One of the sessions that really grabbed my interest was focused on Wildlife Crime. On the Google+ hangout page, where I found this talk, the description mentioned that this would cover anything from illegal trade of animals to plants. However, as tends to happen in any conversation about wildlife, the focus was indeed animals; Big animals to be exact.
The panel of experts was composed of very interesting people who all had a huge stake in the matter. There were ministries of the environment, WWF director, NGO co-founders and even a representative from Rangers International. Upon conversation there were a couple of points of agreement that became very clear. Combating poaching and illegal wildlife trade is no longer a national problem. That industry has now turned to an international organized crime that has greater funds and better artillery than those fighting it in the front lines. Also, all of the panel member seemed to be in congruence about the need to involve local communities in this fight against poaching. Lastly, they all addressed to some point the need to respect and give greater appreciation to the rangers that are in the front lines of this battle.
What I liked most about this panel discussion was that they all seemed to recognize the need for international action, but more importantly, the need for that action to be translated on a local level through rangers and communities.