ARREST (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking) is a regional effort to fight the illegal trafficking of endangered species. The multi-billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade threatens Asia’s unique ecosystems and robs people of the benefits they provide. It also undermines law enforcement, strengthens criminal syndicates, and raises people’s risk of exposure to diseases transmitted from animals to humans. Illegal wildlife traffickers are well-organized: they prey on endangered species, transport them across borders, and sell them around the world. Addressing this challenge requires a regional effort that targets each aspect of wildlife crime. Funded by USAID and implemented by FREELAND, ARREST fights trafficking in illegal wildlife in Asia in three ways:
- Reduction of consumer demand;
- Strengthening of law enforcement; and
- Strengthening regional cooperation and anti-trafficking networks.
ARREST unites the efforts of the member states of ASEAN, China and South Asia, NGOs, and private sector organizations. Together, these dedicated people and organizations are helping Asia respond to the challenge of
protecting its unique wildlife.
Consumption Reduction Campaigns: ARREST uses its extensive media and advertising resources to support campaigns in China, Vietnam and Thailand that eliminate the consumption of protected wildlife.
Mainstreaming Wildlife Crime in Law Enforcement: ASEANWEN’s activities have already placed wildlife crime on the agenda of major national and regional law enforcement organizations, such as INTERPOL
and ASEANAPOL. ARREST helps police chiefs across Asia include cross-border wildlife enforcement cooperation in their work plans.
Law Enforcement Capacity Building: ARREST works closely with the region’s law enforcement trainers and institutions to improve regional and national courses and materials on the following subjects:
• Prevention: Protected area enforcement and management;
• Detection: Nature crime investigation, forensics, and border
• Prosecution: Judicial awareness.
Developing Law Enforcement Managers: ARREST also builds stronger law enforcement capacity by focusing on law enforcement leaders and training managers to lead front line staff in reducing wildlife crime. This continues to put large areas of biologically significant habitat under improved management.
Sustaining the ASEAN-WEN Secretariat: ARREST mentors ASEAN-WEN Program Coordination Unit staff and promotes new technology. This helps the Secretariat become a stronger, more independent, and service-oriented institution that connects directly with enforcement agencies in each ASEAN state.
Promoting Regional Cooperation: Through regional program events including exchanges, regional investigation meetings and training courses, officers from the new South Asian Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) and China’s Task Force join ASEAN-WEN to learn from each other, exchange information, intelligence, and best practices.
ASEAN-WEN, FREELAND Foundation, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, ACRES, AsiaWorks TV, Conservation International (CI), Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW),
INTERPOL, JWT, National Geographic, MTV-Exit, Wildlife Alliance, US Department of State, US Department of Justice, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the US Forest Service.