High-level support needed to combat illegal wildlife trade, says ASEAN Secgen
Jakarta (13 August) -- ASEAN Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan has called for high-level support to combat threats to ASEAN's biodiversity from illegal wildlife trade. He said a high-level international conference could be organised next year to develop a comprehensive strategy on the enforcement of wildlife laws in Southeast Asia.
Dr Surin was speaking at a meeting with the Bangkok-based Program Coordination Unit (PCU) of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) in Bangkok on 4 August 2008. Dr Surin stressed the importance of promoting public awareness on conservation issues and engaging the international community, donors and NGOs to work together under the purview of ASEAN-WEN to protect Southeast Asia's remaining natural resources.
Dr Surin met Police Major General Surasit Sangkaphong, Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police and Senior Liaison Officer of the Royal Thai Government to ASEAN-WEN PCU; Dr Chumpon Suckaseam, ASEAN-WEN Senior Officer; Mr. Steve Galster and Dr. David Lawson from ASEAN-WEN Support Program; and, other PCU officers. The ASEAN-WEN team briefed Dr Surin on the gravity and urgency of the situation and explained their current measures to increase law enforcement capacity to combat against illegal wildlife trade.
The ASEAN-WEN is an inter-governmental initiative that brings together the ASEAN governments to combat wildlife crime. The ASEAN-WEN is the world's largest wildlife law enforcement network, comprising all ten ASEAN Member States. It also cooperates with the United States and China. (PIA-MMIO) [top]