The conference closed on Oct. 4th with the adoption of the Lima Declaration, signed by 20 countries
Scroll down for English version of Lima Declaration; Click here for Spanish version
The following statement is by Padu Franco, WCS Regional Director, Andes, Amazon, Orinoco:
"Tens of millions of wild animals are traded illegally in and from Latin America every year. The high demand for live species or their parts contributes to the extinction of species, instability in communities and their livelihoods, and to the loss and degradation of ecosystems essential for human well-being.
“The illegal trade of wild animals and their parts gravely harms efforts to achieve sustainable development in the region and, in particular, that of the communities that depend directly on nature.
“At WCS, we are committed to reducing this crime and supporting governments in weakening the networks involved in the trafficking of species along the entire illegal chain from harvest to final sale. We help generate information that helps to understand the dynamics of animal trafficking in the Americas and its growing exchange with markets in Asia and other continents, and we share and disseminate information that promotes the active involvement of civil society and a decrease in demand by changing consumer behavior. In addition, we work with local communities to promote the sustainable use of their resources and generating alternatives that address the opportunity cost of being involved in these illegal activities.
“The First High Level Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade in the Americas has allowed us to share information on the dynamics of species trafficking in the region, and learn about the tools used in the various transit and destination countries to disrupt these dynamics. Above all, the conference created a dialogue with the participating countries and the governmental and non-governmental organizations on the main challenges and needs that must be considered in order to effectively and efficiently combat this crime together.
“While this conference has marked a milestone in terms of efforts to reduce wildlife trafficking, it should be seen as a result of years of work by local and regional institutions on the subject.
“We are convinced that all the progress made by and in the countries of the Americas to combat species trafficking will be strengthened with the proposal for joint work included in the Lima Declaration . The declaration demonstrates the urgency and relevance of this issue and, in turn, presents the commitments assumed by the countries to combat it at the regional level.
“From WCS, we will continue to support the initiatives led by governments such as this conference and its resulting declaration, as well as working through key actions to combat species trafficking around the world.”
DECLARACIÓN DE MEDIOS: WCS sobre la I Conferencia de Alto Nivel de las Américas sobre Comercio Ilegal de Vida Silvestre
La Conferencia cerró con la firma de la Declaración de Lima suscrita por 20 países
LIMA, Perú (10 Octubre 2019) – La siguiente declaración de Padu Franco, Director Regional de los Andes, la Amazonía y la Orinoquía de WCS:
“Cada año se comercializan de manera ilegal decenas de millones de animales silvestres en y desde América Latina. La alta demanda de especies vivas o de partes de ellas contribuye a la extinción de las especies, la inestabilidad en las comunidades y sus medios de subsistencia, y a la pérdida y degradación progresiva de ecosistemas esenciales para el bienestar humano.
“El comercio ilegal de animales silvestres, y sus partes, perjudica seriamente los esfuerzos para lograr el desarrollo sostenible de la región, y en particular el de las comunidades que dependen directamente de la naturaleza”.
“En WCS estamos comprometidos con reducir este delito, apoyando a los gobiernos en el debilitamiento de las redes involucradas en el tráfico de especies a lo largo de toda la cadena ilegal; desde el suministro hasta la venta final. Ayudamos a generar información que ayude a comprender la dinámica del tráfico de animales en las Américas y su creciente intercambio con mercados en Asia y otros continentes, y compartimos y difundimos información que promueva el involucramiento activo de la sociedad civil y una disminución de la demanda mediante el cambio de comportamiento de los consumidores. Adicionalmente, trabajamos con las comunidades locales para promover el uso sostenible de sus recursos y generando alternativas que hagan frente al costo de oportunidad de involucrarse en estas actividades ilegales”.
“La I Conferencia de Alto Nivel de las Américas sobre Comercio Ilegal de Vida Silvestre nos ha permitido compartir información sobre las dinámicas del tráfico de especies en la región, y conocer las herramientas utilizadas en los diversos países de tránsito y destino para interrumpir estas dinámicas. Sobre todo, la conferencia generó un diálogo con los países participantes y las organizaciones gubernamentales y no gubernamentales sobre los principales retos y necesidades que se deben considerar para poder combatir efectiva y eficientemente este delito de manera conjunta”.
