has steadily grown for the permanent protection of the San Gabriel Mountains,” said Andre Quintero, Mayor of El Monte, located in the San Gabriel Valley. “On behalf of San Gabriel Valley residents, I want to thank Congresswoman Judy Chu and the California delegation, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and President Obama for working with our communities to make that vision a reality.”

For more: http://www.sangabrielmountains.org/home/san_gabriel_mountains_national_monument_will_protect_clean_water_and

san gabriel monument

.

 National Monuments Designated by President Obama

.

Friday, October 10, 2014
President Obama signs a proclamation establishing the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


The Wilderness Act of 1964 – 50th Anniversary

09/01/2014

lbj-signs-wilderness-act
The Wilderness Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–577) was written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society. It created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected 9.1 million acres (36,000 km²) of federal land. The result of a long effort to protect federal wilderness and to create a formal mechanism for designating wilderness, the Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964 after over sixty drafts and eight years of work. When Johnson signed the act, he made the following statement: “If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.”

The Wilderness Act is well known for its succinct and poetic definition of wilderness:

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

When Congress passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act on September 3, 1964, it created the National Wilderness Preservation System. The initial statutory wilderness areas, designated in the Act, comprised 9.1 million acres (37,000 km²) of national forest wilderness areas in the United States of America previously protected by administrative orders.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilderness_Act

.

U.S. Forest Service to Mark 50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act

January 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM Posted by Tiffany Holloway, Office of Communication, U.S. Forest Service

Editor’s Note: Throughout the year, we will highlight Forest Service wilderness areas in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act of 1964.

It’s pretty amazing that you can be in the busy college town of Carbondale, Ill., one minute, then roughly an hour’s ride away be at the gateway to one of our wilderness areas.

This year is the golden anniversary of the Wilderness Act, signed on Sept. 3, 1964, by President Lyndon Johnson. The act established the country’s National Wilderness Preservation System. So, on Sept. 3, 2014, lovers of wildlands will celebrate the landmark event that made history.

Today, America boasts 758 wilderness areas covering almost 110 million acres. The Forest Service alone manages 440 wilderness areas. They make up a third of the entire National Forest System.

“This anniversary year provides a wonderful opportunity for us to re-affirm our commitment to wilderness stewardship and to engage the public, particularly youth, in opportunities for a better understanding and appreciation of wilderness benefits — clean air and water, natural settings, critical plant and wildlife habitat, solitude, recreation, spiritual renewal, and economic benefits,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.

For more:   http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/01/16/u-s-forest-service-to-mark-50th-anniversary-of-wilderness-act/

.

..

“Fifty years ago, a forward-thinking Nation came together, a President put pen to paper, and a great society secured an enduring gift for future generations. Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964, the Wilderness Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act began a new era of American conservation. Together, they set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of Federal land for the use and enjoyment of the American people and recognized our obligation to preserve a piece of our original and unspoiled splendor for posterity. For the first time, our Nation defined vast stretches of our continent as wilderness and codified the simple premise that when we take something from the earth, we have a responsibility to give something back. On the anniversary of this environmental milestone, we reflect on our rich tradition of stewardship, which has preserved the wild and scenic places we enjoy today, and renew our commitment to advancing our country’s legacy of conservation in our own time.

Our Nation’s wilderness shaped the growth of our country and the character and spirit of our people. Early pioneers explored its expanse as they pushed westward, and its natural bounty sustained settlers who found new land and new opportunities for prosperity. Today our vast wilderness — which has grown to more than 109 million protected acres — provides laboratories for our researchers and classrooms for our students pursuing new frontiers of science, medicine, and technology. This land is the habitat for our Nation’s diverse flora and fauna and refuge for Americans of all ages. And it supports recreation and tourism that strengthen our economy.

My Administration continues to pursue a conservation agenda for the 21st century. During my first year as President, I designated over 2 million acres of wilderness and more than 1,000 miles of rivers. And earlier this year, I established the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, marking the eleventh time I have used my Executive authority to protect our pristine landscapes and historic and cultural heritage.”

8/29/14 President Obama 

.

