IFAW Supports Trans-border Collaboration to Fight Wildlife Crime in Southeast Asia

Tuesday, 11 October, 2011
Beijing, China
Wildlife management and law enforcement officers from China,India and Nepal discussed new measures and trans-boundary collaboration to ramp up the fight against wildlife crime at a tri-lateral meeting today in Chengdu, China  according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org). While the three countries share an area rich in biodiversity and indigenous species, poaching to supply illegal trade has pushed many of the region’s wildlife populations, including tigers and Tibetan antelope, to the brink of extinction.

The meeting, which also addressed regional implementation of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, was hosted by the CITES Management Authority of China with the support of IFAW and other conservation organizations

“The long and porous border in the foothills of the Himalayas presents many challenges for controlling illegal trade across international borders”, says Grace Ge Gabriel, IFAW’s Asia Regional Director from the meeting. “It is of paramount importance for law enforcement officers from the three countries to improve communication, collaboration and capacity, in order to effectively prevent smuggling of wildlife and their parts.”

Law enforcement officers, mostly from Customs and Forestry Police, shared techniques for species identification, market investigation and intelligence gathering to combat wildlife crime. China which is an observer to the Asia South East Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) earlier in the year pledged to increase wildlife enforcement collaboration with the South Asian network (SA-WEN).

China, India and Nepal were among the tiger range countries that signed on to the Global Tiger Recovery Plan, which was endorsed by world leaders at the International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia last year.

The tri-lateral meeting today was a response to China’s Premier Wen Jiabao call “for strengthened laws and regulations to combat poaching, smuggling and trade of tiger parts.”

As few as 3,000 wild tigers survive in 13 Asian range countries. More than half live in India, with most of those found in the foothills of the Himalayas, including the border regions with Nepal and China.   “The three countries with shared borders have shared wildlife species and should share the responsibility for their protection,” urged Gabriel.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Pauline Verheij, Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy