Community Voices: Illegal wildlife trade in Latin America and the Caribbean
The International Conference Illegal wildlife trade in Latin America and the Caribbean: Impacts on local communities and opportunities for legal and sustainable use was held on September 30 to October 2, 2019, at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina.
The event focussed on the impact of IWT on local communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the opportunities for sustainable use and legal trade in anti-poaching efforts. On the first day, over 20 community representatives and experts presented their perspectives of what works, what doesn’t and why in terms of community involvement in combating IWT. On the second day, participants split into two groups to deliver further presentations and to reflect on success factors as well as ongoing challenges. The two groups also discussed ways of continued collaboration in the region, including participation in upcoming events/conferences and the establishment of an active WhatsApp group. On the third day there was an opportunity for the community representatives to agree on a set of key messages to present as a Community Statement at the First High-Level Conference of the Americas on Illegal Wildlife Trade (Lima Conference) on 4th October. Meanwhile, other participants at the Community Voices event reflected on commitments made to date on IWT and communities, as well as what needs to be done to support communities to sustainably manage their wildlife and reduce poaching.
The Community Voices event was attended by over 20 community representatives from across Latin America as well as over 50 other community support NGOs, donor agencies and academia.