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USAID WILDLIFE ASIA NEWS ROUND-UP

October 7-19, 2017

The USAID Wildlife Asia compiles news reports on combating wildlife trafficking, and other useful information. This is circulated to subscribers weekly. To contribute to this news round-up, please contact Dararat Weerapong, Communications, Outreach and Learning Specialist: dararat.weerapong@usaidwildlifeasia.org


CONSUMER DEMAND REDUCTION/CAMPAIGNS/BUSINESS

Beijing Philanthropist Commits $1.5 Billion to Conservation
Bloomberg, October 13, 2017
In China, a culture of environmental awareness is breaking through the smog. And leading the charge is He Qiaonv, one of the country’s wealthiest women and most ardent conservationists. This may represent the largest-ever personal philanthropic commitment to wildlife conservation. 

Lions, elephants and rhinoceros exported by the thousand legally by 'trophy' hunters
Ecologist, October 17, 2017
The African Wildlife Foundation has uncovered the figures behind the shocking numbers of 'trophy hunters' and the sanctioned trade in exporting dead and living animals out of the continent. 

Hobbyists Accounts for 70 Percent of Online Illegal Wildlife Trading in Indonesia
Greeners, October 10, 2017
Hobbyists of wildlife species accounted for 78 percent of online demands, starting from tiger offsets, deer heads and elephant ivory, making them the largest contributor in the chain of illegal wildlife trading, said Dwi Nugroho Adhiasto, program manager of Wildlife Crime Unit, World Conservation Society. 
 
Photographers against wildlife crime – in pictures
The Guardian, October 16, 2017
In a new project, an international group of photographers have joined forces to use their powerful images to raise awareness and funds to help stop the illegal wildlife trade

 
LAW ENFORCEMENT

INTERPOL meeting deliberates on online investigation, cybercrime threats in illegal wildlife trade
Aptantech, October 19, 2017
The five-day meeting – held on October 9 – 13 in Singapore – gathered some 100 experts from law enforcement, academia, NGOs and the private sector in 38 countries to strengthen collaboration amongst all environmental security stakeholders and shape practical solutions to the most pressing threats to the world’s forests and biodiversity.

Terrifying new elephant poaching epidemic to meet demand for ‘health’ jewellery made from their skin
Mirror, October 8, 2017
Lying slaughtered in a forest ­clearing, its skin half-peeled, the elephant is one of 20 found dead the same day, many of them mothers and calves, all killed by poisoned dart. But these animals were not butchered for their precious ivory tusks; they were killed for their thick, grey hide. It is hacked off while their bodies are still warm. The rest of the beast is left to rot.

North Korean Diplomats Accused of Smuggling Ivory and Rhino Horn
National Geographic, October 2017
A new report identifies at least 18 instances of diplomats being implicated in smuggling, but they've rarely been caught or punished. Similar story: North Korea’s Illicit Trade Network Hits Africa’s Vulnerable Wildlife

Poachers Work Across Borders, So Why Not Conservation Efforts?
National Geographic, October 9, 2017
A new study finds that three-quarters of African savanna elephants cross country borders, but the treaty that protects them from the illegal ivory trade doesn’t account for that.

 

POLICY, LEGAL AND POLITICAL COMMITMENT
Pangolin trade forces Ghana to look at new wildlife laws
Phys, October 12, 2017
Ghana is facing calls to update its laws on wildlife crime after fears the country has become a transit route for the illegal trade in pangolin scales. More than 31,000 kilograms (68,000 pounds) of scales from the nocturnal mammal have been seized across the world this year, according to IFAW.

Oman rhino horn ban wins praise from World Wildlife Fund
Times of Oman, October 17, 2017
Oman’s efforts to support the global drive to preserve certain rhinoceros species and stop its illegal trafficking has been commended by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This comes after the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) published a new standard for the Omani Khanjar and reaffirmed a 1994 ban on using rhino horns in the production of khanjars.

CITES Announces WWD Big Cats Theme Amid Flurry of Snow Leopard Conservation Commitments
IISD, October 10, 2017
CITES has elected to use big cats – broadly defined to include tigers, jaguars, leopards, cheetahs and lions – as the theme for World Wildlife Day (WWD) 2018. WWD, held annually on 3 March, the day CITES was adopted, raises awareness and generates action on wildlife conservation. 

