|Advisory Council meeting, June 9th, Washington DC|
Last week, on June 9th, 2014, the Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking hosted a meeting in Washington D.C. to adopt and submit their recommendations to the Presidential Task Force to implement the U.S. National Strategy on Wildlife Trafficking, developed last February.
“As one of the largest consumers of illegal wildlife products, the United States needs to ensure that all appropriate measures are taken to tackle this crisis on domestic and international fronts," Sean Carnell, National Coordinator, NT4TC.
At the meeting, 19 recommendations were presented and categorized in three key areas: strengthen enforcement; reduce demand for illegally traded wildlife; and expand international cooperation and commitment.
The Advisory Council provided recommendations to strengthen domestic enforcement by improving the U.S. sentencing guidelines, laws and regulations to provide the proper authorities with the necessary tools to prosecute wildlife trafficking offences in a serious manner.
“I hope that these recommendations will come to fruition sooner than later. The average sentencing for wildlife crime offences is only 2 months which is nothing compared to minor drug offences.” Carnell added.
The Advisory Council wishes to bring together the world’s leading experts in consumer behavior, executives of large international retail, airline, shipping, search engines and tourism companies, and NGOs to develop coordinated marketing campaigns focused on demand reduction.
The Advisory Council also recommended the U.S. to increase international cooperation and commitment by advancing the National Strategy at the next CITES Standing Committee meeting in July, ensuring that the Administration keeps wildlife trafficking a discussion point at international forums and by increasing transparency among the U.S. agencies involved.
The next steps will be for the Presidential Task Force to develop implementation strategies based upon these recommendations. To read the recommendations from the Advisory Council to the Presidential Task Force, click here.