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Latest news from TRAFFIC


Better co-operation the key to CITES implementation

Delegates from Poland, the Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus met this June to develop a joint approach to implementation of CITES regulations in the region Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC   Biebrza National Park, Poland, 7 July 2009—52 participants from 4 countries in Eastern Europe (Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus) concluded that better cross-border sharing of information was key to implementation of CITES regulations in the region.

The meeting took place this June in Poland and participants included officers from a variety of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) enforcement authorities, including Management Authorities, Scientific Authorities, Customs, police, and environmental inspectorates.

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World’s Customs linked through ENVIRONET

An Australian Customs Officer inspects a haul of confiscated wildlife products Click photo to enlarge © Adam OSWELL / WWF-Canon   en Français

Cambridge, UK, 22 June 2009—the World Customs Organization (WCO) has launched ENVIRONET, a secure internet-based tool to share information quickly and securely amongst environmental law enforcement officers worldwide to enhance environmental border protection.

Customs officers need rapid access to information—for example, expert opinion of the identity of wildlife parts in trade, or information about the legality of exporting particular items, and now they will now able to draw on the expertise of colleagues world-wide.

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Elephant-size loopholes sustain Thai ivory trade

TRAFFIC documented more than 26,000 worked ivory products for sale in Thailand: ivory Buddhas were popular items Click photo to enlarge © Daniel Stiles / TRAFFIC Southeast Asia   

en Français

Bangkok, Thailand, 19 June 2009—Legal loopholes and insufficient law enforcement mean that Thailand continues to harbour the largest illegal ivory market in Asia, says a new report from the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.

The report also raises concerns that legal provisions governing trade in domesticated elephants are providing cover for illegal trade in wild-caught, highly-endangered Asian elephants from both Thailand and neighbouring Myanmar.

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Customs learn how to identify horns and hooves

Russian Customs officers are being taught how to identify hunting trophies Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC Europe - Russia  en Français

Vladivostock, Russia, 4 June 2009–Customs officers from the Russian Far East and Eastern Siberia are being taught how to identify wildlife products such as trophies, stuffed animals and plants, basic ways to determine their value and origin and how best to store such items.

“It is an important part of their professional development that Customs officers receive State certificates to enable them to conduct such biological and merchandising evaluations of confiscated wildlife goods,” commented TRAFFIC-Europe’s programme officer Natalia Pervushina.

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ETIS workshop held in DRC

Dignitaries at the opening ceremony of the ETIS workshop, including government Ministers and representatives from the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature and TRAFFIC. Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC  en Français

Kinshassa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 3 June 2009—representatives of institutions involved in the implementation of wildlife regulations from across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) met in Kisangani in the country’s Eastern Province this May to learn about ETIS, the Elephant Trade information System.

ETIS is the world’s most sophisticated database of elephant ivory seizures, and is operated by TRAFFIC on behalf of parties to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

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Arrest of Cambodians highlights rising poaching concerns in Malaysia’s protected areas

Sign of the times: increased enforcement efforts in Malaysian rainforests is uncovering more evidence of poaching activites, such as this abandoned camp Click photo to enlarge © Perak Wildlife and National Parks Department   

en Français

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 26 May 2009—Three Cambodian poachers with a stash of Wild Boar and argus pheasant meat, agarwood and snares have been nabbed by the National Parks and Wildlife Department (Perhilitan) at their hideout in a forest reserve in Malaysia’s northern state of Perak.

The trio was part of a larger group of seven men who had been poaching protected species in the Bintang Hijau Forest Reserve in Ulu Lawin, near the town of Gerik.

Perak Perhilitan director Shabrina Mohd Shariff said the department deployed a team of 15 enforcement officers on Saturday after a tip-off.

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Paper protection not enough for Viet Nam’s marine turtles

Illegal goods: stuffed marine turtles openly for sale in An Dong Market, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam Click photo to enlarge © Dan Stiles / TRAFFIC Southeast Asia   

en Français

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 23 May 2009—Marine turtles are vanishing from Viet Nam’s waters and illegal trade is largely to blame says a new study by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

An assessment of the marine turtle trade in Viet Nam (PDF, 500 KB), launched to mark World Turtle Day found that large marine turtles are now virtually absent from Viet Nam’s waters except for Green Turtles around the Con Dao Islands National Park.

A government-owned souvenir shop found selling illegal turtle products was a potent symbol of how a national ban on turtle products enacted in 2002 has been undermined by a lack of enforcement.

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Croatia hosts regional CITES workshop

Participants at the inaugural CITES enforcement workshop for countries in Eastern Europe held in Croatia Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC   Donja Stubica, Croatia, 21 May 2009—53 participants from 6 countries in Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia) took part in their first ever regional CITES workshop this May.

They included officers from a variety of CITES enforcement authorities, such as Management Authorities, Scientific Authorities, Customs, police, and environmental phytosanitary and veterinary inspectorates, who discussed important issues relating to wildlife trade in the region. They were joined by colleagues from the UK Border Agency and the Management Authority of Slovenia.

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Boycott illegal trade, protect our wild tigers

en Français

Beijing, China, 21 May 2009—“Boycott illegal trade, protect our wild tigers” is the key message of a consumer campaign launched today in China by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

The campaign will see an animated film “Tiger Evolution Ends—Don’t Let This Be the End” screened on Beijing’s Line 1 and 2 subway trains from tomorrow, International Day for Biological Diversity.


The film depicts millions of years of Tiger evolution ending when the Tiger is poached to create a bottle of Tiger-bone wine.

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