II Meeting TABLE 3 LAW ENFORCEMENT
February 11-12, 1997
- The final version of the Terms of Reference for the North American Wildlife Enforcement Working Group was presented to the group. This document took several years to finalize and was approved by the respective representatives.
- The design used for the Bird Trade Seminar in Jalapa, Mexico was adopted as the permanent logo of the working group.
- The CEC representative reported on the role of the CEC in supporting the work of the working group. A discussion of long term projects and accountability to public interest groups was conducted. A review of CEC funding to support three proposals of the working group was presented.
- The law enforcement related resolutions for the upcoming COP were presented. These resolutions involved issues relating to:
- frequent transborder movement of personally owned live animals;
- implementation of Article VII, paragraph II relating to preconvention species;
- sale of Appendix I tourist items at international airports, seaports and border crossings;
- CITES illegal trade working group;
- the identification of coral on import documentation;
- shipments traveling on a Customs carnet; and,
- a review of proposed amendments to the Appendices.
- The U.S. and Canada invited PROFEPA officials to participate in existing training sessions and wildlife inspection activities.
- The issue of criteria for participation in future workshops and seminars was discussed. It was decided that if the program was related to enforcement activity the attendees would generally be enforcement and management or scientific authority personnel who have a direct link to the topic under consideration. It was agreed that in preparing a project proposal an indication would be made that specified the target participants.
- The group decided to consider subgroup membership and participation of other agencies on a case by case basis.
- It was decided that in order to better facilitate communication between the respective agencies, the use of Internet web pages and E-mail would be encouraged for transmission of general information. The utilization of the Interpol ECO-Message form was suggested for transmitting investigative or intelligence information. It was agreed that countries of export would be advised of all seizures of CITES specimens not accompanied by a permit.
- Canada has completed their two year rotation for chairing the wildlife enforcement subgroup. It was decided that the U.S. would chair the next two years.
- The U.S. presented a proposal for a workshop focusing on the investigation of wildlife mortality due to suspected contaminants poisoning. This workshop could be held during calendar year 1998 with the U.S. taking the lead to develop an agenda acceptable to the parties.
- A Wildlife Inspection Subgroup was formed and the first meeting was conducted. The subgroup decided to take the following actions:
- prepare list of inspectors by ports of entry for the three countries;
- establish a protocol for direct communication at border ports;
- prepare a list of courses in the three countries relating to wildlife inspection;
- examine the creation of a Wildlife Procedure Manual for the three countries;
- explore interagency recognition for action related to wildlife inspection: and,
- prepare an agenda for the next meeting of the Subgroup.
- A bilateral subgroup representing Mexico and the U.S. was formed to examine a mechanism for facilitating the return of seized items to their respective countries. This group will continue to discuss this directly.
- A discussion concerning the feasibility of creating additional subgroups to accommodate other specific interests took place. It was decided that, for the present, the above mentioned subgroups would begin working and other subgroups might be formed at a later date, if at all.
- Canada, in conjunction with Mexico and the U. S., will initiate a list of trilateral wildlife enforcement contacts.
- A workshop on the use of forensic expertise for wildlife crime investigation will be organized. It will be held at the Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory. Canada wilt work in conjunction with the laboratory staff in organizing the workshop. Further discussion on the agenda will be organized.
- The U.S. will host a reptile trade seminar in El Paso, Texas. The U.S. will finalize an agenda based on suggestions submitted by the working group.
- A meeting to examine inter-agency protocols was discussed. It was decided that further refinement and clarification was needed before the meeting could be finalized. Canada will work on this issue.