Ambassador Griffiths Delivers Keynote Address at U.S. Embassy Berlin’s “Fight Against Illegal Wildlife Trade“
U.S. Ambassador Doug Griffiths, Associate Director for International Liaison for the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies delivered the keynote speech at the “Wildlife Crime in Africa - from Crisis to Solution” conference hosted by U.S. Embassy Berlin on June 14.
Ambassador Griffiths shared his close and personal experiences in dealing with illegal wildlife trafficking at his former assignment as U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique.
Event host, U.S. Ambassador Berlin John B. Emerson, stressed the importance of combatting illegal wildlife trade.
“It is not immediately apparent, but the illegal wildlife trade is a problem that affects us all around the world. It is not just about the urgent question of biodiversity and the rescue of wild animals from extinction. The illegal wildlife trade is a criminal industry with a billion in sales, the countries and states their natural capital and its cultural heritage robbed and serious economic and social consequences,” said Emerson.
Illegal wildlife trade as a criminal enterprise is a topic explored and discussed in detail in the George C. Marshall European Center’s resident course Program on Countering Transnational Crime. The two-week resident program focuses on 21st century national security threats as a result of illicit trafficking and other criminal activities and it’s held twice a year.
“As important as national policies are, they are not enough to solve the problem. Elephants and rhinos do not respect national borders. Our efforts to save them, must also have a transnational dimension. Our goal is clear: we want and we need to strengthen the public and private financial support and vote,” said Emerson.
Also participating in the event were German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Secretary Jochen Flasbarth; Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Deputy Director Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven; and representatives of the Frankfurt Zoological Society and the World Wildlife Fund.