Brunei Darussalam hosts wildlife trade workshop
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, 29 April 2008—The Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry & Primary Resources, this week hosts Brunei Darussalam’s first Wildlife Trade Regulation training workshop as part of the country’s commitment to tackle organized poaching and trafficking of wild animals and plants in Southeast Asia. Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Hamid bin Haji Mohd Jaafar, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, during his opening address, said that the workshop was relevant to the policies of the Government of Brunei Darussalam relating to the conservation of biodiversity, industry and sustainable use.
Southeast Asia is extremely rich in biodiversity and Brunei Darussalam is home to many commercially important species such as Water Monitor Lizard Varanus salvator, Reticulated Python Python reticulatus and Hill Mynah Gracula religiosa.
However, illegal and unsustainable harvest and trade of wildlife is a major threat to the conservation of nature throughout the region. Many species are sourced to supply demands around the globe for pets, meat, medicines, luxury goods and zoos.
“The workshop is timely as it coincides with needs for the implementation and enforcement of Brunei Darussalam’s recently enacted Wild Fauna & Flora Order 2007,” said Hajah Normah S.H. Jamil, Acting Director of the Department of Agriculture.
“It also supports the objectives of the Heart of Borneo, where co-operation between three countries (Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Indonesia) aims to reinforce the conservation of biodiversity on the island of Borneo,”
Brunei Darussalam became a party to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in 1990. The Department of Agriculture is the CITES Management Authority in Brunei Darussalam.
The training workshop will focus on basic implementation and enforcement of CITES and the Wild Fauna and Flora Order 2007, tackling the smuggling of wildlife, plus identification of species commonly found in trade in Southeast Asia.
“Without firm commitment from governments in the region, there is little doubt that excessive wildlife trade will lead to the demise and potentially the extinction of many of our region’s unique species of animals and plants,” said Azrina Abdullah, Regional Director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia
The workshop is jointly organised by the Department of Agriculture and TRAFFIC Southeast Asia and forms part of a series aiming to increase wildlife law enforcement capacity throughout the region in line with the ASEAN WEN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations Wildlife Enforcement Network) initiative.
ASEAN-WEN is the world’s largest wildlife law enforcement network, comprising enforcement officers from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. The United States and China are also co-operating with ASEAN-WEN. TRAFFIC and Wildlife Alliance, via a co-operative partnership with USAID, provide technical assistance to government agencies implementing ASEAN-WEN.