Yesterday I had the honor of speaking to TRAFFIC and the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, DC. I gave a brown bag lunch talk on how the book came to be and what my experiences have been in the animal trafficking world. It was great to see some familiar faces, such as Michael Zwirn from Wildlife Alliance, and some new faces, such as USFWS‘s Bruce Weissgold.
In Southeast Asia, TRAFFIC is a terribly important check on crime. Funding for all wildlife NGO’s has plummeted with the global financial crisis. In many cases, organizations like TRAFFIC, WCS, Wildlife Alliance and others are critical to pressing for positive action in host countries. I’m grateful to Jill Hepp for coordinating my visit and to Crawford Allen for his generous introduction. When it comes to crimes against wildlife, there is no one-stop cop out there. Protection comes when NGOs, the media, individuals, and law enforcement push boundaries.