Earlier today, I joined Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton for an event here at the White House to discuss efforts to combat wildlife trafficking.
Wildlife trafficking is a growing crisis. Since 2007, the trade has doubled in size and is now one of the most lucrative types of transnational organized crime in the world. Billions of dollars are made every year off the trade of illegal animal goods, and animal populations are being decimated in the process, while criminal syndicates and terrorist groups profit. As the trade grows, poachers are using increasingly powerful and sophisticated weapons, and traffickers are exploiting porous borders, corrupt officials, and weak institutions to profit from protected animals. At the same time, local economies that depend on wildlife tourism are being threatened.
At this afternoon’s event, we discussed the Administration’s efforts to counter wildlife trafficking as well as opportunities for public-private collaboration. Secretary Jewell also announced the members of the Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking, which was formed in response to the President's Executive Order of July 1 that charted a path forward to increase U.S. efforts to counter poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. The Advisory Council, comprised of private-sector leaders, nonprofit organizations, and former government officials, will make recommendations to the Administration on wildlife trafficking and provide it with ongoing advice and assistance.
Members of the Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking are: Judith McHale (Chair), President and Chief Executive Officer, Cane Investments, LLC David Barron, Chairman of the Board, International Conservation Caucus Foundation Patrick Bergin, Chief Executive Officer, African Wildlife Foundation Tod Cohen, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Global Government Relations, eBay Inc. David Hayes, Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of Law, Stanford Law School Carter Roberts, President and Chief Executive Officer, World Wildlife Fund Cristián Samper, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Conservation Society John Webb, Former Chief of the Environmental Crimes Section, Department of Justice
Alternates: Crawford Allen, Senior Director, TRAFFIC Stanley Asah, Assistant Professor, University of Washington Marcus Asner, Partner, Arnold & Porter LLP Susan Lieberman, Former Director of the Global Species Program, WWF-International