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USAID WILDLIFE ASIA NEWS ROUND-UP

February 24 - March 2, 2018 

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
Rhino horn demand reduction project comes to a close, looks to the future
TRAFFIC, March 2, 2018
Representatives of TRAFFIC, WWF, and the French Development Agency (AfD) held a workshop in Hanoi today to reflect on the achievements of their three-year project to curb demand for rhino horn in Viet Nam, and to discuss how the initiative will continue into the future. The event included around 40 representatives from government, civil society organisations (CSOs), and other parties who contributed to the initiative’s success. The workshop featured panel discussions with business leaders who discussed how adopting CSR policies that promoted conservation benefitted the business community. Members of CSOs explained the importance of social mobilisation in effectively combatting wildlife crime. 

Wildlife trafficking world – Demand for animal bone glue
Vietnam Net, March 1, 2018
The demand for animal bone glue, especially tiger bone glue, is high as people believe the glue can help improve health. More and more tigers have been killed and traffickers are earning big money from glue sales. After many efforts, Bao Ve Rung & Moi Truong (Forest & Environment Protection) reporters managed to get into touch with N, a well known name among wildlife trafficking rings in the north. When reporters told N over the phone that they were looking for monkeys to process monkey bone glue, N replied that one kilogram of slaughtered frozen monkey was priced at VND300,000. 

Threatened Big Cats in the Spotlight for World Wildlife Day

EcoWatch, February 28, 2018
It was truly inspiring and an absolute celebration of these magnificent animals. Moreover, it made up for the regular onslaught of bad news to which we are often subjected at EIA, bombarded with poaching news from the field, with images and video of parts and products of tigers, leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards, lions and jaguar—either seized in trade, offered for sale in well-publicized but persistent trade hubs or offered for sale on social media.The end uses for these big cats are more or less the same in the melting pot of an unchecked and growing demand in Asia, primarily among Chinese consumers in China, Laos and Myanmar and among Vietnamese consumers.
 
LAW ENFORCEMENT

Accused poacher Premchai's tusks 'from Africa' 
Bangkok Post, February 28, 2018
DNA collected from ivory tusks confiscated at construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta's residence came from African elephants, forensic tests have revealed. Thai law prohibits the import, trade and possession of African ivory. Violators could be subject to a fine of up to 40,000 baht and/or a prison term of up to four years. 

Chinese man faces trial on wildlife charges
The Namibian, 26 February, 2018
A CHINESE businessman charged with illegally dealing in elephant tusks and possessing other wildlife products is due to go on trial with two Namibian co-accused in the Windhoek Regional Court in November. The state has charged all five of the accused with a count of dealing in controlled wildlife products, based on an allegation that they dealt in four elephant tusks with a combined weight of 54 kilogrammes in Windhoek on 11 June 2014.

Five-year sentences for elephant poachers in Republic of Congo
Mongabay, 28 February 2018
A court in the Republic of Congo has convicted three men of killing elephants for their tusks. They were handed five-year prison sentences and fined $10,000 each. The three men were part of a six-member poaching gang that managed to escape an ambush set up by park authorities, but not before leaving behind some 70 kilograms of ivory as well as an AK-47 rifle, according to the WCS.
 
South Africa’s involvement in export of Asian tigers and link to trade in tiger products
Daily Maverick, March 1, 2018
In the last five years, according to the Cites (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) trade database, South Africa has exported over 200 live captive-bred tigers, mostly to Asia and the Middle-East. These figures exclude the dozens of tiger trophies, bones, claws and skulls exported over the same period.
 
Vietnamese jailed 15 months for smuggling rhino horns through Changi Airport
Channel News Asia, February 26, 2018
A 29-year-old Vietnamese man has been jailed for attempting to smuggle illegal rhino horns and horn shavings through Singapore's Changi Airport. Eight pieces of cut horns and a bag of alleged horn shavings were detected and seized. Nguyen was then arrested for further investigations.

