As active members of Care2.com, we applaud your recent work to combat illegal wildlife trafficking during the 21st ASEAN and 7th East Asia Summits. We are signing this petition to ask you to stand firm on these issues as you enter into the upcoming trade negotiation round on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) particularly with Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
As you know, elephants, rhinos, and other species are being slaughtered in record numbers as the demand for wildlife body parts continues unabated. Organized crime syndicates are engaging in transnational crimes to feed the growing demand in Asia.
We urge the United States to sustain efforts to maintain strong environmental objectives. Your leadership can help further the work of U.S. based conservation organizations that have been working in the TPP negotiating countries of Vietnam, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, and Singapore to prevent illegal trade in wildlife through trade and conservation policies and to help local communities thrive through the production and trade of wildlife-friendly products. These efforts have been instrumental in improving local governance, building law enforcement capacity, reducing the potential spread of zoonotic diseases, expanding local economies, and preserving wildlife in some of the world's most biologically diverse places.
With illegal trade being the single largest threat to wildlife in Asia, it is critical that the TPP include provisions to enforce laws and establish a level-playing field amongst all negotiating countries. We support the TPP environment chapter proposed by the United States. This would guarantee the necessary safeguards to ensure trade is regulated, local jobs are protected, and respective economies benefit.
We look forward to your continued work on this issue.