President Obama will sign an executive order Monday that targets the illegal poaching of protected wildlife species in Africa, saying that it is in the U.S. national interest to combat the growing “international crises.”
Mr. Obama planned to announce in Tanzania that the State Department will funnel $10 million in aid to African countries to help them train and arm guards with technologies that will make it easier for them push back against the targeting of the continent’s iconic animals, including rhinoceroses and elephants.
“The poaching of protected species and the illegal trade in wildlife and their derivative parts and products (together known as ‘wildlife tracking’) represent an international crises that continues to escalate,” the executive order says. “Poaching operations have expanded beyond small-scale, opportunistic actions to coordinated slaughter commissioned by armed and organized crime syndicates.”
The order established a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking that is tasked with producing a national strategy for supporting anti-poaching efforts, coordinating regional law enforcement efforts and reducing illicit trade in protected species. The order also establishes an Advisory Council on Wildlife Tracking tasked with making recommendations to the task force.