Gloved hands holding tiny baby leopard cub (© Juni Kriswanto/AFP/Getty Images)
A nature conservation organization officer holds a leopard cub during a press conference March 4 in Surabaya, Indonesia, after the organization worked with the police to arrest a group of wildlife traffickers. (© Juni Kriswanto/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States and Norway are leading the way on collaborative efforts to stop activities that pose a direct threat to people and nature.

On September 21 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Espen Barth Eide and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina co-hosted the Nature Crime Roundtable with leaders from 11 countries.

Nature crimes — criminal forms of logging, mining, wildlife trade, land conversion and associated criminal activities, as well as crimes associated with fishing — are a threat to environmental and conservation efforts everywhere.

“Nature is but the first victim in this organized, international criminal chain of exploitation,” the United States and Norway said in a joint statement after the roundtable. “We look forward to working with those who joined us today as we further develop a new collaborative initiative — the Nature Crime Alliance.”

Gloved hand above large group of baby sea turtles wriggling on sand (© Resha Juhari/NurPhoto/Getty Images)
Hundreds of baby sea turtles are released into the sea August 4 in Indonesia’s Bangka Belitung Islands as part of a conservation program. Before being hatched and released, 2,287 sea turtle eggs were saved from illegal trade. (© Resha Juhari/NurPhoto/Getty Images)