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Latest news from TRAFFIC

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Thursday
Apr102008

NGO alliance to tackle illegal logging

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Nobel Laureate, Professor Wangari Maathai is presented with TRAFFIC's Tanzanian logging report at the launch of the anti-corruption Mama Misitu campaign. (Left) Blandina Nyoni, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism Click photo to enlarge  © Mwanzo Millinga
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 10 April 2008—Seventeen non-governmental organisations today signed a milestone agreement to launch the Mama Misitu campaign, aimed at tackling corruption and mismanagement in Tanzania’s forestry sector.

Professor Wangari Maathai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace, formally launched the campaign in Dar es Salaam.

Mama Misitu was initiated following the release of TRAFFIC’s seminal report into the forestry sector in Tanzania last May, which provided evidence that illegal logging and weak forest governance was costing Tanzania billions of shillings in lost revenue each year as well as threatening some of the nation’s unique biodiversity.

Losses of up to USD58 million were estimated in 2005 alone—the equivalent of building 1,933 primary schools—and a culture of corruption has plagued the natural resources sector made worse by low awareness at many levels of the relevant legal and policy tools.

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Monday
Apr072008

TRAFFIC India promotes ISSC-MAP at International Summit

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TRAFFIC India staff met visitors and provided detailed information about ISSC-MAP and its implementation in India and elsewhere Click photo to enlarge  
New Delhi, India—TRAFFIC India, supported by WWF-India, helped promote the International Standard for Sustainable Wild Collection of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ISSC-MAP) at an International Summit on Medicinal and Aromatic Products and Spices organized by ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) in New Delhi, India, from 4–6 April 2008.

The Summit brought together cultivators, traders and manufacturers of medicinal and aromatic plants and spices to showcase continental, regional and local competence in this field and to promote worldwide the upcoming business of herbals and spices. Principal guest was Smt. Panabaaka Lakshmi, Honourable Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

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Friday
Apr042008

Hotline tip leads to bust by Wildlife Crime Unit

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Porcupine and other animal parts were seized after a raid following a tip-off to a new telephone Tiger Crime Hotline in Malaysia   Click photo to enlarge
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 31 March 2008—Acting on a tip-off to the Tiger Crime Hotline, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks’ (DWNP) Wildlife Crime Unit raided a house in Gombak, Selangor, on 28 March, and seized frozen meat and skins of species including Barking Deer, Mousedeer and Malayan Porcupine.

A man was arrested on suspicion of violating the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972 and possible firearm-related laws after the wildlife products and an apparent homemade shotgun, ammunition and a whistling device to attract deer were also found during the raid. He was handed over to Police.

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Sunday
Mar302008

Royal Thai Police raid Bangkok wildlife market

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Ploughshare Tortoises are severely threatened by illegal trade, but appear to be increasingly available in the Southeast Asian pet trade, like this individual seized in Malaysia. Authorities are urged to take serious action against anyone trading in this species. © Chris R. Shepherd/TRAFFIC Southeast Asia  Click photo to enlarge
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—The Royal Thai Police have seized 14 Slow Loris, an otter, 96 birds (including 24 owls), several tortoises and marine products (including 480 hard corals, 187 soft corals, 22 sea fans and 22 Giant Clams) during a raid on  Chatuchak market, popularly known as JJ Market, the largest wildlife market in Bangkok.

The raid on 22 March targeted dealers selling wildlife in contravention of Thailand's Wild Animals Reservation and Protection Act 1992, or in violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).  

The seized tortoises included 18 Radiated and 3 Ploughshare Tortoises from Madagascar (both listed in CITES Appendix I, meaning international trade in these species is banned).

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Thursday
Mar202008

Police on course to tackle wildlife crime

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Police officers across Asia have received practical training in tackling wildlife crime Click photo to enlarge
Cambridge, UK—Indonesian National Police (INP) have undertaken special training in how to detect and arrest the organized criminal syndicates looting Indonesia’s forests.

Police officers joined Forestry and Customs officers on intensive Wildlife Crime Investigation and Wildlife Trade Regulation Courses to learn about topics including surveillance, criminal profiling and interviewing suspects, effective raid and arrest procedures, wildlife smuggling routes, and regulations relating to wildlife trade.

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Monday
Mar172008

23 tonnes of pangolins seized in a week

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The seizure of 23 tonnes of pangolins in a week by enforcement officers in Viet Nam highlights the scale of the illegal trade in these animals between Southeast Asia and China © Viet Nam Customs  Click photo to enlarge  
Cambridge, UK, 17 March 2008—On 6 March, Customs inspectors and enforcement officers seized more than 16 tonnes of pangolins at the port of Hai Phong, 100 km east of Hanoi, Viet Nam. It is the largest seizure of pangolins, or scaly anteaters, ever in Viet Nam.

According to the Deutsche Press Agency, the pangolins were hidden in two shipping containers en route from Indonesia to China.

One week earlier, on 29 February, around 7 tonnes of pangolin carcases and scales were seized by customs at Hai Phong. On that occasion, at least 2,460 pangolin carcases and 900 kg of scales were recovered.

Both shipments originated in Indonesia, where pangolins are completely protected by Indonesia’s national law. 

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Friday
Mar142008

Call for rhino programme to be extended

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CITES has been key to the recovery of rhino populations in parts of Africa, but increased organized poaching is an ongoing concern © WWF-Canon / Martin Harvey  Click photo to enlarge  
Cambridge, UK—Numbers of African rhinos have recovered spectacularly in parts of Africa, and there are calls for the successes to be repeated elsewhere.

The calls come as government, wildlife, eco-tourism and community representatives from across southern Africa meet on the tenth anniversary of WWF’s African Rhino Programme.

At the time of its formation, there were 8,466 White Rhinos and 2,599 Black Rhinos in the wild. Today, the figures are 14,500 and 4,000 respectively.

The Programme currently operates in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe, but is seeking to extend its operations to more of Africa. Work on rhino trade issues conducted by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, forms part of the WWF African Rhino Programme.

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Thursday
Mar132008

Judiciary workshop on wildlife crime a Thai first

thai-judiciary-workshop.jpgWildlife crime judiciary workshop  representatives from the Supreme Court of Thailand, Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Royal Thai Police, Royal Thai Customs and judicial officers from Viet Nam, Malaysia and USANakon Ratchasima, Thailand—The Supreme Court of Thailand this week hosted the nation’s inaugural “Judiciary Workshop on Wildlife Crime and Prosecution” as part of the judiciary’s commitment to tackle organized poaching and trafficking of wild animals and plants in Southeast Asia.

The two-day workshop brought together representatives of Thailand’s judicial sector selected by the Supreme Court of Thailand, and focused on Thai laws governing protection of wildlife, investigations and prosecutions.

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