Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Applaud efforts against global wildlife trafficking.
During his visit to Tanzania, United States President Barack Obama announced that his administration would make increased efforts to fight wildlife trafficking. The President accurately describes the poaching and illegal trade of wild animals as “an international crisis that continues to escalate.” Wildlife trafficking deprives communities of economic, social, and environmental benefits that healthy ecosystems and diverse wildlife species bring. These consumptive and non-consumptive benefits associated with wildlife species must be ensured across the world.
President Obama has issued a new executive order that pledges $10 million to combat illegal wildlife trade. The executive order also creates an interagency Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking that will work to develop a national strategy to fight this crime. The Task Force aims to improve the organization of the US government regarding the issue of wildlife trafficking, and to foster increased cooperation with international governments, including Tanzania’s. An eight member Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking made up of people from both public and private sectors and nongovernmental organizations will provide ongoing advice and assistance.
The executive order acknowledges that poaching operations are no longer only small-scale opportunistic actions. Wildlife trafficking has expanded, especially in African countries, to coordinated mass killing and collecting of wild animals employed by armed organized crime groups. Billions of dollars in illicit revenues are generated every year by wildlife trafficking. The wildlife trade contributes to the illegal economy, often funding violent militias, increasing social instability, and undermining governance and the rule of the law.
President Obama’s administration began implementing the order within twenty-four hours of it being signed, demonstrating the seriousness of the promise. Please sign this petition to applaud the environmentally conscious executive order of the US President.
Dear President Barack Obama,
I would like to commend you for making the fight against global wildlife trafficking a priority of your administration. Thank you for acknowledging that poaching and selling wild animals is threatening wildlife with the endangerment of extinction in Africa and the rest of the world. By issuing an executive order that pledges financial support and proposes a viable strategy, you are demonstrating your ability to be a progressive and responsible world leader who takes action in conservation.
The executive order discloses the seriousness of wildlife trafficking by addressing the social, economic, and environmental consequences that are interconnected with its practice. Your action will educate our nation and others on the detrimental effects of the illegal wildlife trade. Communities throughout the world will benefit from increased protection of their natural resources. Please continue in leading your administration in its admirable goal of helping other countries to build their capacity to enforce anti-poaching laws and stop illicit wildlife trade. Thank you for giving environmental conservationists hope for the protection of all living things.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Peet van Schalkwyk via Flickr.