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December 8, 2010

Humane Society International Promotes Wildlife Protection at Trans-Pacific Trade Negotiations

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Humane Society International is attending the fourth round of negotiations towards a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement being held this week in Auckland. The TPP aims to integrate the economies of the Asia-Pacific region. Participating countries include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.  

Marta Prado, executive director of International Trade and Development for HSI, was invited to present the organization’s views on how wildlife protection and conservation could be addressed in the TPP as part of a panel discussing trade and environment issues. The panel draws an audience comprised of civil society stakeholders as well as environment negotiators from the TPP countries.

According to Prado, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership countries are some of the largest consumers, importers, and exporters of wildlife and wildlife products in the world. With increased legal trade from a resulting agreement, there will inevitably be increased illegal trade. The TPP provides a unique opportunity to complement existing efforts to stem the illegal trade in wildlife, especially given the threats to species populations and public health that are associated with this illicit practice.”

HSI has been one of the most vocal observers advocating for the inclusion of wildlife issues in the TPP, and has provided written comments and testimony to the United States Trade Representative’s office as well as other U.S. government agencies since the inception of the negotiations in 2009.

Facts:

  • The illegal trade in wildlife is estimated to be worth up to $20 billion annually, surpassed only by the illegal trade in drugs and arms.
  • TPP countries are rich in biodiversity, and are not surprisingly primary traders and consumers of wildlife and wildlife products.
  • TPP regions also cover primary trading routes and transshipment points for legal and illegal trade in wildlife
  • The TPP can complement existing mechanisms to combat illegal wildlife trade, such as assisting with TPP countries’ implementation of commitments under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
  • The next round of TPP negotiations is scheduled to take place in Chile in February.

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the Web at hsi.org.

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