NEW YORK (Oct. 5, 2015) – Today, the United States joined 11 other Pacific Rim countries in signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an international trade agreement which includes strong wildlife trafficking provisions within its environmental chapter.
The following statement was released today by WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper:
“WCS is heartened to see in TPP the adoption a comprehensive free-trade agreement that includes potentially strong and enforceable commitments on combating wildlife trafficking, and implementing the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and we commend the President and the U.S. Trade Representative for pushing to include those provisions.
“We expect that the agreement also addresses illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The overexploitation of our marine resources threatens numerous endangered species including sharks and whales, as well as the well-being of those who rely on the oceans for their livelihoods.
“We now look to the 12 signatory countries to keep to the terms of the agreement. If implemented rigorously, there is strong potential for this free trade agreement to impact wildlife in a positive way. Wildlife trafficking is a global problem, but Asia and the Pacific Rim are areas of particular concern. There are many species in those countries that are being decimated by wildlife trafficking, including tigers and pangolins, and much of the rest of the world’s endangered wildlife flows through the markets of that region. We cannot stem the global trade of wildlife without working hand in hand with Asian and Pacific Rim countries.
“There is obviously much more work to be done. Although anti-poaching efforts much be enhanced, it is also vital to stop the criminal trafficking in illegal wildlife (whether ivory or other products), and the TPP has tremendous potential to assist that effort.
“We look forward to working with the Administration to make sure these conservation provisions are implemented successfully and ensuring the signatory countries are accountable to the terms of the agreement.”
WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.