United States Specialists Offer Workshop in Santiago to Help Prevent Trafficking of Wildlife

In the framework of the U.S.-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, U.S. experts will provide a workshop on the prevention of and sanctions against the illegal trafficking of species under the Conventions on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Specialists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with representatives of the institutions that make up the National Committee CITES, will exchange experiences during the workshop that will take place from June 3 to June 6 in Santiago.

The initiative aims to share techniques to identify species and establish best practices for inter-sectorial coordination on border control. In addition to that, through the use of practical sessions, participants will study the challenges of implementing the CITES agreement in Chile.

The Conventions on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is one of the oldest and most important international agreements for the protection of wild fauna and flora. Chile has been an active participant since 1975 and is currently in the process of amending their national legislation to move toward the category 1 of compliance. The workshop includes a visit to Santiago international airport, where participants will learn about the procedures for detection and confiscation of species in the cargo hold, postal items, and with passengers. In addition to that, they will see the laboratories of the National Museum of National History to observe the work of scientists who have identified species.

The course, organized by the U.S. Department of the Interior International Technical Assistance Program (DOI-ITAP), is sponsored by the Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile and the United States Embassy in Santiago.

The DOI-ITAP is collaborating with CITES to fulfill the obligations as provided for in the Convention. The workshop supports the installation of the necessary institutional aspects to facilitate the implementation of the CITES agreement in Chile. In addition to the workshop, there will be three more activities this year, including technical assistance for CITES law that has not yet been passed, an international seminar, and a public awareness campaign.

DOI-ITAP Latin America Project manager Jason Riley explained that “the effective implementation of CITES is a priority shared by Chilean and U.S. authorities. Having 40 high-level participants from more than a dozen institutions from the governments of both countries, including – for the first time in an activity of this kind in Chile – Ministers of the Court of Appeals and prosecutors, honors us and confirms the relevance of the Convention for sustainable international trade.”