U.S. Using Trade Pacts to Fight Wildlife Poaching

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

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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

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“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.

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26 thoughts on “U.S. Using Trade Pacts to Fight Wildlife Poaching

  1. WH

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    Vice President Biden ceremonially swears in Sylvia Mathews Burwell as United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
    Roosevelt Room

    12:45 PM
    Press Briefing by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:20 PM
    President Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Hagel
    Oval Office

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    6:30 PM
    President Obama hosts the 2013 The Presidents Cup Teams
    East Room

    7:00 PM
    Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden host a reception for members of the LGBT Community
    Naval Observatory

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. U.S. Using Trade Pacts to Fight Wildlife Poaching

    July 01, 2013

    Executive Order — Combating Wildlife Trafficking

    EXECUTIVE ORDER

    – – – – – – –

    COMBATING WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to address the significant effects of wildlife trafficking on the national interests of the United States, I hereby order as follows:

    Section 1. Policy. The poaching of protected species and the illegal trade in wildlife and their derivative parts and products (together known as “wildlife trafficking”) represent an international crisis that continues to escalate. Poaching operations have expanded beyond small-scale, opportunistic actions to coordinated slaughter commissioned by armed and organized criminal syndicates. The survival of protected wildlife species such as elephants, rhinos, great apes, tigers, sharks, tuna, and turtles has beneficial economic, social, and environmental impacts that are important to all nations. Wildlife trafficking reduces those benefits while generating billions of dollars in illicit revenues each year, contributing to the illegal economy, fueling instability, and undermining security. Also, the prevention of trafficking of live animals helps us control the spread of emerging infectious diseases. For these reasons, it is in the national interest of the United States to combat wildlife trafficking.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/07/01/executive-order-combating-wildlife-trafficking

    • 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

    • 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.

    • Major U.S. airlines end trophy hunter shipments after Cecil outcry

      8/4/15 Suzannah Gonzales, Jeffrey Dastin, Joe Brock, Tiisetso Motsoeneng Victoria Bryan – Reuters

      NEW YORK (Reuters) – Three U.S. airlines have banned the transport of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo killed by trophy hunters, in the latest fallout from the killing of Zimbabwe’s Cecil the lion last month.

      American Airlines said on Tuesday it would join Delta Airlines and United Airlines in banning the transport of animals known in Africa as the “big five”, coined by hunters because they are the hardest to kill on foot.

      There has been an international outcry against trophy hunting among animal lovers since it emerged that American dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil, a rare black-maned lion that was a familiar sight at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.

      Delta Air Lines Inc, the only American airline to fly directly between the United States and Johannesburg, will also review policies on accepting other hunting trophies with government agencies and other organizations that support legal shipments, it said.

      Even before the killing of Cecil the lion, campaigners had called for major cargo airlines to halt shipments of endangered species killed by trophy hunters.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/cecil-outcry-major-u-airlines-end-trophy-hunter-071812545–finance.html

  3. I pray they are successful in stopping or at least slowing down this awful violence against animals. Thx for post, Isaac.

  4. Consumer Confidence in U.S. Increases to Highest Since 2008

    Jun 24, 2014 8:00 AM PT By Nina Glinski – bloomberg

    Consumer confidence in the U.S. rose in June to the highest level in more than six years as an improving job market bolsters households.

    The Conference Board’s index climbed to 85.2, the strongest reading since January 2008, from 82.2 in May, the New York-based private research group said today. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 83.5 in June.

    Fewer firings, gains in employment and record stock prices are underpinning attitudes, brightening the outlook for consumer spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy. A strengthening labor market also helps brace Americans against rising costs for food and fuel that are pinching household finances.

    “More and more consumers seem to recognize that there’s some improvement under way in the labor markets,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, who projected an 84.4 reading for sentiment. “The job market has been slow to improve and now that things are finally picking up, we’re beginning to see that in the consumer confidence numbers.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-24/consumer-confidence-index-in-u-s-increased-to-85-2-in-june.html

  5. Sales of New U.S. Homes Surged in May to Highest Since 2008

    Jun 24, 2014 7:21 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

    Purchases of new homes in the U.S. rose in May by the most in 22 years, indicating the industry is rebounding from a winter-induced lull at the start of the year.

    Sales increased 18.6 percent, the biggest one-month gain since January 1992, to a 504,000 annualized pace, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The reading exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of 74 economists and was the strongest since May 2008.

    Today’s report, following data yesterday that showed a pickup in existing home sales, shows housing is gathering momentum as employment improves and borrowing costs stabilize. Builders such as Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (HOV) are optimistic the recovery is on track after harsh weather in early 2014 hurt demand.