CITES calls on zoos and aquariums to support wildlife trade controls and to join the fight against wildlife trafficking
CITES, October 17, 2017
At the annual conference of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the largest gathering of the zoos and aquariums from around the world, CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon calls on zoos and aquariums to better support the CITES trade regulation regime and to join the fight against illegal trade in wildlife.

 
REGIONAL COLLABORATION AND US GOVERNMENT COORDINATION

Qatar Airways joins USAID routes partnership to Combat wildlife trafficking
Gulf Times, October 18, 2017
Qatar Airways has joined a select group of private sector, non-government organisations and government agencies in a concerted response to combat wildlife crime across transportation networks. As a partner in the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (Routes) Partnership, Qatar Airways has increased its commitment as a signatory to the United for Wildlife. 
 
USAID aims to promote growth in SE Asia
The Nation, October 8, 2017
USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia awarded the five-year, US$19 million (Bt635 million) USAID Green Invest Asia programme to Pact, a US-based development organisation. The aim is to promote economic opportunity and reduce deforestation.

Wildlife Advocates Push Crackdown on Ivory, Rhino Horn Sales
CBS Boston, October 8, 2017
Wildlife advocates are pushing legislation on Beacon Hill intended to end the sale of ivory and rhino horns in Massachusetts. The bill would crack down on the sale of ivory and rhino horn items, with limited exemptions like ivory attached to a musical instrument or an antique.

How Tech Can Help Save Wildlife: #Zoohackathon 2017 Launches at the San Diego Safari Park
DIPNOTE, October 6, 2017
With the shared goal of conserving the world's wildlife and their ecosystems, and combating wildlife trafficking, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs hosted its second Zoohackathon at the San Diego Safari Park from September 22-24, in partnership with the San Diego Zoo.  This event helps create technological solutions to combat wildlife trafficking – the poaching and illegal transit, trade and sale of wildlife – which is the world’s fourth largest transnational crime, generating tens of billions of dollars each year for international criminals.  

Stronger protection of nature urged
China Daily, October 13, 2017
China encourages countries to cooperate to combat illegal wildlife trade and environmental degradation. A senior official of the body that regulates China's forestry says African governments should work together to regulate Chinese companies operating in their forestry and extractive sectors to limit the illegal wildlife trade and environmental degradation.

United for Wildlife win at Jackson Hole Film Festival
United for Wildlife, October 10, 2017
United for Wildlife’s film ‘I am a Ranger’, by Black Bean Productions at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy is one of the winners at Jackson Hole Film Festival. “I am a Ranger” is part of United for Wildlife ‘RangerTV’ films. The Jackson Hole Film Festival focuses on conservation and wildlife films, with a variety of categories, such as educational, limited series and engaging youth.

EVENTS

Thai Environmental NGOs Network Meeting
Organizer: USAID Wildlife Asia
Date: November (TBC)
Venue: Bangkok
Contact: Eleanora de Guzman

USAID Wildlife Asia Team Coordination Meeting
Organizer: USAID Wildlife Asia
Date: November (TBC)
Venue: Beijing, China
Contact: Eleanora de Guzman

 
JOB OPPORTUNITY

Behavior Change Communication (BCC) Specialist

The BCC Specialist will provide technical assistance to planning, implementing and evaluating communication campaigns to reduce consumer demand for illegal wildlife and wildlife products, and support capacity strengthening interventions of the USAID Wildlife Asia. The position is open until filled. Click for more information and application.

 
RESOURCES

U.S. Government Accountability Office, a report to congressional requesters, October 2017. COMBATING WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING: Agencies Are Taking Action to Reduce Demand but Could Improve Collaboration in Southeast Asia

Kiettikunwong, Narong. (2017). The Green Bench: Can an environmental court protect natural resources in Thailand?. Environment, Development and Sustainability. 10.1007/s10668-017-0044-4.

Symposium Report: Africa-Asia Pacific Symposium on Strengthen Legal Frameworks to Combat Wildlife Crime, Bangkok, July 4-5, 2017. For copy, please contact Brian Gonzales, Partnership Specialist, USAID Wildlife Asia.

Laws, E. (2017). The political economy of the illegal wildlife trade. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies

Moran, D. and Kanemoto, K. (2017). Identifying species threat hotspots from global supply chains, in Nature Ecology & Evolution 1. 

 
Copyright © 2017, USAID Wildlife Asia, All rights reserved.

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