WCS supported the participation of representatives of the Association of Caiman Managers “Matusha Aidha” and the Regional Association of Vicuña Managing Communities of Apolobamba (ARCMV) in the Workshop “Illegal Wildlife Trade in Latin America and the Caribbean: impacts on local communities and opportunities for legal and sustainable use ”, and in the First High-level Conference of the Americas on Illegal Wildlife Trade, both events took place in Lima (Peru) from September 30 to October 4, 2019. WCS partners were selected for their experience in sustainable community wildlife management and were part of a select group of 20 indigenous representatives across the continent.
Their contribution to the analysis of the problem was from a new perspective based on their own strategies of sustainable wildlife management. Having clarity on territorial rights and indigenous territorial management, and the development of community-based productive enterprises are key mechanisms for valuing wildlife from an environmental and economic standpoint. Internal regulations, specific management plans, territorial control, and monitoring management activities have proven effective towards sustainable management and in the control of illegal hunting and capture of wildlife.
During the workshop, guidelines for sustainable use and livelihoods (SULi) and a work program to be implemented with the participation of communities that manage wildlife resources were developed, including principles and indicators for monitoring contribution to the control of illegal wildlife traffic. These guidelines are an important contribution for Latin American countries to incorporate as part of their policies for prevention, information, detection, and control of illegal traffic.
The joint declaration of the indigenous communities that manage wildlife resources called 'Voices of the Communities: Declaration on Illegal Wildlife Trade' highlights the commitment to curb illegal wildlife trade and strengthen local capacities for sustainable wildlife management. Emphasis is placed on the cultural practices and traditional livelihoods of indigenous peoples as valuable resources to effectively combat this problem. It also called attention to the importance of strengthening local governance, networking and establishing a common voice between communities for tackling illegal wildlife trafficking.