Workshop on Marine Turtle Trade in the Coral Triangle
Participants from various agencies and relevant organizations in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Viet Nam attended the workshop. Together with observers, speakers, and organizers, there were a total of 41 attendees. (Workshop Agenda and List of Attendees are attached as Annex A and B).
The workshop aimed to increase awareness of the trade in marine turtles, enhance enforcement efforts against illegal traders and set recommendations for actions at the national and regional levels in addressing the illegal trade in these species in the Coral Triangle. The workshop provided the opportunity for the sharing and exchange of information and experiences in conserving marine turtles in the region during discussions on the prevention of the illegal harvest and trade of these animals; an analysis of the main threats faced by marine turtles in the region; identification and prioritizing of actions needed for their conservation in the region at the local, national and international levels. The event also sought to forge stronger ties between and among participating countries on marine turtle trade enforcement and conservation issues.
The Pre-workshop Evaluation revealed that 93 percent of the respondents had heard of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), but 62 percent had never received any training on the Convention. Over 90 percent of the participants were able to identify the correct definition of CITES. Over half (56 percent) of the respondents had worked in their department for more than 10 years, 78 percent have never received any training on the trade of marine wildlife. They considered detection of smuggling and smuggling methods of marine species as the most important training needs, and all responded correctly that they would stop any shipment which contained more specimens than were listed in the CITES permit. (Compilation of Pre-workshop Evaluation is attached as Annex D).
To open the workshop, Dr. Vincent Hilomen delivered the welcome address on behalf of the Philippine Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Theresa Mundita-Lim. (See Annex C).
Day 1 focused on marine wildlife trade in marine turtles in the region, an introduction to the work of the National Coral Triangle Initiative Coordinating Committee (NCCC), and potential requirements for addressing marine turtle trade in Southeast Asia. Presentations were also delivered on the status of and illegal trade in marine turtles and the efforts which are being undertaken to combat the harvest and sale of these animals in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Viet Nam and China. TRAFFIC’s marine turtle identification sheets and information were also introduced, in addition to information on sea turtle migration in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Island regions.
Day 2 opened with an assessment of the legal and international treaties applicable to the trade in marine turtles in Southeast Asia (SEA), followed by a break-out session to identify the challenges and opportunities present in enforcement at national and regional levels, as well as the possible next steps to be taken by each participating country. After the sharing of workshop outputs, a plenary discussion was conducted to draw out the insights, inputs and recommendations from the group. The group also agreed to share information to create a marine turtle trade database to assist in enforcement efforts.
Lastly, a joint communiqué was discussed in plenary by the group and ultimately adopted as the official solidarity message of the participating countries in the workshop.
The Post-workshop Evaluation indicated the success of the event with all of the participants agreeing that the workshop’s objectives had been achieved. In terms of content, all participants indicated that this was relevant, that they had gained understanding and that what they had learned was useful could be applied to their work.
Evaluation of the presenters was favourable with all agreeing that they had clearly communicated concepts and ideas (54 percent strongly agree). Overall, the workshop was rated very highly by those present, with all agreeing that they would recommend this to others (61 percent strongly agree). (Post-workshop Evaluation responses are collated in Annex E).