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Global Legislators Sign Declaration of Mount Vernon, Commit to Promote Conservation

September 26, 2018
Global Legislators Sign Declaration of Mount Vernon, Commit to Promote Conservation

At the conclusion of the Mount Vernon International Conservation Caucus Summit, legislative leaders representing ten countries across Africa and Latin America signed the Declaration of Mount Vernon, committing to promote conservation and the sustainable utilization of natural resources.

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At the conclusion of the Mount Vernon International Conservation Caucus Summit, held on September 24th at the historic home of George Washington in Virginia, legislative leaders representing ten countries across Africa and Latin America signed the Declaration of Mount Vernon, committing to promote conservation and the sustainable utilization of natural resources.

In signing the Declaration of Mount Vernon, legislators recognize that good management of natural resources is of vital importance for sustainable development, long-term economic growth, and improving quality of life for present and future generations. Committing to continue South-South dialogue and work together, these legislators recognize too that their national parliaments play a fundamental role in creating the national political will to manage and conserve in a sustainable way the world’s natural resources.

The Declaration of Mount Vernon is the culmination of the day-long Mount Vernon International Conservation Caucus Summit, at which legislative leaders - members of parliamentary conservation caucuses in Botswana, Colombia, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Peru, and Zambia - gathered to examine the role of conservation governance in addressing threats and responding to opportunities related to parks and protected areas; marine debris and ocean health; and illegal extraction of resources, including wildlife crime and wildlife trafficking, poaching, illegal fishing, and illegal timber and mineral extraction.

At the Mount Vernon Summit, legislators exchanged experiences and had the opportunity to hear from leading experts on topics of conservation and sustainable development. These experts included Kaddu Sebunya, President of the African Wildlife Foundation; Dr. Sue Lieberman, Vice President for International Policy at the Wildlife Conservation Society; Matthew Jeffery, Director of International Programs at the National Audubon Society; Dr. Andrés Avila-Akerberg, Executive Director of Política y Legislación Ambiental (POLEA); Shamini Jayanathan, Director of Wildlife Prosecution at Space for Giants; Nik Sekhran, Chief Conservation Officer at WWF; and Professor Lee White, Managing Director of the National Agency of National Parks of Gabon. Ambassador Mark Green, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, delivered the keynote address.

Legislators remained in Washington, DC through September 27th to attend the 2018 ICCF U.S. Congressional International Conservation Gala on September 25th and meet with Members of the United States Congress and members of ICCF’s Conservation Council, comprised of business, NGO, and international development partners. They return to their home countries energized to take action and equipped with a network of resources to make an informed and effective difference in furtherance of good conservation governance.

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