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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 9, 2007


Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking Event With Bo Derek

Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment and Science Claudia McMurray and Special Envoy of the Secretary of State for Wildlife Trafficking Issues Bo Derek will conduct a series of outreach events to raise public awareness about the illegal global trade in wildlife during a two day visit to Miami and southern Florida, October 10-11, 2007. South Florida is one of the major points of entry for the legal and illegal introduction into the United States of exotic wildlife, both animals and plants.

Activities on Wednesday, October 10, will include a tour of the wildlife inspection facilities at Miami International Airport at 9:30 a.m. followed by a press conference at 10:15 a.m. The tour is open to the press.

Also on Wednesday, October 10 at 6:00 p.m., Assistant Secretary McMurray and Special Envoy Derek will deliver a presentation and participate in a panel discussion on wildlife trafficking at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. This event is open to the press.

The trip will include a visit to Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. The park is designated as an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance.

The Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT), initiated by the Department of State in September 2005, was launched internationally in February 2007 to fight the black market trade in wildlife and wildlife parts, which is estimated at about $10 billion a year. The illegal trade in wildlife is bringing some species to the brink of extinction and contributes to the spread to humans of wildlife diseases. An important part of CAWT's mission is increasing public awareness of the impacts of the illegal trade in wildlife and improving wildlife law enforcement and compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

For further information, please contact Russell Newell at the Department of State (cell: 617-319-1769) or Zach Mann with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (305-219-0628).

2007/861


Released on October 9, 2007

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