Published 7 July 2023

Regional Workshop for Central Asia on Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade

The Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and Technical Supervision of the Kyrgyz Republic, TRAFFIC and Fauna and Flora co-hosted a Regional Workshop on 4-6 July 2023 in the republic’s capital, Bishkek. 

Saiga Antelope is one of many Central Asian species, fauna and flora included, which are sought‐after in the international wildlife trade. Others include Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Saker Falcons, Argali, Liquorice, Juniper and Rose Hips. 

A poignant reminder of the necessity to address the issues on the agenda of the workshop was witnessed just before the start of the workshop in Bishkek, when the Kyrgyz State Committee for National Security intercepted the smuggling of 845 horns of the critically endangered Saiga Antelope from Kazakhstan to China on 23 June. The shipment was discovered following an illegal import from Kazakhstan, and the carriers were detained.

We congratulate the Kyrgyz law enforcement authorities on this important seizure and are pleased to see the commitment across the region to step up efforts to combat wildlife trafficking in Central Asia. We hope that the regional workshop can strengthen these efforts and contribute to effective coordination and cooperation at national and regional levels to urgently address this international illicit trade"

Bakytbek Tokubek uluu, TRAFFIC Central Asia Project Manager

This event provided an important platform for exchanging experience and knowledge, as well as raising awareness about the scale and scope of illegal wildlife trade in Central Asia.  

Over the three days, alongside presentions on current information and discussing challenges in combating illegal wildlife trade, the 60 participants received technical knowledge and practical tools to counter illegal trade effectively.  

Participants included key governmental organisations from Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as from neighbouring China, the UK, the USA, the European Union, CITES, and different NGOs working in the field of biodiversity conservation in Central Asia.  


The workshop is organised within a scope of two projects that aim to combat wildlife trafficking in Central Asia and that are financed the UK´s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund and the US Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

Local partners of the project are the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan (ACBK), Fauna and Flora Tajikistan, and the Institute of Zoology of the Academy of Sciences and the Ecological Resource Center Ekomaktab from Uzbekistan.

About The Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund

Funded by the UK Government through Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund.

The Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund is a UK government grants scheme that provides support to projects around the world that are tackling the illegal wildlife trade. IWT Challenge Fund

About Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL):

Funded by the United States Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. The opinions, finds and conclusions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.

The mission of INL is to minimise the impact of international crime, such as money laundering and criminal gangs, and illegal drugs on the United States, its citizens, and partner nations by providing practical foreign assistance and fostering global cooperation. Visit the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)'s website.

About Fauna & Flora

Fauna & Flora is a nature conservation charity protecting the diversity of life on Earth. For the survival of species and habitats, the planet and people. 

As the world’s first international conservation charity, Fauna & Flora has been shaping best practice in community-focused conservation for over 120 years. Today, the charity works closely with local conservation partners in almost 50 countries to protect habitats, revive the ocean, reduce extinctions, stop illegal wildlife trade, combat climate change and influence global policy and corporate sustainability. 

About Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and Technical Supervision of the Kyrgyz Republic

The Ministry is an authorized state executive body that develops and implements state policy and coordinates in the areas of environmental protection, ecology and climate, geology and subsoil use, the use and protection of natural resources, including bioresources, subsoil and water resources, and exercises state control and supervision over compliance with requirements for environmental, industrial safety, mining safety and subsoil protection. It acts as the CITES management authority for Kyrgyzstan. 

About Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (ACBK)

The organization traces its history since 2004, working in the field of wildlife conservation. Today, the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (ACBK) has one office in Astana, one office in Almaty and nine branches throughout the country. The Ecological park "Alty Sai", that was created on the grounds of two hunting areas is managed by ACBK in the Kostanay region. There are 5 clubs of ACBK members and 53 employees. For more information visit

About Ecological Resource Center (EKOMAKTAB)

Ecological Resource Center (EKOMAKTAB) is a non-governmental non-profit organization and works in the field of environmental education, environmental protection and environmental safety. The Organization received official registration in 2005, and in 2015 it was re-registered and once again confirmed its commitment to the chosen area of activity. During the period of active activity, the EKOMAKTAB team has completed more than 30 projects that are important for the population and the surrounding nature. The leader of the environmental organization is Shivaldova Natalia Sergeevna. For more information visit


About Institute of Zoology of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan

The main tasks and activities of the Institute include identifying key zoological areas, developing scientific and practical recommendations for the sustainable use of wildlife, developing and maintaining a national information and analytical database of the fauna of the republic, maintenance of the state cadastre of rare and endangered species of wild animals and the Red Book of the Republic of Uzbekistan, controlling pest animals and conservation of aquatic ecosystems and fish resources of the Republic.