The United States focuses on climate change and works closely with Ecuador in protecting the country’s environment

The United States focuses on climate change and works closely with Ecuador in protecting the country’s environment

The United States Embassy in Ecuador will support the design and implementation of a specialized unit within the State Attorney General’s Office for wildlife crimes.

Quito, April 22, 2021 – The United States, under the leadership of President Joe Biden, is placing climate change and environmental stewardship at the center of its domestic and foreign public policies. As an example of this commitment, this Earth Day, President and Vice President Harris are hosting the Virtual Leaders’ Summit on Climate with the participation of leaders from around the world.

Yesterday, before the Summit, the United States Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, received the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador, Arturo Cabrera, and others, in a virtual ministerial round table.

As Secretary of State Antony Blinke stated this week: “The climate crisis we are facing is profound. The consequences of not complying with it would be catastrophic, but if we lead with the power of our example and if we use our foreign policy – not only to get other countries to commit to the necessary changes, but for the United States to be their partner in the implementation of these changes – we can turn the greatest challenge in generations into the greatest opportunity for future generations.”

As part of this environmental approach, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today that it will collaborate with the State Attorney General’s Office in strengthening the fight against environmental crimes in Ecuador, especially in areas related to illegal wildlife trafficking, illegal fishing, and illegal logging.

Within the project “Strengthening the Governance of Natural Resources in Ecuador”, USAID will provide technical advice, and the World Wide Fund for Nature Ecuador (WWF) will support the design and implementation of a specialized unit within the Prosecutor’s Office for crimes against wildlife; this plan aims to stop the trafficking of Galapagos tortoises, contain the massive export of shark fins, diminish the illegal extraction of wood, among other objectives. In addition, it is expected to strengthen its computer and IT infrastructure in order to better manage cases related to environmental crimes.

“The protection of the environment has become central to the public policy, both internal and external, of the United States Government. President Biden has committed the United States to fighting climate change, ”said Michael J. Fitzpatrick, United States Ambassador to Ecuador.

Fitzpatrick added: “This Earth Day, the United States diplomatic mission in Ecuador highlights the wide range of initiatives for environmental protection that we handle together with public institutions and Ecuadorian civil society; [our mission is] focused on various issues such as: protection of the seas from illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and marine litter, the protection of forests and páramos (moors) and, in the case of our collaboration with the Prosecutor’s Office, protection of protected wildlife.

“The inclusion of environmental crimes in the agenda of the State Attorney General’s Office is a national and regional aspiration; we are advancing this mission with concrete actions and thanks to the joint work with countries and entities that share our sense of urgency and importance on the subject,” said Diana Salazar, Attorney General of the State.

USAID also manages environmental projects for the protection and conservation of biodiversity in Ecuador. One of these projects is the study and restoration of wetlands in moorland areas. The Sustainable Wetlands project has restored several hectares of wetlands that, among other benefits, help capture CO2 and helps to mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases which cause global warming.

Environmental cooperation will include the design and implementation of training programs in different fields of investigation of wildlife crimes, a complement to the work that other agencies of the United States Government carries out.

Additionally, the Embassy and Consulate of the United States in Ecuador work on different projects for the conservation of the planet:

  • Through its Office of Anti-Narcotics Affairs and Law Enforcement, it will train ten prosecutors, – two in environmental crime management issues and eight in combating illegal wildlife trafficking. It will organize a binational meeting with the presence of 65 members of the police, prosecution and environment ministries of Ecuador and Colombia in order to combat wildlife trafficking.
  • Through the Embassy Science Fellows programs, it supports research on environmental issues (most recently focused on the Galapago Islands), such as wildlife trafficking and marine litter; and POWER (Providing Opportunities for Women’s Economic Rise), which supports entrepreneurship and soft skills training for the next generation of women seeking to solve environmental problems.
  • Virtual screening of the documentary “Inventing Tomorrow”, which follows innovative teenagers creating cutting-edge solutions to face the world’s environmental threats; a virtual panel with around 60 young Ecuadorians between the ages of 15 and 25 to talk about science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics, environment, climate change, conservation and youth empowerment.
  • Support for Ecuador’s efforts to forge partnerships in the region and create lasting networks capable of monitoring IUU fishing; collaborate with Ecuadorian partners to strengthen policies to counter this practice and to reduce marine debris associated with fishing fleets.

The fight against environmental crimes is a fight against the destruction of the natural foundation that contributes greatly to local economies, to the sustainable development of the country, and to the preservation of a unique natural heritage of Ecuador, which is recognized as one of the most important on the planet.

For the United States Government, the main objective of its climate policy is to prevent catastrophe. That is why it supports all countries, companies and communities in their aims to improve emissions reduction and build resilience. It is the goal of the US government to put the world on a safer and more sustainable path.

Read the original coverage from the US Embassy in Ecuador here :

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021


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