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Amphibian Trade, Alejandra Goyenechea

Alejandra Goyenechea, international lawyer, discusses the global amphibian trade and its impact on rare and threatened species. She tells “The WildLife” host Laurel Neme about the benefits of frogs and the many threats – such as habitat loss, climate change, pollution, disease, and overexploitation – to their survival. Did you know frogs indicate environmental quality, like canaries in a coal mine? Or that many have medicinal properties, like the phantasmal poison dart frog which produces a painkiller 200 times the potency of morphine? A booming international trade exists that uses frogs for food, pets, medicine and scientific purposes – a trade that is now jeopardizing the continued existence of many species. Ms. Goyenechea is International Counsel at the International Conservation Program of Defenders of Wildlife and also Chair of the Species Survival Network’s (SSN) Amphibian Working Group. Her primary focus is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and other international trade law issues, with an emphasis on Latin America. She has worked at several international institutions and organizations and has experience in wildlife policy and broader experience in other environmental areas. During her work with the Mexican government she represented the Environmental Enforcement Agency at the international level. She also has interned or worked at the Organization of American States, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) North American office, and the DC law firm Baker Botts.Alejandra earned her law degree at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, in Mexico, and came in 2000 to Washington DC to complete a Masters degree, LLM, in International Environmental Law, at the Washington College of Law at American University, with a Fulbright scholarship. She speaks fluent English, Spanish and French. (First aired on February 8, 2010)

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See the article based on this interview.