Welcome to this week's news update
Dear TRAFFIC supporter,
At the very end of last week, the Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama agreed to “take significant and timely steps to halt the domestic commercial trade of ivory” during their meeting in Washington, USA. While precise details of what these steps entail are not yet available, the statement was nevertheless further evidence of the seriousness with which addressing wildlife crime is being taken at the highest political levels.
Meanwhile, Tom Milliken, TRAFFIC’s Elephant and Rhino Programme Leader and the organization’s longest serving staff member was among the recipients of this year’s prestigious Sir Peter Scott Award for Conservation Merit, in recognition of his decades of dedication to understand and find solutions to the problems of illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn, including his exceptional leadership of the Elephant Trade Information Service (ETIS). This award encapsulates the spirit of the dedicated team here at TRAFFIC who are striving to protect the world's wildlife from over-exploitation.
Last week's Asian Songbird Crisis Summit ended with a call for governments in the region to take action against the illegal bird trade markets, which are slowly but surely robbing the region of its rich wild birdlife. On a personal note, as a keen birdwatcher, I have a particular interest in the Asian avifauna, and when not working for TRAFFIC, spend much of my spare time in a voluntary capacity as an Oriental Bird Club council member, a small charity dedicated to conservation of Asia's bird life.
Finally, a particular treat I hope you will enjoy. A short video with TRAFFIC's Nick Ahlers, leader of the USAID-funded Wildlife Trafficking, Response, Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife-TRAPS) project. In it, Nick explains the critical role of the transport industry sector, who are the unwitting means by which illegal wildlife prodicts are smuggled across the planet, and the key engagement of TRAFFIC with the sector. Please click on the thumbnail to watch this fascinating short interview.
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Richard Thomas, Global Communications Co-ordinator, TRAFFIC. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 1223 651782.
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TRAFFIC is grateful for the financial contribution from the Forestry Bureau of the Council of Agriculture, Taiwan, towards communications and publications, including this newsletter