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Statement by Ambassador Ron Kirk on the Passage of Peru's Forestry and Wildlife Law

06/16/2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. “Yesterday, the Peruvian Congress passed a new Forestry and Wildlife Law. This law sets out key reforms called for under the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) Annex on Forest Sector Governance aimed at combating illegal logging and illegal trade in wildlife. Passage of this law is the result of significant work and extensive consultations with Peru’s indigenous and local communities, and represents a milestone in Peru’s implementation of its PTPA environmental commitments. We welcome passage of this important law and look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Peru to further implement its PTPA commitments.

“The United States has worked closely with Peru over a period of two years while it developed legal provisions to strengthen forest sector governance as called for under the PTPA Annex on Forest Sector Governance. In addition to passage of the Forestry and Wildlife Law, the Government of Peru has made other unprecedented changes to its legal and regulatory regimes to implement its commitments under the Annex, including amending its Criminal Code to increase penalties for forest, wildlife and environmental crimes and assigning ecological police officers and prosecutors to regions in Peru. It also created a Ministry of Environment to take the lead on natural protected areas and to assume other important environmental duties.

“We look forward to working closely with the Government of Peru as it works to fully implement the Annex on Forest Sector Governance.”

BACKGROUND

The Annex on Forest Sector Governance, part of the Environment Chapter of the United States - Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA), is the first set of provisions in any U.S. trade agreement that identifies specific action required to address an environmental concern, in this case, the improvement of forest sector governance. The PTPA is also the first trade agreement in which the environmental obligations are subject to the same state-to-state dispute settlement procedures, remedies, and sanctions as commercial obligations. The Annex on Forest Sector Governance reflects the commitment of both countries to take concrete measures to combat trade associated with illegal logging as well as illegal trade in wildlife and further promote sustainable management of Peru's natural resources.

The Government of Peru conducted extensive consultations with indigenous and local communities and other stakeholders in Peru in the lead up to passage of the Forestry and Wildlife Law, including three rounds of national consultations in Lima and numerous outreach sessions in affected regions and communities throughout Peru.

USTR will continue to keep the U.S. Congress and relevant stakeholders apprised of Peru’s progress on implementation.