East Asian Leaders Recognize Wildlife Crime as a Regional Non-Traditional Security Threat

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On October 9, Secretary of State John Kerry attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – U.S. Summit in Brunei. The summit provided the ideal platform to showcase the collaborative efforts of the U.S. Government and ASEAN stakeholders in combating wildlife crime. The US Secretary of State emphasized the full range of programs that the United States supports, working in partnership with ASEAN and with civil society in the region to achieve environmental goals in Southeast Asia: combating illegal logging and wildlife trafficking, encouraging low-emission development, promoting water resource stewardship, and conserving biodiversity. Among the highlights were continuing US support and partnership with the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) on wildlife investigations, interdictions, and prosecution efforts in Asia, including park ranger training and special investigative training for wildlife managers at the U.S. International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok – being facilitated by the USAID-supported ARREST Program (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking).  The following day at the 8th East Asia Summit, Heads of States and Governments reaffirmed wildlife crime as a non-traditional security threat in East Asia, which requires cooperation on non-traditional security issues and underlines the importance of strengthening national laws and regulations for wildlife trafficking-related crimes. ARREST is the U.S. Government’s largest counter wildlife trafficking program and works in Asia to create awareness, reduce consumer demand, build law enforcement capacity, strengthen regional networks and promote good governance.

 

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