Diplomacy duilds bright futures.
The unlawful trade in wildlife, a black market valued at $10 billion or more a year globally, is fueled by unchecked demand for live wild animals as exotic pets or for their body parts. The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs is deeply involved in worldwide efforts to end this trade, and has joined the U.S.-led Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking and its partner WildAid in focusing some serious star power on the problem.
Actor Harrison Ford, known internationally for various movie roles but especially for his turn as archeologist-adventurer Indiana Jones, filmed three public service announcements for CAWT to encourage people to stop buying illegal wildlife products. OES and the Department helped launch the public awareness campaign in June by providing copies of the PSAs to 215 U.S. posts in 137 countries. OES has since joined WildAid in filming two new PSAs on wildlife trafficking featuring conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.
Diplomacy is often where you find it, and the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Muthanna, Iraq, found success far from the decision-makers in Baghdad. In the last two years, this PRT has seen residents embrace peace, strive for a brighter future and eagerly start rebuilding. Interacting with residents at every level in a province with few resources and lacking many essential services, PRT Muthanna helped provide citizens access to clean water, electricity and health care. And in this predominantly agricultural area, the team's agricultural and water experts worked with relevant Iraqi ministries to tackle complex challenges in both fields.
Costa Rica may be more developed than other Central American countries, but there are still several remote areas of high poverty. Inhabitants of Punta Burica, the region next to Panama along Costa Rica's southernmost Pacific coast, are too poor and too far from doctors to receive regular medical care. In September, the U.S. Embassy in San Jose's Office of the Defense Representative--supported by the post's administrative, political, regional security and public affairs offices--coordinated a Medical Readiness Training Exercise that brought much-needed medical care to the area.
Last but never least, a final salute to our colleagues en route to their final posting: Lawrence Albert Beery; Halbert Thompson "Hal" Cupps; Irmgard Emmel; Donna Ruth Houser; Albert Jennings; Thomas E. "Tom" Kelly; Richard "Dick" Milton; Joseph Molofsky; Carol Messing O'Connor; Helen Steinacker; Jeanne Marie Porrazzo Tousignant; and Anthony H. Wallace.