Tri-nations meeting on CITES
Beijing, China, 15 November 2007—A workshop for CITES Management Authorities, Customs and other relevant agencies from China and Mongolia was held last month in Harbin, China, to share information on law enforcement and legislation, wildlife investigation techniques and to examine the current status of illegal trans-border trade.
Unfortunately Russian Government delegates were unable to attend at the last minute, but staff from branches of WWF Russia were present, alongside colleagues from TRAFFIC’s Russian office and East Asia programme, plus representatives of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the Forensic Laboratory of China’s State Forestry Administration.
In all 50 people attended the workshop, where participants exchanged information on CITES enforcement and visited wildlife forensic, timber and fur identification laboratories, to learn more about identification of CITES species.
Participants noted that high priority should be given to combatting the illegal killing and trade in animals such as the Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Saiga Antelope, bears, falcons and deer and that this could be achieved through better inter-agency co-operation and CITES awareness. To help realize this, national centralized wildlife crime databases would be established.
“This is first time such a workshop has been held in north Asia,” Professor Xu Hongfa, Head of TRAFFIC’s China programme.
“It was a crucial meeting for improvement of CITES awareness and enforcement and we trust it will lead to improved co-operation and co-ordination between Russia, Mongolia and China to combat illegal trans-border wildlife trade,” commented Professor Xu.
Follow-up workshops are planned, with TRAFFIC and other NGOs continuing to play a key role in facilitating regional dialogues on CITES enforcement issues.