USAID supports Philippine environmental law enforcement summit


          Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary for Field Operations Demetrio L. Ignacio (2nd from right) shares a light moment with Joseph Foltz (2nd from left), Deputy Director of the USAID's  Office of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Oliver Agoncillo(left), Natural Resources Policy Advisor  also of USAID OEECC, and DENR Region 4A CALABARZON Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan (right) during a lull during the first day, April 15, 2015, of the 3rd National Summit on Environmental Law Enforcement at the Hotel Dominique in Tagaytay City.

          Foltz, in behalf of the US Government, expressed appreciation to DENR for leading the National Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (NALECC), specifically Subcommittee on Environment and Natural Resources for conducting the third in a series of quadrennial event and for "providing us this opportunity to support this crucial activity."

          He said, "Your (DENR) effort is commendable because it raises awareness and places the spotlight on environment as a focus of law enforcement. He stressed that top three illegal businesses in the world are the illegal trade of drugs and weapons, and illegal wildlife trafficking, the price estimated to be worth of $25 billion or more than one trillion pesos with the price of  endangered wildlife products such as elephant ivory now at $2,100 per kilogram thrice the price in 2010, shark fin is sold at $650 per kilogram." Clearly, to some people, the reward outweighs the risks," he said.

          The USAID deputy said the United States Government views wildlife crime as a serious matter and treats it as such, with President Barack Obama issuing Executive Order No. 13648 in 2013 on combating wildlife trafficking.  He stressed that poaching of protected species and the illegal trade in wildlife contribute to the illegal economy, fuel political and social instability, undermine national and global security, and promote the spread of emerging infectious diseases, hence, the United States Government as well as the Government of the Philippines and other States join in the  combating wildlife trafficking.   


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