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Home Lao Chinese

EU-funded project tackles wildlife trafficking

The European Union has provided 8 million euros to support a new project in seven countries including Laos, in a move to strengthen their governments’ actions to combat wildlife trafficking and forest crime.   
In Laos, the national launch event of EU action, titled Partners against Wildlife Crime, took place on Saturday at the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Ban Keun, Vientiane province.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in partnership with the Lao Conservation Trust for Wildlife (LCTW) launched the project at an event which was attended by representatives of the government, EU, German Embassy, UNDP and the diplomatic community in Laos.
Attache at the Delegation of the EU to Laos, Mr Ignacio Oliver-Cruz, told Vientiane Times on Saturday that the EU-funded action is targeting seven countries in the Mekong region including China, with a total budget of 8 million euros.
“This action is looking at the supply chain of threatened species and working with different administrations that are involved in tackling this issue,” he said.
“The project will run for four years. It’s difficult to say how much of the project cost will be spent in Laos because there are many cross-border actions, but I think it will be over 1 million euros.”
Mr Oliver-Cruz stressed that Laos is located at the heart of the Mekong region. It is a biodiversity hotspot but is a very fragile region and is witnessing an increasing amount of wildlife trafficking.
The EU is supporting this initiative to combat wildlife crime and forest crime, aiming to disrupt illicit supply chains of wildlife in the region by leveraging partnership between governments and civil society.
In Laos, the project will focus on strengthening the national hotline to increase the quality and quantity of intelligence and information on wildlife crime.
Following verification and analysis of the information received, the project will support government partners in responding and taking action.
Deputy Director of the WCS, Ms Manoly Sisavanh, said the main project activities in Laos would be about building the capacity of non-profit organisations and encouraging them to strengthen their cooperation to help the government tackle wildlife trafficking.
“The project also aims to strengthen capacity building for government agencies to enforce the law relating to wildlife and aquatic animals,” she said.
She explained that the project is designed to push forwards greater cooperation among countries in the region where this initiative is operated to fight against wildlife crime.
In May 2018, Prime Ministerial Order No. 05 was issued to strengthen the management and inspection of prohibited and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species CITES-listed species of wild fauna and flora in Laos and the implementation of CITES. A number of species frequently trafficked in Laos such as elephants, tigers, pangolins, and freshwater turtles are also listed and protected under Lao laws.
The government also published a new penal code in November 2018, which expanded and strengthened the penalties for wildlife-related crime and offences.

By Somsack Pongkhao
(Latest Update July 16, 2019)


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