50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act Commemoration Events

Let’s Move! – Outside 

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


2014 Pres Obama’s Year of Action vs GOP Abandoning the 99%

06/27/2014

Jon Stewart takes down GOP “warfare queens”

The GOP are starring in the play “A Streetcar Named We’re Always Wrong”

JUN 27, 2014 SARAH GRAY – SALON

Last night Jon Stewart destroyed the GOP’s hypocrisy when it comes to readily spending on nation building (military interventions everywhere), but their desire to block nation building when it is our own country (infrastructure, healthcare, gun control).

“I’m really worried about the Republicans,” Stewart explained. “Their inability to wean themselves off of military intervention. They have a culture of defendency, if you will. And I believe it’s turned them all into warfare queens. And I think we need to cut them off for their own good.”

After plenty of mocking of John McCain (“We are the party of hell no!”), Stewart turned his eyes to another GOP leader who could uses some serious weaning off the military industrial complex: Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

GOP_Elephant_WRONG_WAY_smallWHAT GOP CONGRESS HAS DONE in 2014 FOR 99% OF  AMERICANS

.

Pres Obama Year of Action

President Obama is Taking Action

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama affirmed that this would be “A Year of Action” to help ensure opportunity for all Americans.

Since January, the President has taken more than 20 actions on his own to help build real, lasting economic security for the middle class and expand opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead:

VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2014

Obama_Biden_thumbnail


U.S. Using Trade Pacts to Fight Wildlife Poaching

06/23/2014

US Fight Against Ivory Poaching - 1US Fight Against Ivory Poaching - 2US Fight Against Ivory Poaching - 3

6 tons of seized ivory to be crushed in Denver

Federal wildlife officials plan to crush more than 6 tons of seized ivory in Denver next month

9/10/13 20 minutes ago Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — Federal wildlife officials plan to crush more than 6 tons of ivory in Denver as part of a new push by the United States to combat illegal wildlife trafficking worldwide.

The ivory that is being stored in a warehouse near Denver was seized around the country in an effort to block imports of tusks from elephants that have been slaughtered for their ivory.

The seized items include large balls of ivory delicately carved in layers and whole tusks that have been sculpted into pagodas and scenes from daily life.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said publicly crushing the expensive smuggled tusks and carvings is part of an effort to put an end to what has become a $10 billion illegal industry. Steve Oberholtzer, the agency’s Denver-based special agent in charge, is lining up rock-grinders to pulverize the ivory in October.

Governments cooperating with the efforts to stem the slaughter of elephants already have destroyed some of the ivory seized from poachers, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Monday at a White House forum where the initiative was launched.

“The U.S. supports these actions, and we want to make sure we are doing the same,” Jewell said.

President Barack Obama issued an order July 1 to fight the killing of protected wildlife, stop the trafficking, and reduce demand for illegal rhino horns and ivory. Members of a newly created advisory council sketched a broad approach of enlisting governments, companies and nonprofits worldwide, the Denver Post reported Tuesday (http://tinyurl.com/pzmcz9g).

U.S. officials said they will also give $10 million to help fight poaching in Africa and will try to persuade Asian governments to outlaw trinkets and other products made from elephant ivory.

Tactics being considered include using technology to monitor elephants, a social media campaign in China to stigmatize the industry, and cooperation with companies such as eBay to curb commerce.

The National Wildlife Property Repository at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado holds smuggled wildlife parts seized at seaports, border crossings and airports nationwide. Other items seized include leopard and tiger heads, bear claws and crocodile boots.

For more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/6-tons-seized-ivory-crushed-133249566.html

.

What Ivory Crush Supporters are Saying:

“Rising demand for ivory is fueling a renewed and horrific slaughter of elephants in Africa, threatening remaining populations across the continent. We will continue to work aggressively with the Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies around the world to investigate, arrest and prosecute criminals who traffic in ivory. We encourage other nations to join us both in destroying confiscated ivory stockpiles and taking other actions to combat wildlife crime.”

Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior

.

“The United States is part of the problem, because much of the world’s trade in wild animal and plant species – both legal and illegal – is driven by U.S. consumers or passes through our ports on the way to other nations. We have to be part of the solution. The species and habitats of our planet support billions of people and drive the world’s economy. We all have a stake in ensuring their survival.

