2017 Summit: Illegal Wildlife Trade and CITES

Friday, March 10, 4:10pm, Weinmann Hall, Room TBD

In 2016, the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) took important steps to combat illegal wildlife trade across the globe. This panel will review current efforts to regulate wildlife trade and how these efforts are being implemented. Additionally, experts will discuss the affected species and proposed methods to protect them.

Carney Anne Nasser, Associate Director, Captive Animal Law Enforcement, PETA Foundation

carney-anne-nasser-webCarney Anne Nasser, one of New Orleans Magazine’s Top Female Achievers for 2016, is one of the PETA Foundation’s three in-house captive wildlife legal specialists. She provides the organization with critical expertise regarding the federal Endangered Species Act, the federal Animal Welfare Act and she also strategizes and deploys creative strategies to ameliorate the exploitation of big cats, elephants, bears, primate, orcas, and other captive exotic and endangered animals. Carney Anne draws on her professional expertise to provide additional counsel on regulatory matters, legislative policy, lobbying, and trends in animal law. This expertise includes more than ten years of litigation work in private practice, government, and the nonprofit sector. Prior to re-joining PETA Foundation in December 2016, Carney Anne served as senior attorney for wildlife and regulatory affairs at the Animal Legal Defense Fund from 2014-2016, and from 2010-2014, served as litigation counsel for the PETA Foundation’s Captive Animal Law Enforcement department—the same department she has recently rejoined. Carney Anne has played a key role in the rescue of nearly two dozen exotic animals, who are now thriving in reputable sanctuaries. An internationally recognized expert on captive wildlife, Nasser recently represented the Animal Legal Defense Fund at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) seventeenth meeting of the parties in Johannesburg, South Africa and at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress in Hawaii in September 2016.

Carney Anne holds a B.A. in political science from U.C. San Diego, a J.D. from Tulane University, and a graduate degree in community advocacy from the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. Carney Anne is a recognized speaker on the national circuit and has served as national and international media spokesperson on a wide range of animal protection issues, including a recent appearance on NBC’s nationally syndicated Today Show, where she was called upon to impart her thoughts about the use of live tiger mascots by Louisiana State University.

Jordan A. Lesser, Esq. Counsel, Office of New York Assemblywoman Lifton

jordan lesser.JPGJordan Lesser currently works as Legal Counsel for the New York State Assembly, where he has been able to lead in environmental and energy policymaking. As a former National Park Ranger in Arizona and Louisiana, and with a background in water law and natural resources law, he has brought this expertise to the state capitol during an exciting time for development of energy and environmental policy. He also serves as Co-Chair of the International Law Committee for the American Bar Association Section of State and Local Government Law, as well as Chair of a Water Law Subcommittee. In this capacity, Jordan led an expedition to Namibia in September 2016 with an international legal team, to look at legislative reforms to address the serious concerns surrounding wildlife poaching which threatens to eradicate the Black Rhinoceros and gravely damage Africa’s elephant population. Some of Jordan’s legislative work includes drafting numerous laws about hydraulic fracturing in New York to improve the oil and gas leasing practices, codify local zoning control, and more. He wrote and filed amicus briefs at all three court levels in the landmark Town of Dryden lawsuit, which was favorably decided in 2014 by the New York Court of Appeals to uphold local zoning ordinances over oil and gas drilling. Hydraulic fracturing was banned statewide in summer 2015. He also drafted and negotiated the Aquatic Invasive Species Transport Law which was enacted in 2014, and the New York State Carbon Tax legislation introduced in 2015, among many other initiatives. He is a member of the Albany Curling Club and enjoys cooking, canoeing and astronomy.

Rachel Kramer, Senior Program Officer, Wildlife Conservation & TRAFFIC, World Wildlife Fund

kramerRachel Kramer is a wildlife trade monitoring and conservation technology expert at the World Wildlife Fund, with 10 years’ experience in community based conservation, wildlife trade monitoring and policy. As Senior Program Officer for TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network that is a strategic alliance of WWF and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Rachel oversees projects in Africa and Asia and manages wildlife trade assessments that support important policy and enforcement actions. In her work with WWF’s Wildlife Crime Technology Project, Rachel teamed up with United for Wildlife to found WILDLABS.NET: the conservation technology network. This open online community connects over 1,000 technology experts to conservationists to help them crowd-source technical advice and co-engineer tools that save wildlife. Rachel served three years in the Peace Corps in Madagascar where she led community-based conservation projects until her evacuation in the coup of 2009. She has an MESc from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Rachel is committed to advancing sustainable resource use for future generations.

Brett Korte (Moderator), Staff Attorney & Director of Associates at the Environmental Law Institute

korte-staff-photoBrett M. Korte joined ELI in 2014. As the Director of the Associates Program he designs and oversees educational programming for ELI members and the wider environmental law and policy community. Brett is also a Staff Attorney in ELI’s Research Department with projects focusing on resource management and sustainability. He holds a JD and Certificate of Specialization in Environmental Law from Tulane University Law School, and is a member of the Missouri Bar. He received his undergraduate degrees in history and geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.