Scientists from ASEAN and China Train at World’s Top Wildlife Forensics Laboratory

ASEAN-WEN logoASEAN-WEN trains at Wildlife Forensics Laboratory

With support from the USAID-funded Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking Program (ARREST), participants from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and the People’s Republic of China completed a comprehensive forensics training course at the National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory (NFWFL) in the United States, the only such wildlife forensics laboratory in the world. Crimes involving wildlife, such as illegal trade, are increasingly lucrative for organized criminal syndicates and can often be difficult to prosecute. Wildlife forensics training is a valuable tool for those tasked with combatting illegal wildlife trade as the results of tests can prove extremely valuable when prosecuting. Wildlife forensics training provides scientists the capacity to prove, among other things, the origin of illegally traded animals. For example, DNA analysis of an elephant tusk could tell prosecutors the origin of that particular elephant, thus providing the wildlife laws of that country that might have be broken and potentially linking global or regional syndicates. Asia is a hotspot for wildlife trafficking and many countries in the region lack the resources necessary to provide such training. All participants received training from leading wildlife forensic experts in a setting with the latest technology and equipment. This wildlife forensics training course, supported by USAID, the Association of South East Asian Nations –Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement and facilitated by FREELAND, was based on a training needs and request (2012) made by forensic scientists from ASEAN-WEN, China and the USA.

 

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