09:29 PM

For Immediate Release

Peru Leads on New Regional Declaration on Illegal Wildlife Trade

Delegations for Latin American and North American countries met on October 10th in London to commit to future engagement on the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT), including poaching in Latin America, and to assess the potential for future coordinated action in the region. Participating countries recognized that IWT is a major issue and should be treated as a serious and organized crime that affects the economy, security, rural communities and ecosystems in the region.

Just a week before the IWT London Conference, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Defenders of Wildlife facilitated a side event hosted by Peru at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Standing Committee 70 at Sochi, Russia, where they shared the urgency of working as a region to collaborate in a declaration to combat illegal wildlife trade.

Jessica Galvez-Durand Director of Sustainable Management of the Wildlife Heritage from SERFOR and CITES Management Authority for Peru said, “Peru confirms its commitment to combat wildlife trafficking and we announce that we will host a Regional Conference of the Americas on wildlife trafficking in 2019. The Conference will jointly address challenges and opportunities to combat illegal wildlife trade in the region which threatens our rich and most diverse biodiversity.”

“At the event hosted by Peru in Russia, there was agreement to address two main issues with urgency: working on a regional declaration to combat IWT and to act now -on a regional scale- to combat the illegal trade of jaguar fangs, bones and other body parts to Asia. IFAW applauds these regional efforts and looks forward to continued collaboration with the region to fight illegal wildlife trade”, said Joaquin de la Torre Ponce, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean from IFAW.

Teresa A. Pérez Chávez, National Director of Biodiversity and Natural Protected Areas from the Plurinational State of Bolivia said: “In the framework of the International Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade, the Plurinational State of Bolivia will organize a Latin American regional workshop, that will aim to analyze the regional situation regarding illegal trafficking of the jaguar, in order to adopt regional decisions to fight against this crime against wildlife.”

“We applaud the leadership of the region in forging a regional declaration on the Illegal Wildlife Trade signed by 13 participating countries,” said Alejandra Goyenechea, Senior International Counsel for Defenders of Wildlife. “This is a huge commitment on a regional and international level to collaboratively move to end illegal wildlife trade and poaching. The volume of illegal wildlife trade coming out of Latin America is an urgent call to action. Defenders of Wildlife looks forward to the regional IWT conference in Lima in 2019 and continuing to build upon the work that was undertaken at the conference in London 2018.”

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.