New guidebook to help enforcers spot illegal wildlife products
Keng Tung, Myanmar, 18th February 2020—A new, specially designed pocket-sized guide is set to enable frontline border officers in Myanmar, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and Thailand to improve detection of illicit wildlife parts and products in trade, better identify the species involved and make seizures with greater speed and confidence.
The 28-page guide is intended to help officers working in the Golden Triangle area and has been designed in a simple and user-friendly style so it can also be made available to a wider audience, including to urge tourists not to purchase illegal wildlife products.
A total of 200 pocket guides in the national languages of the three countries will be distributed under an Addressing Wildlife Trafficking in the Golden Triangle project to enhance law enforcement, and co-operation across agencies and borders in the region, notorious for illegal wildlife trade.
With clear images of contraband items in their minds, officers stand a much better chance of detecting wildlife parts and products in illegal trade as they inspect the crowded shops and markets of this region”
Agkillah Maniam, Senior Programme Officer for TRAFFIC in Southeast AsiaThe pocket guide is a complementary tool, developed under the project to support enforcement personnel who have already received training on addressing illegal wildlife trade in the Golden Triangle.
The publication and distribution of the pocket guides follows the setting up of a joint action task force and cross-border working relationships the enforcement officers have established through the project.
The Golden Triangle is at the epicentre of illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia – a perfect storm of source, transit point, and final destination for many of the world’s most valuable and threatened wildlife species. As part of understanding wildlife trade and crime in this critical area, TRAFFIC has also carried out market surveys in six border locations, sharing information on species in trade with relevant agencies.
Close to 200 border enforcement officers in Myanmar, Lao PDR and Thailand have been reached through provincial level and training-of-trainer courses on wildlife trade, with more complementary tools and materials in the works.
This project is a joint effort by TRAFFIC and WWF, funded by the United States Department of State/Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).