What They're Saying: Environmentalists Praise TPP’s Conservation Measures

WASHINGTON — Following the completion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, prominent conservation groups have praised the TPP’s environmental chapter, saying the new deal would strengthen international environmental enforcement agreements and represent a big step forward in protecting endangered wildlife, reducing illegal deforestation, and keeping the world’s oceans healthy. Here is a round up of excerpts of environmentalists’ support:

World Wildlife Fund

“No major trade agreement before this one has gone so far to address growing pressures on natural resources like overexploited fish, wildlife and forests. Now that the negotiations have closed, we expect to see a strong environment chapter that promotes and enforces both legal and sustainable trade.

"With the right implementation and compliance procedures, the conservation commitments in this trade agreement could be game-changers.”

Wildlife Conservation Society

“WCS is heartened to see in TPP the adoption a comprehensive free-trade agreement that includes potentially strong and enforceable commitments on combating wildlife trafficking, and implementing the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and we commend the President and the U.S. Trade Representative for pushing to include those provisions.

"We expect that the agreement also addresses illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The overexploitation of our marine resources threatens numerous endangered species including sharks and whales, as well as the well-being of those who rely on the oceans for their livelihoods.”

World Animal Protection

“We applaud TPP governments for agreeing to take action to protect endangered and at-risk species, such as elephants and pangolins, through pioneering commitments to combat wildlife trafficking. We commend the Obama Administration's efforts, including those of the U.S. Trade Representative, to use all the tools available to combat illegal wildlife trafficking and its commitment to solving this crisis as a top-level priority. It is our hope that these efforts spur greater international action to protect wildlife through trade agreements and will make a real difference. TPP’s environment chapter stands to be an important step forward for global animal protection. World Animal Protection looks forward to working with the Administration to ensure that TPP delivers real-world benefits for the environment and wildlife.”

The Nature Conservancy

“By embedding conservation commitments in the core text of the agreement and making them subject to the TPP’s dispute resolution mechanisms, the TPP provides new leverage to advance vital environmental objectives.

"We are heartened that the TPP’s mandates on marine capture fisheries will require Pacific nations to address the growing threat from harmful fishing practices by promoting effective science-based management systems and stock recovery, eliminating some of the most harmful subsidies for overfished stocks, and implementing port state measures to address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Widespread adoption of these policies could have profound positive effects on the health of the world’s oceans and ocean fisheries.

"We also applaud requirements in the agreement that TPP countries fulfill their obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and take further action to combat illegal wildlife and timber trade, regardless of source country.”

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative

“We applaud the Obama Administration’s efforts to include commitments to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing that would require states to implement port state measures. These provisions directly address one of the most significant global threats to sustainable management and stewardship of global fishery resources and make important progress in implementing the recent Presidential Task Force recommendations.”

Rainforest Alliance

“The Rainforest Alliance is a global nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and help ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land‐use practices, business practices and consumer behavior worldwide. As such, the Rainforest Alliance supports the Environment Chapter of the Trans‐Pacific Partnership (TPP).

"The Rainforest Alliance appreciates that TPP goes further than previous trade agreements by including conservation protections in the core of the agreement, and making those obligations enforceable through the same type of dispute settlement as other obligations. We are encouraged by the emphasis on combatting wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, and illegal fishing.

"There are significant conservation challenges in the Asia‐Pacific region, which includes ecosystems critical to biodiversity, climate change, and the health and wellbeing of the planet and its people. Strong conservation outcomes in TPP are a positive sign for the agreement. TPP’s legally binding conservation provisions may help mitigate the risks of increased stress on natural resources, loss of biodiversity, and support legal and sustainable trade.”

International Fund for Animal Welfare

“As trade liberalizes, we have to take measures that protect wildlife from the potential increases in illegal trade that can result.  The Obama Administration has led the fight for strong protections for wildlife in the TPP agreement.  IFAW is pleased with the new wildlife trade protections in the TPP and with the strong commitment to capacity building from the U.S. for those countries that need support in meeting the binding requirements to implement these tough, new wildlife trade provisions.”

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