“Si bien esta Conferencia ha marcado un hito en cuanto a los esfuerzos para reducir el tráfico de animales silvestres, debe verse como resultado de años de trabajo por parte de las instituciones locales y regionales en el tema”.
“Estamos convencidos que todos los avances llevados a cabo por y en los países de las Américas para luchar contra el tráfico de especies serán fortalecidos con la propuesta de trabajo conjunto incluida en la Declaración de Lima. Declaración que evidencia la urgencia y relevancia de este tema y a su vez presenta los compromisos asumidos por los países para combatirlo a nivel regional”.
“Desde WCS continuaremos apoyando iniciativas lideradas por los gobiernos como esta Conferencia y su consecuente Declaración, así como trabajando con acciones claves para combatir el tráfico de especies alrededor del mundo.”
LIMA DECLARATION ON ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE
The representatives of Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organizations that convened in Lima, Peru, on 3 and 4 October 2019, highlight the importance for the region of this First High Level Conference of the Americas on Illegal Wildlife Trade and its role for the Americas in taking forward and building upon commitments made in the Declaration of the London 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference.
Recalling United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 69/314 of 2015, 70/301 of 2016 and 71/326 of 2017 and welcoming the adoption at its 73rd session of its fourth Resolution 73/343 of 2019 on illicit trafficking in wildlife.
Welcoming other concrete measures taken by the United Nations to drive actions to combat illegal wildlife trade, in particular the adoption by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice of resolution 28/3 of 22 May, 2019 on "Strengthening regional and international cooperation in crime prevention and criminal justice responses to trafficking in wildlife" of the ECOSOC.
Welcoming the resolutions and the Decisions adopted by the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at its Eighteenth Conference of the Parties (CoP18), in particular those relating to combating the illegal trade in vulnerable wildlife species and species endemic to the Americas and the conservation of wildlife and the ecosystems that support it.
Reaffirming our support for the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi targets, as well as the post 2020 process of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Welcoming the commitments made by Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations that have adopted the London 2014, Kasane 2015, Hanoi 2016, London 2018 and Santa Cruz de la Sierra 2019 Declarations on illegal wildlife trade, we reaffirm our determination to continue to implement those commitments.
Recognizing the cooperation of relevant international entities and conventions such as the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) formed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Bank (WB), the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) , the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Also, the role of local and international non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, regional compliance and enforcement networks and the private sector in combating illegal wildlife trade.
We call on the regional and international community to take urgent and coordinated action in the Americas and in other parts of the world in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade and to recognize it as a serious crime that has adverse consequences for the species and ecosystems of the region and for the economy, security and well-being of its indigenous peoples and local populations.
Recognizing that the Region contains nine of the world's megadiverse countries, 55 of the world's 195 terrestrial and freshwater ecoregions, 20% of the key areas for biodiversity identified worldwide, and nearly 25% of the 14,000 taxonomic group species assessed as being at high risk of extinction (IPBES 2018).
Conscious that the survival of many species in the region is threatened by transnational criminal networks engaged in trafficking of wildlife and its parts, products and derivatives, including poaching and other illegal forms of extraction of fauna and flora and recognizing that these criminal groups may be associated with other illicit activities such as illegal logging, illegal fishing and illegal mining, drug and arms trafficking, money laundering and corruption.
Remaining concerned about the serious consequences that the illegal wildlife trade has for the conservation of the region's biodiversity and cultural heritage, the livelihoods and well-being of indigenous peoples and local populations, and its adverse social and economic effects that seriously undermine the efforts to achieve the sustainable development for the region and its peoples. And further, the significantly increased risk of introduction of invasive species and transmission of disease to wildlife and to people by the illegal and uncontrolled movement of wild specimens, and the potentially devastating impacts this can have on ecosystems, economies and populations.
Recognizing that the illegal wildlife trade is rapidly evolving and adapting, and requires greater and more urgent efforts to prevent it and its impacts on wildlife and ecosystems.
Aware that greater regional efforts are needed to fight the illegal trade in wildlife in a coordinated and effective manner and to undertake a multidimensional response to this crime and recognizing the role that regional cooperation plays in ensuring that the region has concrete actions and mechanisms in place to fight this crime head on.
