Washington, DC - 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.