Campaign looks to stem smuggling of wildlifeFrom www.ticotimes.net
The Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Ministry (MINAET) announced on Thursday that the government will spend $26,000 on a campaign to help prevent illegal trafficking of Costa Rica’s animals and plants.
The money, which was provided by The Central American Environmental Development Commission (CCAD), will be used to buy photographic gear and Global Positioning Systems, which will help identify the locations and quantities of different species in the country, as well as spot their illegal removal.
The environment ministry will also use a portion of the funds to launch a campaign of public announcements and post banners in National Parks and at airports and border crossings to increase awareness and warn against illegal trafficking of flora and fauna.
Approximately five percent of the world’s species are found in Costa Rican habitats. According to MINAET, the illicit removal of these species has contributed to population decreases in recent years, as plant and animal products make their way abroad, mostly to the United States and Europe.
MINAET estimates that hundreds of thousands of plants or animals are illegally sent from Latin America for sale in countries around the world. The trafficking of endangered species, according to MINAET, is the third largest illegal business in the world.
Officials said they believe their new campaign will help prevent the smuggling of these species from Latin America.
The funds from the CCAD come as part of an agreement with the United States Department of the Interior to offer financial aid to signatory countries of the Dominican Republic – Central American Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. (DR-CAFTA). The treaty went into effect in January of 2009.
Chapter 17 of DR-CAFTA promises cooperation for the protection of the region’s natural resources.
Word of the Day
Main Entry: smug·gle
Inflected Form(s): smug·gled; smug·gling
Etymology: Low German smuggeln & Dutch smokkelen
1 : to import or export secretly contrary to the law and especially without paying duties imposed by law
2 : to convey or introduce surreptitiously
intransitive verb : to import or export something in violation of the customs laws
— smug·gler noun
Abroad: adj. beyond the boundaries of one’s country
Awareness: n. the state of having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge
Gear: n. equipment, paraphernalia
Launch: v. to put into operation or set in motion
Spot: v. to detect, notice
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