Conscious that the main problems the Americas face in relation to the illegal trade in wildlife are inter alia: (i) a general lack of information about, and understanding of, the dynamics of the illegal wildlife trade, (ii) a limited appreciation of the importance of the contribution of wildlife to sustainable development and ecosystem services, (iii) a lack of recognition of the role of organized crime in the illegal wildlife trade in the region, (iv) poor enforcement of existing legal frameworks and limited related sanctions that do not act as a deterrent, (v) a lack of regional and transnational mechanisms to enable coordinated action to combat this crime, (vi) insufficient international recognition and cooperation to support national efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade, and (vii) lack of effective strategies to change behavior and reduce demand for illegally traded wildlife.
We, the representatives of Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations, express our firm and determined political commitment to adopt and promote the following measures as appropriate:
1. Recognize poaching and the illegal trade in wildlife as serious crimes in national legislation and regulations, and apply penalties and fines that are consistent with the serious nature of the crime.
2. Address wildlife crime linked to the internet with effective penalties and sanctions.
3. Adopt the use of financial investigation techniques and support public-private partnerships to identify the illicit financial flows and the criminal organizations, and their networks associated with illegal wildlife trafficking.
4. Take measures to identify and address the risk of corruption linked to the illegal wildlife trade.
5. Strengthen the public institutions engaged in combatting the illegal trade in wildlife and support concrete and effective action by them to prevent the supply of and reduce the demand for illegally traded wildlife and their products, including in natural protected areas.
6. Develop strategies to eradicate the demand for and supply of illegal wildlife products and promote zero-tolerance for wildlife trafficking and related crimes.
7. Promote the strengthening of cross-border and regional cooperation enforcement networks to improve the coordination and the investigation, prosecution and punishment of wildlife crime.
8. Promote consultation and collaboration between countries sharing borders and ecological zones.
9. Develop studies to determine the distribution and population density of species affected by illegal trade and improve the collection and report of relevant legal and illegal wildlife trade data.
10. Develop and make use of innovative new technologies and tools that can facilitate the identification and control of illegal trade in species, their parts and derivatives.
11. Incorporate measures to address illegal wildlife trade within development and planning policies and in the programming of cooperation activities.
12. Establish and strengthen mechanisms and procedures that facilitate the legal and sustainable use of wildlife.
13. Promote the exchange of experience and good practice in the prevention and control of illegal trade in wildlife and their products.
14. Encourage active participation and close collaboration with indigenous peoples, local communities, civil society organizations, and the private sector to create strategic public-private relationships that help develop strategies to achieve changes in behavior and the reduction of demand for illegal wildlife and their products and to develop alternative means of economic development, and work with them to address this crime in a coordinated, effective, and urgent manner.
15. Promote the development and application of educational materials and programs for use in particular in school and youth education that develop understanding of the importance of the protection and conservation of wildlife.
16. Take appropriate action to ensure that the business and private sectors act responsibly in obtaining all wildlife products used in its productive activities and adopts zero tolerance policies with respect to the use of specimens, parts and products originating from illegal trade, in accordance with each country's legislation.
17. Strengthen national management and investigative institutions, mechanisms and capacities, including those related to justice and enforcement.
18. Promote collaboration and the exchange of information and knowledge in all fields in order to combat this crime effectively.
19. Encourage donor countries, agencies and international financial institutions to contribute to the implementation of this Declaration, through the provision of funding and technical assistance in support of countries' national, cross-border and subregional efforts.
20. Participate in, and strengthen the Central American and Dominican Republic Wildlife Enforcement Network (CAWEN or ROAVIS), the North American Wildlife Enforcement Group (NAWEG), the Caribbean Wildlife Enforcement Network (CaribWEN) and the South American Wildlife Enforcement Network (SudWEN) and foster cooperation among them.
21. Declare the jaguar (Panthera onca) an emblematic species of the Americas, because of its importance in maintaining natural landscapes and ecosystem functionality, and because it represents a spiritual and cultural icon of many peoples throughout their area of distribution and a symbol of the fight against illegal wildlife trade.
Welcome the offer of Colombia to organize the Second High Level Conference of the Americas on Illegal Wildlife Trade in 2021.