Asia

Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade, focusing on Ivory, Rhino Horn, Tiger and Pangolin in Thailand

Illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife parts is an escalating driver of biodiversity loss. Unprecedented biological or commercial extinction of many life forms is now a critical reality throughout the world, jeopardizing the very foundations of biodiversity, including the future well-being of humans and requiring unprecedented political will, social sacrifice and law enforcement action to stem further losses.
Arrested wildlife skins

Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade, focusing on Ivory, Rhino Horn, Tiger and Pangolin  in Thailand

Location: Thailand

Duration: 15 October 2018 – 14 October 2023

Project Background

Illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife parts is an escalating driver of biodiversity loss. Unprecedented biological or commercial extinction of many life forms is now a critical reality throughout the world, jeopardizing the very foundations of biodiversity, including the future well-being of humans and requiring unprecedented political will, social sacrifice and law enforcement action to stem further losses. Progressively, through the advent of the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1976, together with a host of national legislative and regulatory instruments and mechanisms, the global community has moved to address the threat to thousands of species of wildlife poised by unfettered trade. Although the value of illegal trade remains uncertain, it has variously been estimated at between USD 5 – 20 billion per annum. These estimates suggest that wildlife crime is the fourth most lucrative type of transnational crime after illegal narcotics, humans and armaments.

The project objective is to reduce the trafficking of wildlife (focusing on elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn, tiger and pangolins) in Thailand through enhanced enforcement capacity and collaboration and targeted behaviour change campaigns. To achieve this objective, the project will utilize four strategies or project components as follows:

Component 1: Improved Cooperation, Coordination and Information Exchange. This will strengthen the collaboration mechanism and provide a platform for exchange of information among the responsible agencies for illegal wildlife trade (IWT) law enforcement.

Component 2: Enhanced Enforcement and Prosecution Capacity. This will increase the coherence and capacity of law enforcement agencies to address and deter illegal trafficking of wildlife (focusing on elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn, tigers and pangolins) through strengthening the cross-sectoral enforcement and prosecution framework.

Component 3: Reduced demand for illegal wildlife products and targeted awareness actions to support law enforcement. The project will work with partners to learn from existing efforts and achieve cumulative impact through a Steering Group and the Community of Practice on Demand Reduction. The activities will follow a well- defined systematic process for developing, implementing and evaluating SBCC initiatives. This component also aims to increase awareness of prevailing laws and upcoming WARPA reforms and publicize convictions to strengthen deterrence of wildlife trafficking.

Component 4: Knowledge Management, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender Mainstreaming. This component closely links with and underpins the other three, by supporting the sharing of knowledge, experiences and lessons learned through project implementation with project stakeholders, the wider public in Thailand, and globally through the GEF-financed, World Bank-led Global Wildlife Program, of which this project is a part.

Objectives: 

The project objective is to reduce the trafficking of wildlife (focusing on elephant ivory, rhinoceros horn, tiger and pangolins) in Thailand through enhanced enforcement capacity and collaboration and targeted behavior change campaigns.

Key Activities implemented by IUCN:

1. Establish a Technical Advisory Consortium (TAC), which will be a coordinating platform to engage government, INGOs, national NGOs and other partners working on illegal wildlife trade related issues. The members of the TAC consists of representatives from DNP, UNDP, other relevant government agencies, research and educational organizations, NGOs, technical experts and other relevant stakeholders appointed by the Project Board.

    1. Bi-monthly meeting conducted for TAC to update progress of projects implementing and collectively providing strategic direction for Thailand on Combatting Illegal Wildlife Trade.
    2. Annual National Forum conducted for TAC to share lesson learned including information exchange and collective plan on Combatting Illegal Wildlife Trade

2. Partnership forums are convened on key thematic issues relevant to combating IWT, including building a cooperation among GWP countries and donors.

    1.  Annual Partnership Forum conducted for GWP project in Asia for sharing lesson learned, best practices and information across the region of ongoing efforts on Combatting Illegal Wildlife Trade. 

Donor:  Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Partners: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP), TRAFFIC, TRACE

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