14-15 March 2017, Bangkok

Innovations in Counter Wildlife Trafficking Conference was organized as the first event under USAID’s new Wildlife Asia activity at Conrad Hotel in Bangkok during 14-15 March 2017. The Conference adopted an interactive scheme with a blend of plenary, panel discussion, market place, and thematic working group sessions across to engage participants in vibrant discussions. The Conference also offered ample networking opportunities over coffee breaks and lunches.

The Conference brought together more than 70 counter wildlife trafficking (CWT) actors in Asia and the U.S. including government officials, development partners and practitioners to review the current operating environment and learn about new initiatives; share successful approaches; and showcase innovative tools to combat wildlife trafficking. The participants were provided with ways to synergize and collaborate, analyze how successful and innovative approaches in CWT could be more broadly applied and replicated, and learn from each other through networking opportunities. Experts and actors in specific CWT sectors including wildlife demand reduction, law enforcement, governance and policy advocacy had opportunities to explore their areas of specialization for deeper learning and meaningful collaboration.

Mr. Manesh Lacoul represented the Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System (WEMS) Secretariat in the Conference. Discussions during and in the margins of the Conference revealed keen interests among different stakeholders present and strong indications of possible engagements with key stakeholders to advance CWT measures in the region including the USAID Wildlife Asia activity.

Wildlife Asia is the newly launched USAID funded activity in collaboration with ASEAN to address wildlife trafficking by working to reduce demand of wildlife products and to improve regional action to end wildlife crime in Southeast Asia and China. The activity aims to build on established relationships in a cross-sectoral, cross-agency approach to end wildlife crime throughout Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.  The activity is implemented by International Resources Group, which was recently acquired by RTI International, and in partnership with a consortium of institutions, namely FHI 360, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Freeland Foundation and Integra LLC.

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Source: USAID Wildlife Asia