Anti-corruption authorities, customs bureaus and law enforcement agencies from the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members addressed illegal wildlife trafficking in the Asia-Pacific at the Pathfinder Dialogue II on Fighting Corruption and Illicit Trade.
September 2015: Anti-corruption authorities, customs bureaus and law enforcement agencies from the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members addressed illegal wildlife trafficking in the Asia-Pacific at the Pathfinder Dialogue II on ‘Strengthening the Fight against Corruption and Illicit Trade’
The meeting, held on 26 August, 2015, in Cebu City, the Philippines, considered developing best practices for combating corruption in the environment, including wildlife trafficking, illegal logging and illegal fishing. It also offered a regional perspective on wildlife trafficking and illicit timber trade through examples of sophisticated investigations. Participants discussed strengthening customs and border security practices through technical training.
In related news, INTERPOL confirmed the arrest of a former wildlife director and head of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Fauna and Flora (CITES) Management Authority of Guinea for his suspected role in corrupt and fraudulent actions in the issuance of CITES export permits for great apes. The great ape trafficker, apprehended on 25 August 2015, after a six-month manhunt, admitted he illegally sold more than 500 chimpanzees since 1994. The arrest follows a CITES mission in the country that reported concerns over illegal trade involving Guinea.
Finally, in South Africa, the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, a 26-member majority-women ranger group that has been awarded the Champions of the Earth award, has since its establishment in 2013, helped arrest six poachers, reduced snaring by 76%, dismantled five poachers’ camps and put two bush meat kitchens out of action. In addition to running foot patrols, the rangers leverage their local networks to help identify potential poachers. [APEC Pathfinder Dialogue II] [APEC Press Release] [CITES News] [GRASP News] [UNEP News]