    “Housing is beginning to revive,” said Stephanie Karol, an economist at IHS Global Insight, the top forecaster of new home sales in the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “It’s a step in the right direction. The job market is helping, and there was an expansion of supply the past couple of months.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-24/sales-of-new-u-s-homes-surged-in-may-to-highest-since-2008.html

  6. 12:00 PM ET
    Vice President Biden ceremonially swears in Sylvia Mathews Burwell as United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
    Roosevelt Room

  7. June 23, 2014

    Readout of the Vice President’s Call with His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain

    Vice President Biden spoke today with King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain. The Vice President underscored America’s commitment to a partnership with Bahrain that has spanned seven decades, as well as America’s enduring and overlapping interests in Bahrain’s security, stability, and reform.

    The Vice President and the King also discussed the situation in Iraq. They agreed on the need for Iraqi leaders to set aside sectarian agendas and come together to confront the serious security threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/23/readout-vice-presidents-call-his-majesty-king-hamad-bin-isa-al-khalifa-b

  8. June 23, 2014

    Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan

    Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today to discuss the situation in Iraq and Syria. The two leaders agreed that the advance of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) extremists in Iraq poses a grave threat. The Vice President underscored that the United States deplores the actions taken by ISIL, calls for the safe and immediate return of all hostages, including the Turkish diplomatic personnel and civilians taken by ISIL, and supports efforts by the Iraqi people to work together to combat the ISIL threat. The Vice President and Prime Minister agreed on the need to continue consulting closely on the situation in Iraq and Syria in the days and weeks ahead.

    • June 24, 2014

      Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice at the White House Forum on Global LGBT Human Rights

      It’s great to be here, and particularly great to see such a wonderful collection of faith leaders, human rights activists, private sector representatives and colleagues in government all in one place. Protecting and upholding human rights, especially for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters, is work to which we all are called, so thank you, thank you so much for joining us here today.

      The inexhaustible pursuit of equality, the drive to expand opportunity, the unshakeable conviction that human dignity and human rights are the natural endowment of all humankind—these are qualities that are fundamental to our American character. For many Americans, they are also essential to our personal story. I would not be standing here today if those who came before me had not pried open doors that had long been shut to people who look like me. So, I feel a responsibility and a personal passion to help others enjoy the same opportunities that I have been blessed to receive. It’s what drives me as a public servant and as a mother, because I do not want my children, or anyone else’s, to have their life choices limited by how they look, who they worship, or whom they love.

      Universal human rights are not bestowed by governments or powerful majorities, they are God’s gift and the birth right of all people. They belong to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women as surely as they belong to anyone in the human family. As President Obama has said so eloquently, “If we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

      It offends our common humanity when men or women anywhere in the world are beaten or abused, or when individuals anywhere have their rights restricted because of who they are. And, it doesn’t just harm those who are targeted. It rends the bonds that knit society together. Trust recedes; suspicion spreads. Entire countries are deprived of vital contributions from citizens in minority groups.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/24/remarks-national-security-advisor-susan-e-rice-white-house-forum-global-

    • June 24, 2014

      Remarks by the President at the President’s Cup Reception

      East Room

      7:01 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, everybody. Well, welcome to the White House. And thank you, Mr. Commissioner, for the introduction. I am joined by two of my favorite golf partners, the Vice President, Joe Biden, and the Speaker of the House, John Boehner. In each instance, they have to give me strokes. My good friend, former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, is with us as well. Where’s Ray? He was back here somewhere. Well, okay. He probably went out because it’s a nice day to play, and we should actually be outside. (Laughter.)

      Let me make a couple of observations. First of all, I’m not used to seeing these guys in suits. Spieth told me that this is the first suit he’s ever bought. (Laughter.) I’m pointing out Jordan now because they might card him later at the reception. (Laughter.) We’ve got some outstanding players, both on the American team and the international team. We’ve got extraordinary veterans like Ernie Els and Tiger Woods. We’ve got rookies like Jordan. We’ve got last year’s team captains — Fred Couples from the United States, and Nick Price for the world. We’ve got next year’s captains — Jay Haas for the Americans, and Nick Price for the world.

      Now, last year was the second time I’d been honorary chairman of the President’s Cup. The United States won both times. I’m just saying. (Laughter.) As much as I’d like to take all the credit, the truth is that the U.S. has now beaten the international team in five straight tournaments. Any comment on that, Joe? Okay, I didn’t think so. (Laughter.)

      I do want to give the international team credit for keeping things interesting. After two days of match play, the U.S. led by only a point. And for those of you at home who don’t exactly follow international team golf, that means it was close. But on the morning of day three, the Americans won four of five matches. And on Sunday, Tiger clinched the victory for the third straight President’s Cup. So we are extraordinarily proud of our President’s Cup team. We hope our World Cup team takes a page out of their playbook when they take on Germany this Thursday.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/24/remarks-president-presidents-cup-reception

  9. 7:00 PM ET
    Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden host a reception for members of the LGBT Community
    Naval Observatory

  10. *******************
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    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” Mississippi Freedom Summer Murders – 50th Anniversary″

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