Visit to the Animal Rescue Center of the National Zoo

La Embajadora Dogu recorre el Centro de Rescate de Animales del Zoológico Nacional

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, Laura F. Dogu
Managua, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day to all!

I want to thank Marina Argüello and her colleagues at FAZOONIC for inviting me to celebrate this important day in this place where wildlife is protected.  Earth Day is a great opportunity for everyone around the world to understand that the Earth is our home and that we must take care of it.

The United States has taken the lead in addressing the most difficult environmental challenges:

  1. For example, climate change. By 2030, in the United States, greenhouse gas emissions will have been reduced by 32% compared to 2005.
  2. At the international level, since 2010, the United States has provided more than $15 billion to mitigate the effects of climate change and to develop adaptation activities.
  3. In 2014, we committed to provide $3 billion for the Green Climate Fund.
  4. And at our embassy in Managua, we install efficient solar panels, luminaires and air conditioning.

But I am here to highlight another important issue which is the problem of the trafficking of wild animals.  The animals behind me were rescued.  This ugly business harms captured animals and biodiversity.  Wild animal traders are not interested in the welfare of animals and many are injured or die.  Wild animal trafficking is a crime that threatens security and the rule of law, increases corruption and injures local communities.  The United States is addressing this problem in both Nicaragua and the rest of the world.

In 2011, we helped build some of the center’s facilities and funded educational efforts to raise awareness of the terrible impact of illegal wildlife trafficking.  In other countries in the region, the United States supports Wildlife Protection Networks and trains law enforcement and customs officials to stop illegal trade in wildlife.

As with many environmental issues, everyone can do their part to stop the trafficking of wildlife.  Most people who buy an exotic pet or items made from wild animals are probably unaware that their purchase directly supports a criminal business.

I ask you, please, not to buy these beautiful animals to have them as pets in your homes, or products from them.  Neither collect nor buy turtle eggs, because that is also illegal and endangers a protected species.  We can all be part of the global response to wildlife trade; and thus help Nicaragua to protect its fauna.

Now I invite you to accompany us on the tour of these facilities and to see first hand, the terrible impact that the traffic of wild species has on animals.

# # #