Similar demand for elephant ivory in the past led to devastating declines in the number of these giant animals, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s. Though many populations showed signs of recovery due to increased protections in the 1990s, rising global demand for ivory is erasing those hard-fought gains.”

Dan Ashe, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

..

“Our special agents and wildlife inspectors are on the frontlines in the fight to combat ivory trafficking here in the U.S. They took the ivory destroyed today out of the hands of criminals and out of the global marketplace.”

William C. Woody, Assistant Director for Law Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

.

“I hope the media and everyone who attends or hears about this “Ivory Crush” will spread the message far and wide: Elephants across their range are suffering horribly, and we are losing them at a terrifying rate. They could become extinct.

Do not buy ivory products. Support conservation efforts. We must all do what we can.

I commend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for organizing this event and wish I could be there in person.”

Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace

.

America is showing great leadership, and crushing the national ivory stockpile is of huge symbolic importance. By removing that ivory from the

market for ever, it will send a strong message to the world that ivory cannot be a commodity if elephants are to survive.

Ian Douglas-Hamilton, OBE, Founder and CEO, Save the Elephants

.

“By destroying our domestic stocks of ivory, we send a very clear signal that these illegally- traded products should not be perceived as items of value. The terrible and criminal trade in these products is destroying wildlife species that are invaluable to us and to future generations; it is also undermining global security. The Justice Department views wildlife trafficking as a serious crime, and is committed to using every tool it has, under the Lacey Act, the Endangered Species Act, and other applicable laws, to stop this international criminal activity.”Robert G. Dreher Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

“Wildlife trafficking is not just a conservation problem. It is an economic problem, a health problem, and a security problem. The State Department applauds the Department of Interior’s ivory crush for sending a strong signal to the world of the U.S. commitment to ending this pernicious trade. We will continue lead international efforts to this end.”

Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

.

“By crushing its contraband ivory tusks and trinkets, the U.S. government sends a signal that it will not tolerate the senseless killing of elephants,” “Other countries need to join the United States, Gabon, Kenya and the Philippines to take a stand against the crime syndicates behind this slaughter.”

Carter Roberts, President and CEO, World Wildlife Fund

.

“The destruction of the U.S. ivory stockpile speaks loud and clear to those who value ivory more than saving the elephant species from extinction. IFAW commends the government’s action that underscores the critical role the U.S. can play in ending the illegal ivory trade.”

Azzedine Downes, CEO, International Fund for Animal Welfare

.

“In 1989 awareness around the international ivory ban cut demand and poaching fell immediately. Destroying seized ivory is one method of drawing attention to the current crisis. Laws and enforcement can only do so much. It is vital to reach consumers. Simply put, when the buying stops, the killing can too.”

Peter Knights, WildAid Executive Director

US Using Trade Pacts to Fight Wildlife Poaching

June 17, 2014 7:12 AM VOAnews

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said wildlife poaching is funding terrorism and corruption.

For that reason, Froman said, the U.S. considers poaching a threat to global security because it’s driven by criminal elements, including terrorists using profits from items such as rhinoceros horns and elephant tusks to finance their activities.

To meet the threat, U.S. officials are emphasizing the environmental component of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that the United States is negotiating with 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Froman said in a Reuters report.

Similar efforts are also part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement with the European Union, Reuters reported.

Froman spoke at a news conference at Kennedy Airport in New York Monday, standing next to a table heaped with illegal wildlife goods seized by U.S. customs officials.

They included stuffed lion and leopard heads, animal skins and figurines carved out of ivory.

Froman said terrorists use money gained from the illegal wildlife trade in Africa and Asia to fund their deadly activities.

U.S. officials have said they are working to reduce demand for illegal animal products at home and abroad, including Asia, where some believe such goods as powdered rhinoceros have medicinal benefits.

“The high demand for wildlife products is having a devastating impact, with iconic species like elephants and rhinos facing the risk of significant decline or even extinction,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a statement reported by Reuters.

“The president’s strategy to combat wildlife trafficking, including decreasing demand at home and abroad, is important to strengthen our nation’s leadership on countering the global security threat posed by the criminal markets that encourage poaching and illegal trade,” Jewell said.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 296 other followers