For the last few weeks, we’ve been busy running a series of workshops designed to help prosecutors, environmental police and other wildlife authorities and forestry officials identify and intervene in instances of illegal wildlife trade. Such workshops are a run regularly, and each time we focus on a different theme. For example, last time we focused on the veterinary care of rescued animals.
This time around, we’re honoured to be joined by US Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Roger Turnell. Based at the US embassy in Lima, Roger works all over Latin America and has over 20 years enforcement experience. Last week, we brought Roger to Belen market in Iquitos and sadly, but not surprisingly, there were thousands of animal carcasses for sale; primarily deer and caimans, but others, too. Monkey meat was being sold very cheaply.
Workshops have already been held in Iquitos, and are due to begin in Chachapoyas and Tarapoto over the coming few weeks. In addition to Roger’s presentation, NPC’s own Sam Shanee, Nestor Allgas and Catalina Ocampo Carvajal spoke about our anti trafficking social media campaign, the environmental implications of wildlife trafficking, and the fundamental importance of wildlife to the region.
Unfortunately, extremely high turnover is very common for enforcement-related staff in this region. For example, although we’ve held workshops in Iquitos on numerous occasions, only one attendee this time had been in post long enough to have attended a previous workshop. Taken together with a lack of training and, at times, a lack of will to carry out this important work, it’s incredibly important that we carry on with these sessions. We want to extend our sincere thanks to Lush for funding this series of workshops, and to the authorities of Iquitos, Tarapoto and Chachapoyas for taking part.
This was part of a project developed in partnership with the Colombian Primatológica Association and financed by USFWS International Affairs.