Chinese courier companies increase capacity to detect illegal wildlife products
Dongxing, Guangxi, China, 26th May 2018—Over 40 staff from China’s leading courier companies including Express Mail Service (EMS), Shunfeng Express (SF-Express), Yuantong (YTO-Express), Zhongtong (ZTO-Express), Shentong (STO-Express), Yunda Express and Best Express came together on reducing their risk of facilitating delivery of illegal wildlife products.
The training was organized by TRAFFIC, targeting managers of local branches, who are responsible to supervise the operation of hundreds of front-line couriers. Experts from China’s CITES Management Authority, Guangzhou Branch, National Forest Police Bureau, Nanjing Forest Police College contributed specific knowledge and experience to the target audience.
Topics covered included international wildlife trade regulations under CITES, China’s Wild Animal Protection Law, Criminal Law, and species identification. This was presented in context with key findings of TRAFFIC’s research on market availability, and outlining the major risks faced by couriers in potentially delivering illegal wildlife products.
TRAFFIC’s market survey results showed that social media platforms are primary channels for wildlife trafficking. TRAFFIC Programme Officer Xin Weihua also highlighted how many Vietnamese dealers smuggle wildlife products to Dongxing and other border cities in Guangxi province from where they are sent to buyers throughout China by courier companies.
Dongxing is a border city between China and Viet Nam, widely regarded as a hotspot for wildlife smuggling. Last November, Guangxi Forest police confiscated over 46 kg of ivory products in a local branch of a well-known courier company and arrested 3 suspects, including a courier.
TRAFFIC’s Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) for the courier and logistics industry was presented to the trainees. Application of the SOP should help greatly reduce the risk of courier companies and couriers inadvertently becoming involved in wildlife trafficking.
Geng Yongping from China’s National Forest Police spoke about domestic wildlife crime, unlawful practices and significant wildlife cases.
Prof. Zhou Yongwu from Nanjing Forest Police College spoke about how to identify protected species and the methods used by criminals to mask and hide illegal wildlife products.
TRAFFIC is always willing to support the courier and logistics industries in deterring wildlife trafficking. The SOP developed by TRAFFIC will help such companies raise their corporate social responsibility and eliminate legal risks
Zhou Fei, Head of TRAFFIC's China Office
One manager from an EMS sub-branch said, “We have an internal training system that is currently less comprehensive than the content presented here today. We are keen to learn more in order to reduce the risks in delivering illegal wildlife products—I will train my staff by sharing these training documents.”
This training was jointly supported by WWF UK, the German Government, and the UK Government through the Defra Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund.
Germany’s Partnership against Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade (Ivory and Rhino-Horn) in Africa and Asia, implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), through TRAFFIC’s project DETER.