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Success in fighting illegal trade in parrots
CITES awards Certificate of Commendation to Czech authorities for their exemplary enforcement actions
Geneva, 6 October 2010 – The Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has awarded a Certificate of Commendation to the General Directorate of Customs of the Czech Republic and the Czech Environmental Inspectorate in recognition of their exemplary efforts to combat illegal trade in parrots.
Since 2006, the two agencies have collaborated on a long-term investigation relating to the smuggling of rare parrots, which has required liaison and coordination with other law enforcement bodies around the world and with the INTERPOL General Secretariat. The investigation has uncovered widespread forgery of CITES documents, false declarations of captive breeding, and use of fake marking rings. Methods used for the first time in wildlife crime investigations also allowed the detection of new smuggling routes and techniques. Seizures of Appendix-I parrots, such as specimens of the Lear’s macaw (Anodorhynchus leari), are particularly commendable. The investigation continues and prosecutions have commenced.
The Certificate was presented during a ceremony at the residence of the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations at Geneva, His Excellency Ambassador Tomas Husak. It was accepted by Mr Lubomir Doskocil on behalf of the General Directorate of Customs and Ms Pavla Rihova on behalf of the Czech Environmental Inspectorate, who expressed their sincere gratitude to the Secretariat for the recognition of the dedicated work of the two agencies and their staff. They added that the commendation provided motivation and encouragement to the staff in carrying out their work, which they would pursue with even further dedication in the decade ahead in the interest of the conservation of the world's biodiversity.
In making the presentation, CITES Secretary-General Mr John Scanlon said: “The success of CITES relies upon the dedicated efforts of people working in each country through national Management, Scientific and Enforcement Authorities. Today we pause to recognize and commend the very special collaborative efforts of the two Czech agencies involved in fighting illegal trade in parrots. It is through concrete actions such as these that we will achieve our biodiversity targets.”
The CITES Secretary-General began awarding Certificates of Commendation in 2002 to recognize exemplary enforcement actions by individuals or organizations that have contributed to the enforcement of the Convention.
Note to journalists: For more information, contact Juan Carlos Vasquez at +4179-552 27 32 (mobile), or juan.vasquez [at] cites.org