Meridian Highlights Critical Issues of the Anti-Poaching and Anti-Trafficking of Wildlife

Under Secretary Robert Hormats delivers keynote remarks on anti-poaching and anti-trafficking of wildlife

Under Secretary Robert Hormats delivers keynote remarks on anti-poaching and anti-trafficking of wildlife.

On the evening of April 23, 2013 Meridian hosted a program on "Collaboration Across Borders: Anti-poaching and Anti-trafficking of Wildlife Efforts from Local and International Perspectives," which focused on these issues from different views—including global health and national security concerns - and aimed to heighten awareness of the pervasiveness of both issues. The audience was welcomed by Meridian’s President and CEO, Ambassador Stuart Holliday, who also introduced the keynote speaker, The Honorable Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs. Under Secretary Hormats’ remarks focused on his personal and professional interest in anti-poaching and anti-trafficking, as well as the State Department’s prioritizing and leadership on these issues.

The panel consisted of two wildlife conservationist professionals as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP): Mr. James Okware, Senior Warden in Charge, Matheniko and Bokora Wildlife Reserves with the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Karamoja, and Mr. Frederick Laurence Munro, Unit Manager, Rhino Operations, KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Board in South Africa. Also participating in the panel discussion were two U.S. experts: Dr. Richard G. Ruggiero, Chief, Branch of the Near East, South Asia and Africa, Division of International Conversation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who served as moderator, and Dr. Allard Blom, Managing Director of the Congo Basin with the World Wildlife Fund. The audience, consisting of environmental conservationists, policy makers, educators, embassy representatives and interested individuals, had the opportunity to share comments and ask questions of the panelists, as well as to engage with the delegation of international visitors via a networking reception following the program.