Combat Wildlife Crime - ChinaCombatting illegal wildlife trade in China
(Beijing, China - November 4, 2022) – China and Vietnam share a long-standing commitment to wildlife conservation and regularly collaborate to strengthen law enforcement in the fight against wildlife crime and the smuggling of endangered species.
In November, the two countries co-hosted a virtual workshop to create a more coordinated approach to combating trans-national organized crime related to wildlife smuggling.
IFAW, together with TRAFFIC, supported the workshop hosted by the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of the General Administration of China Customs. More than 30 law-enforcement agents, including representatives from the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of Vietnam Customs, Hong Kong S.A.R Customs, the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of the General Administration of China Customs and NGO representatives, attended the virtual workshop.
Customs parties shared their recent seizures , measures to strengthen enforcement and pledges to work together to enhance intelligence exchange, cross-border logistics, and non-customs patrols. They also emphasized their concern for procedure around high-risk species and their derivatives such as pangolin scales, rhino horns and totoaba.
"With the resumption of global trade and cross-border travel, it is imperative that law enforcement agencies stay on top of the increased risks of wildlife smuggling,” Grace Ge Gabriel, IFAW Asia Regional Director said.
“IFAW will continue to support counter wildlife trafficking efforts, by facilitating enhanced law enforcement collaboration among source, transit and destination countries.”
China Customs has upheld a ‘zero tolerance’ policy against the smuggling of endangered species and has developed a "Smart Anti-smuggling" system to improve the efficiency of intelligence capture and analysis based on big data algorithm.
“The system helps improve the analytical capability and accuracy of massive data and facilitates the customs department to be informed of smuggling crime trends and risk points in a timely and efficient manner and plays an important role in strengthening the region's customs response to the new smuggling crime situation,” explained a representative of the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of China Customs.
Since 2018, China and Vietnam Customs have maintained close bilateral communication with support from IFAW. The partnership resulted in the establishment of ”Operation of Mekong Dragon” in 2019, a flagship project to combat endangered species smuggling crimes along the Mekong River region.
The Southeast Asia region is at the forefront of illegal wildlife trafficking worldwide, and strong international law enforcement cooperation is one of the most powerful weapons to deter smuggling crimes. Long-term mechanisms of law enforcement collaboration such the China and Vietnam collaboration, has greatly improved efforts to deter wildlife smuggling.
Notes to editors:
Over the past two years, a remarkable downward trend in organized crime of endangered species smuggling in the region, especially traditional trafficked species such as ivory and pangolin scales, has been observed. Data on cases related to ivory, pangolin, rhino horn, and tigers and leopards recorded in the C4ADS (Center for Advanced Defense Studies) Wildlife Seizure Dashboard show that law enforcement authorities in Asia seized a total of 338 wildlife crime cases in 2021 and 147 wildlife crime cases so far in 2022, marking a significant decrease in both the number of cases and the scale of seized products compared to 2019. Meanwhile, however, as countries gradually loosen their controls against epidemics, countries, including China and Vietnam, also expressed great concern about the possible resurgence of transnational illegal wildlife trade.
Communications Manager, IFAW Asia
m: +86 13911116927
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