The U.S. donation Department of the Interior is used to give traceability to the environmental crimes of Fauna and Flora. / A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo.

-Friday, January 24, 2020-

The U.S. Government donates $16,000 for wildlife protection in Costa Rica

By the A.M. Costa Rica

The Ministry of Environment announced on Thursday the donation of $16,000 from the U.S. Government to finance the improvements of the website, which is the official website of Costa Rica, where complaints about environmental crimes can be made and monitored.

According to the ministry, the U.S. donation Department of the Interior is used to give traceability to the environmental crimes of Fauna and Flora that have been registered on that website.

Traceability is the capability to trace something. In some cases, it is interpreted as the ability to verify the history, location, or application of an item by means of documented recorded identification.

“To make conservation goals a reality, it is essential to improve the control and protection of wildlife," said Haydée Rodríguez-Romero of the ministry. "Thanks to the valuable cooperation of the U.S. Department of the Interior, today we have an update and new information system in, to improve traceability, transparency and control in wildlife trade. "

Controls in wildlife trade respond to Costa Rica's commitment to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known as CITES.

CITES is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

According to the Convention, widespread information nowadays about the endangered status of many prominent species, such as the tiger and elephants, might make the need for such a convention seem obvious.

But at the time when the ideas for CITES were first formed, in the 1960s, international discussion of the regulation of wildlife trade for conservation purposes was something relatively new.

According to the statistics of the organization, annually, international wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars and to includes hundreds of millions of plant and animal specimens.

"The trade is diverse, ranging from live animals and plants to a vast array of wildlife products derived from them, including food products, exotic leather goods, wooden musical instruments, timber, tourist curios and medicines," said CITIES in its statement. " Levels of exploitation of some animal and plant species are high and the trade in them, together with other factors, such as habitat loss, is capable of heavily depleting their populations and even bringing some species close to extinction.

Many wildlife species in trade are not endangered, but the existence of an agreement to ensure the sustainability of the trade is important in order to safeguard these resources for the future said the organization.

CITIES includes the protection to more than 37,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.

According to the organization, now are 183 countries as part of the international agreement. The list of countries signed in the agreement can be reached at Cities site

What else could the U.S. government do to support the protection of wildlife in Costa Rica? 
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