 

POLICY, LEGAL AND POLITICAL COMMITMENT

Parliament: Singapore adopts three-pronged approach to deal with wildlife trafficking 
Straits Times, February 28, 2018
The Government has a three-pronged strategy to deter wildlife trafficking at Singapore's border checkpoints. This includes subjecting passengers and shipments to a risk assessment, conducting multiple layers of checks at the checkpoints, and adopting a coordinated enforcement approach among the agencies involved, such as the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), Singapore Customs, as well as Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.

European Union urges Myanmar to act against illegal wildlife trade
Myanmar Times, March 2, 2018
The European Union (EU) has urged the government to take urgent action to end the illegal wildlife trade in domestic and border markets.The EU said that among the concrete actions that Myanmar could initiate are developing a more robust legal framework in line with global standards and ensuring its effective enforcement.

Melbourne crush calls for ivory and horn trade ban
National Geographic, March 2, 2018
In the tradition of countries like Vietnam and Kenya, Melbourne will have its own ivory and rhino horn crush to push for a domestic trade ban of the endangered wildlife parts.
World Wildlife Day Melbourne Crush organisers, For the Love of Wildlife (FLOW), are campaigning for an urgent domestic ivory trade ban in Australia, claiming a ban is crucial to stem elephant and rhino poaching and set an example for Asian countries to follow.

 
REGIONAL COLLABORATION AND US GOVERNMENT COORDINATION

ROUTES Partnership and Kenya Airways train transport staff to help curb wildlife trafficking
TRAFFIC, March 1, 2018
To help detect and stop smugglers carrying ivory, rhino horn, and other wildlife products out of Kenya, the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership today delivered a training workshop in Nairobi for airline transport staff  on the key role they play in preventing the trafficking of wildlife. Cabin crew, ground handlers, cargo processors, and staff from regional airports participated in the interactive sessions.

LAM To Help Curb Wildlife Trafficking in Mozambique 
TRAFFIC, February 27, 2018
The USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership delivered a training workshop in Maputo for transport staff to learn how they can play a key role in helping prevent the trafficking of wildlife and wildlife products in Mozambique.  

Kenyan Wildlife Service receives 27 Landcruisers
DefenceWeb, February 28, 2018
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated 26 Toyota Landcruiser vehicles to boost the anti-poaching operations of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). the vehicles would help KWS staff intensify counter-poaching operations while fighting the cancer of corruption which undermines the fight against wildlife crimes.

Global Virome Project Aims to Prevent Pandemics
Drovers, February 26, 2018
Whether among livestock, wildlife or humans, the best time to stop an outbreak of viral disease is early, before it becomes an epidemic. That’s when quarantines, biosecurity, vaccination and other strategies can effectively contain the outbreak. The Global Virome Project builds on the USAID’s PREDICT program, which has found more than 1,000 unique viruses in animals and humans. 

EVENTS

i2 Analyst Notebook Training For Anti-money Laundering Office
March 5-6, 2018
Anti-Money Laundering Office, Bangkok
Contact: Salvatore Amato


World Wildlife Day
March 3, 2018
Worldwide 
website

 
RESOURCE

USAID Wildlife Asia Counter Wildlife Trafficking Digest: Southeast Asia and China, Issue 1/2018

USAID Wildlife Asia aims to document and understand the current state of wildlife trafficking in Southeast Asia and China through the compilation of secondary information on enforcement actions. USAID Wildlife Asia regularly reviews available information on the trade in elephant, rhinoceros, pangolin and tiger parts and products in target countries, and develops various analyses and recommendations based on this information. This Counter Wildlife Trafficking (CWT) Digest: Southeast Asia and China covers the period January 2017 to December 2017. It is the first in what is expected to be an on-going series, updated every six months. The recommendations provided herein target the broader CWT community and focus on increased government commitment and political will, improved law enforcement, and legal and policy reform processes.
Copyright © 2018, USAID Wildlife Asia, All rights reserved.

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