WWF-TRAFFIC and PROFEPA sign a collaboration agreement to combat wildlife trafficking
Patricio Patrón Laviada, head of PROFEPA, signed the agreement on behalf of the Federal Attorney, while Adrian Reuter signed it on behalf of WWF-TRAFFIC North America, for which he is representative in Mexico, having as a witness of honor the Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Mexico, Mrs. Judith Anne McGregor.
This collaboration agreement is the second signed so far between PROFEPA and WWF-TRAFFIC North America. The first one was signed September 26, 2005. During the four-year period that this new agreement is effective for, the federal environmental authority will be supported by WWF-TRAFFIC North America to promote capacity strengthening of the institution and its staff, through more efficient materials and tools for combating illegal wildlife trade, while contributing to the staff’s safety –as well as the animals’- while managing seizures.
In his speech, the Federal Attorney Patrón Laviada highlighted the benefits obtained by PROFEPA obtained with the signing of the first agreement. Among them, he mentioned courses and workshops that provided training to 299 persons, the donation of 220 capacity building kits and reference material on identification and management of species listed by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora); 48 equipment sets to improve the inspection of tropical timber, and more than two thousand tools to reinforce the operational capacity of the inspectors at ports, airports and borders in Mexico.
These contributions by WWF-TRAFFIC with the support of the Strategic Programs Fund and the Sustainable Development Dialogue with the United Kingdom, were very significant to the results achieved by PROFEPA in recent years. In 2008, for example, this institution seized 27,264 live specimens, products and sub-products, with 22,346 specimens seized last year.
Patrón Laviada also mentioned that during the last 30 months, PROFEPA has concentrated its inspection and monitoring efforts in the major trade and distribution hotspots of wildlife in the country, especially in the markets of Sonora and Xochimilco (Mexico City), Charco Cercado (San Luis Potosi), and several markets in the Bajio region, which has helped identify and apprehend some of the major wildlife traffickers, currently subject to criminal processes.
Ambassador Mrs. McGregor indicated that Mexico, as one of the mega-diverse countries on the planet, has an inevitable commitment to the preservation of cultural and biological diversity for future generations, effort that should also be made by the whole international community, particularly in this year when decisions of great impact will be made related to biodiversity and climate change, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Parallel to the signing of the agreement, a symbolic handing over of training materials, as well as high quality tools and equipment, in addition to those delivered under the last agreement was made. This, as part of the project that the UK has supported under the Sustainable Development Dialogue with Mexico, which aims to make sustainable development a reality in the United Kingdom and other countries with which "a dialogue through mutual learning and joint support to initiatives that are models for other countries or regions exist, " as expressed by the UK diplomat.
Adrian Reuter, TRAFFIC’s Country representative, endorsed the commitment of WWF and its TRAFFIC Program to assist in the efforts by PROFEPA and other institutions to improve the management of natural resources in Mexico, home to 10% of the Earth's biodiversity "wealth that no doubt has a significant potential for the development of applications in medicine, agriculture and industry among many other things".
Finally, Reuter said that Mexico's biological heritage is at risk in part due to illegal wildlife use and trade, which constitutes one of the threats that require urgent action to stop it.
For more information:
Communications Coordinator, WWF-México
Tel. 52 86 56 31 Ext. 223
Mobile. 044 55 26 99 05 91