Imperial Valley News
November 16, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Department of State has submitted the first annual
report to Congress as required by the Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt
(END) Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016.

Wildlife trafficking remains a serious transnational crime that threatens
security, economic prosperity, the rule of law, long-standing conservation
efforts, and human health.

The U.S. government is combating this illegal trade at home and abroad by
targeting three strategic priorities: strengthening enforcement; reducing
demand for illegally traded wildlife; and building international
cooperation. Wildlife trafficking is one of four areas highlighted in
Executive Order 13773, signed by President Trump on February 9, 2017,
calling for a comprehensive and decisive approach to dismantle organized
crime syndicates.

The Act directs the Secretary of State, in consultation with the
Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce, to submit to Congress a report
that lists Focus Countries and Countries of Concern, as defined in the Act.
Each Focus Country is a major source, transit point, or consumer of
wildlife trafficking products or their derivatives. Being identified as a
Focus Country is neither a positive nor negative designation. Many Focus
Countries have taken significant steps to combat wildlife trafficking,
including in partnership with the United States.

A Country of Concern is one whose government has actively engaged in or
knowingly profited from the trafficking of endangered or threatened
species. The United States looks forward to continuing dialogue with both
Focus Countries and Countries of Concern to identify steps to thwart
transnational organized crime engaged in wildlife trafficking.

The 2017 Focus Countries identified are Bangladesh, Brazil, Burma,
Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, India,
Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria,
Philippines, Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo,
Uganda, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. The 2017 Countries of Concern
are Madagascar, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Laos.

This news service is provided by Save the Elephants.