These agencies would provide resources to help professionalize wildlife law enforcement personnel and improve ranger training in partner countries so that they are better equipped to stop poaching and wildlife trafficking.
It expands existing Wildlife Enforcement Networks — which are government-led, regionally focused programs — to improve coordination, and the sharing of intelligence on illegal wildlife activities between countries. Several federal agencies would be responsible for bolstering existing networks and establishing new ones, including the State Dept., the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Depts. of State, Interior, and Commerce would be required to provide Congress with a list of foreign countries considered to be a major source, transit point, or consumer of trafficked wildlife products each year. Countries that have “failed demonstrably” to abide by international agreements to protect endangered or threatened species would receive a special designation, and the State Dept. would be authorized to withhold assistance — financial or otherwise — from those countries.
The President would be authorized to provide security assistance to African countries in order to counter wildlife trafficking and poaching, which could include:
Intelligence and surveillance assets;
Communication and electronic equipment;
Other defense-related equipment.
None of this assistance could be provided to foreign military or police units if they are found to have engaged in wildlife trafficking or poaching. If the President determines that the country’s government is taking steps to hold responsible parties accountable, this provision could be waived.