This CEPF-funded project aims to assess the current situation of illegal wildlife trade and consumption in and around the Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve in China and the neighboring provinces of Namtha and Phongsali in Laos, to improve and strengthen the law enforcement capacity of front-line personnel; and educating local tourism businesses, indigenous peoples and tourists on the prohibition of illegal wildlife trade.
Xishuangbanna prefecture in Yunnan province is one of the most biodiverse areas in China, bordering Laos, and most of the area belongs to the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, which has a high value for biodiversity conservation. Asian elephants and other wildlife often roam the border between the two countries. However, due to the outdated production methods of the ethnic minorities living in the border regions of China and Laos, they are highly dependent on the natural resources of their habitat and hunt wild animals. While the income of the local population comes from agriculture, some of the poached wildlife is sold in local restaurants or markets, and the proceeds from the sale of illegal wild products exceed the income from agricultural sources.
Due to the lack of surveillance of the border area, the region has become a hotspot for illegal wildlife trade and consumption, and many tourists come here to consume illegal wildlife products, which threatens to destroying local biodiversity and is a great obstacle to wildlife conservation in both countries, and also increases the risk of human-animal syndrome.
In order to protect local biodiversity, it is necessary to reduce local illegal wildlife trade practices and reduce the risk of human-animal disease outbreaks in wildlife sources. The project team worked on Asian elephant conservation in Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve by providing training to IWT officers and patrol members on the use of equipment, collecting evidence, preservation of evidence and reporting of criminal activities, in cooperation with the corresponding Lao authorities to strengthen the capacity for law enforcement cooperation in the China-Laos border area.
To further build the capacity of nature reserve staff in cross-border wildlife enforcement, the training courses covered a wide range of topics including wildlife law enforcement, species identification commonly traded in the region, information on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna. Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the regional wildlife trade situation, as well as the handling and breeding of confiscated live animals.
On August 24, Dr. ZENG Yan, Director of the Office of the National Scientific Commission on Endangered Species (CITES Scientific Authority of China, CNSA) gave a lecture on CITES and its Appendices on the most endangered animal and plant species. . Mr. LI Chun, former Director of the Kunming Office of the CITES Management Authority of China (CNMA), explained the identification of common species traded in the border areas of Yunnan. Ms. WU Hanqin, Program Manager for Combating Online Wildlife Crime of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, gave a lecture on the status and countermeasures of illegal wildlife trade in the border region from southwest China.
On August 25, Ms. ZHANG Xiaoxi, Research Project Manager of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), gave a lecture on “Basic Methods and Safety Guidelines for Temporary Rearing of Confiscated Live Wildlife”, and the BNU project leader, Professor ZHANG Li gave a lecture on the conservation of the Asian elephant in the region.
These trainings have been widely welcomed by Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve staff and rangers. After the training, the BNU CEPF project team discussed with nature reserve officials to identify next steps to conduct a wildlife trade survey and combine enforcement actions with the Lao counterpart during the course of the training. the last part of the year.
The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)) empowers non-governmental organizations, indigenous groups, universities and private businesses to protect global biodiversity hotspots and help communities thrive. It is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. In the Indo-Burma hotspot, it is also supported by Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.
IUCN serves as the regional implementation team for CEPF in the Indo-Burma hotspot.