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USAID WILDLIFE ASIA NEWS ROUND-UP

October 1-6, 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

#IvoryFree: 100 Thai Influencers Say No To Ivory
Thailand Tatler, October 2, 2017
From the biggest names in Thai television and cinema to beauty queens, sport stars and even a former Prime Minister, influential Thais are taking a united stance against the notorious ivory trade.

Terrorism, fashion and Illegal animal trafficking
Wionews, October 5, 2017
Even after implementing international laws and regulations, animal trafficking is continuously increasing. Illegal trade of wild animals is a very lucrative business. Tiger, elephant, and rhino, leopard, lizard, marine turtles, and pangolins, as well as, many species of snakes are poached for animal parts, such as ivory, horn, teeth, venom, skin, scales and bone.

The bold, tech-fuelled plan to save Africa’s big beasts
BBC, October 5, 2017
Kenya's rhinos, elephants, and zebras pull in millions of tourism dollars and supply jobs. Poachers threaten that – but an ambitious programme is combining the influence of local communities and innovative technology to keep them at bay.

'Wild animal selfies': charity condemns trend following Amazon investigation
The Guardian, October 4, 2017
Some of the Amazon’s most endangered creatures are under threat from the growing trend of tourists taking “wild animal selfies”, according to a new investigation by the charity World Animal Protection released this week. Selfies with animals has become a trend in recent years, with a 292% increase in the number of images posted to Instagram from 2014 to present. However, behind the scenes animals are kept in cruel conditions with many dying soon after being snatched from their natural habitat. 
 
Auction News: £26,000 charged for rhino head
Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, October 3, 2017
The stuffed and mounted head of a black rhinoceros sold for £26,000 at an auction in the Cotswolds last week. The head of the rhino, shot by a big game hunter on the Elbolossa Plains, British East Africa on February 9, 1905 was the standout lot in the taxidermy section of Moore Allen & Innocent’s Sporting Sale in Cirencester on Friday, September 15. When taxes and buyer’s premium are included, the successful bidder paid £31,600 for the antique.

 
LAW ENFORCEMENT

Poaching of sumatran tiger remains rampant
Antara News, October 2017
The poaching of Sumatran tigers (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae) on the island of Sumatra for trading remains rampant, following the apprehension of a man in possession of a Sumatran tiger skin in Jambi.

India, Nepal to conduct first joint tiger count
The Economic Times, October 2, 2017
Nepal and India for the first time will commence a joint tiger census next month in their forests, national parks and protected areas neighboring the two countries using a globally-recognized method. Conservation authorities and experts would install cameras in various locations in tiger habitats as well as in buffer zones to capture and track the movements of the big cat.

Ministry steps up online surveillance to end animal smuggling
Antara News, October 4, 2017
To prevent and halt the rampant online trade of animals, the Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry has scaled up efforts to monitor some social media platforms.

Exclusive: footage shows young elephants being captured in Zimbabwe for Chinese zoos
The Guardian, October 3, 2017
The Guardian has been given exclusive footage which shows the capture of young, wild elephants in Zimbabwe in preparation, it is believed, for their legal sale to Chinese zoos.

Irishman pleads guilty to smuggling rhino horn
The Irish World, October 4, 2017
An Irish traveller has pleaded guilty to smuggling a cup made of endangered rhinoceros horn from Miami to London. Michael Hegarty faces up to ten years in prison for fraudulently facilitating the transportation and concealment of a libation cup carved from the horn of an Indian rhinoceros. The 40-year-old will be sentenced in Florida next month. He faces a maximum penalty of up to ten years in prison, followed by a term of supervised release of up to three years, and a maximum fine of $250,000 (£188,500), or up to twice the gross gain.

 

POLICY, LEGAL AND POLITICAL COMMITMENT

UK ivory trade ban to help end 'shame' of elephant poaching
The Guardian, October 6, 2017
Current UK law allows trade in ‘antiques’ carved before 1947 but government bows to campaigners and will ban sale of ivory regardless of age. The UK is the biggest exporter of legal ivory in the world and shutting down the trade will help prevent illegal ivory being laundered by criminals. More than 50 elephants are killed by poachers every day on average and the population of African elephants plunged by a third between 2007-14 alone, leading to warnings that the entire species could go extinct.

Southeast Asia Banks Urged to Strengthen Environment Policies
Bloomberg, October 3, 2017
Banks and regulators in Southeast Asia should strengthen financial-sector rules and guidelines to promote funding for environment-friendly projects in a region threatened by deforestation and climate change, the World Wildlife Fund said.

 
REGIONAL COLLABORATION AND US GOVERNMENT COORDINATION

Thailand-US joint statement - full text
Bangkok Post, October 4, 2017

This is the official English text of the Joint Statement between the US and Thailand issued following the visit to the White House on Monday by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. The text was issued by the White House press office - Stronger Alliance for Common Security and Closer Economic Partnership for Common Prosperity. 
 
...7. President Trump recognised the important role of Thailand in Asean and noted his appreciation of Thailand’s strong support for a wide-ranging partnership between the United States and Asean. The two leaders pledged to strengthen bilateral and regional cooperation to promote the US-Asean Strategic Partnership, including cooperative efforts to combat regional and global security threats like terrorism, pandemics, and transnational trafficking in persons, drugs, and wildlife. The United States welcomes Thailand’s active role in promoting regional cooperation to combat trafficking in persons and both sides decided to strengthen their partnership to address this common challenge. The two sides determined to work more closely on intelligence sharing and law enforcement training, and to make full use of the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok to forge networks and enhance coordination among law enforcement officials in the Indo-Pacific... 


Don't create safe haven for wildlife trafficking — reject SAVES Act
The Hill, October 3, 2017
This week marks the one-year anniversary of the signing into law of the END Wildlife Trafficking Act. The legislation, which promotes international cooperation to curb poaching and wildlife trafficking, and increases federal penalties for wildlife crimes, enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support. 

 

MEDIA REPORTS FROM USAID WILDLIFE ASIA MEDIA WORKSHOP IN BANGKOK

Pangolin listed among most trafficked wildlife
The Philippines Star, September 21, 2017

The pangolin is one of the most trafficked wildlife species, a  concerned official has said. USAID Wildlife Asia chief of party Robert Mather noted that the pangolin is now tagged as the “world’s most poached animal” mainly due to the high demand for traditional medicine. “Another is the fact that they haven’t received the same level of legal protection given other species. So that one of the issues being talked about in countries like China for example, is how to elevate the level of protection being given to pangolins,” Mather explained during a workshop on “Combating Wildlife Trafficking” held here recently at the Miracle Grand Convention Hotel.


EVENTS

2017 Annual Judicial Dialogue of Southeast Asian Judges
Organizers: International Commission of Jurists & and Raoul Wallenburg Institute
Date: October 5-7, 2017
Venue: Pullman Hotel, Bangkok
Contact: Brian Gonzales


SBCC Workshop of Thai NGOs
Organizer: USAID Wildlife Asia
Date: October 9-11
Venue: Plaza Athenee Hotel, Bangkok
Contact: Eleanora de Guzman

The 28th Wildlife Crime Working Group Meeting
Organizer: INTERPOL
Date: October 9-13
Venue: Singapore
Contact: Salvatore Amato
RESOURCES

World Bank Group. 2016. Analysis of International Funding to Tackle Illegal Wildlife Trade. World Bank, Washington, DC. 

Speech: CITES Secretary-General’s opening speech for the Global Wildlife Program Annual Conference, High Level Segment - Delhi, India, October 2-6, 2017
Copyright © 2017, USAID Wildlife Asia, All rights reserved.

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