December 4th will be the first ever Wildlife Conservation Day. And I have instructed U.S. diplomatic missions around the world to work to raise awareness about wildlife trafficking -- some will host events, others will start a conversation with various communities. Our goal is to inform more people about this global conservation crisis.
Attacks on elephants and rhinos are multiplying at an alarming rate. Species around the globe such as tigers in Asia are endangered. Poaching operations are using more sophisticated weapons that threaten security and stability. By some estimates, the black market for wildlife trafficking is rivaled in size only by the illegal arms and drug trade.
The slaughter of endangered species robs communities of income from tourism, reduces biodiversity, encourages corruption, undermines good governance.
That's why we are training officials and educating prosecutors and judges about wildlife crimes; why we are helping countries strengthen their own laws; why we are supporting efforts to squeeze trafficking networks. And we are helping to create wildlife enforcement networks from Central America to South Asia.
But let's face it: we can't do this without you. You have the choice to refuse to purchase products made from endangered wildlife; you have the choice to stand up and speak out against these criminal networks; you have the choice to hold your governments accountable for their actions to protect endangered species and stop this trade.
So please, join us, become part of the solution. Visit the website www.wildlifepledge.org. Take the pledge to respect and protect the world's wildlife. Together I believe we can save these endangered animals before it is too late. We can strengthen developing economies, we can bolster peace and security, and protect the world's ecosystems. But it is up to you and to me. So let's get started. Thank you.