Government of Laos commits to tackle the illegal wildlife trade during Greater Mekong Transboundary Meeting | WWF

Government of Laos commits to tackle the illegal wildlife trade during Greater Mekong Transboundary Meeting

Posted on
20 September 2018
Aug 30 & 31: WWF congratulated the Government of Laos for hosting a key regional meeting on transboundary illegal wildlife trade, as well as its commitment to tackling wildlife crime that threatens endangered species such as elephants, tigers, bears and pangolin. Governments, enforcement agencies, overseas missions of the US, UK and the EU and conservation organizations across the Greater Mekong Region and China attended the meeting.
 
H.E Lien Thykeo, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, stated that Lao PDR, especially at the leadership level, is committing to tackle the illegal wildlife trade and is working closely with international organizations to implement the Hanoi Statement from the 2016 Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade. The next major international meeting will take place in London on October 11-12, hosted by the UK Government. Laos committed to attend the conference.
 
In addition, cooperation commitments were made between Laos, Vietnam and China around trade within the Golden Triangle region, including a commitment from China to host joint training exercises for Customs personnel. The Director General of the Luang Namtha Provincial Office of Agriculture and Forestry also stated that more mechanisms are needed to improve the awareness of Chinese tourists and businessmen about wildlife policies in Laos. Vietnam meanwhile discussed expanding its current transboundary wildlife crime Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation with Laos from four provinces to six.
 
Participants in the meeting re-visited international, regional, bilateral and country commitments to combat illegal wildlife trade (IWT). This includes participant’s responsibilities as signatories to CITES (the world’s main treaty regulating international trade in endangered species), follow-up of action points from the 2016 Hanoi Conference Statement, and ASEAN level developments.   
 
The latest trends and issues on wildlife crime and trafficking in the region were identified, focusing on critical issues concerning endangered species such as elephants, tigers, pangolins, bears and rhinoceros (through an expert panel discussion from countries and organizations). Participants also identified critical border hotspots and issues related to trafficking routes.  
 
Participants developed a roadmap to increase awareness and knowledge of best practices in law enforcement, law/policy reform and judiciary processes, technology and innovative practices, cross-border collaboration, public outreach, demand reduction, as well as community and NGO engagement.
 
Lao-Wildlife Enforcement Network also presented law enforcement activities combating illegal wildlife trade carried out in Laos over the past years.
 
For official press release visit: http://www.wwflaos.org/media/press_releases/
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