The British Embassy in Guatemala hosted a forum bringing together local partners in the fight against the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT). Over the past decade, IWT has become a serious criminal industry fuelled by corruption, which has damaged economic growth and sustainable development, undermined good governance and the rule of law across the world, including here in Guatemala.
British Ambassador to Guatemala, Carolyn Davidson, welcomed the forum on the latest strategies to tackle IWT and lessons learnt from previous experiences, including UK funded projects, which helped to preserve endangered fauna in the country. The event took place at the Ambassador’s Residence with key local and international partner agencies to share perspectives and develop recommendations on how to collaborate even closer in ending wildlife crime.
Speakers included personnel of the Council for National Protected Areas of Guatemala (CONAP) who spoke about how to strengthen transnational cooperation to tackle IWT. One of CONAP’s delegates attended a special conference in June at the prestigious Wilton Park in the UK which focused on IWT as a serious organized crime, and how to take steps to tackle the corruption associated with it.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) also shared their experiences on implementing a UK funded project to eradicate wildlife trafficking in Belize and Guatemala. After three years of dedicated work, the percentage of scarlet macaw nests that were poached dropped more than 50%. WCS highlighted how interdisciplinary collaboration was key to achieving these goals.
The forum was organized in the run up to the 2018 London Conference on IWT being held in October to highlight illegal wildlife trade as an urgent global issue. The conference will bring together global leaders to help eradicate the illegal wildlife trade and better protect the world’s most iconic species from the threat of extinction. The Guatemalan Government has been invited to attend.