On September 14-15, 2022, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - Viet Nam Program and Laos Program collaborated with the Departments of Environmental Police (EP) of Viet Nam and Laos to conduct a multi-agency training workshop on “combating illegal wildlife trade cross borders of Viet Nam and Laos”. This activity is implemented within the framework of the project “Improving awareness and capacities for management in relation to lion bone and associated wildlife traders in Lao PDR, Viet Nam, China '' funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Overview of the workshop, Quang Binh, September 2022
More than 30 participants from the national EP and representatives of provinces that share the Viet Nam - Laos’ borders, Viet Nam CITES Management Authority, and relevant agencies in both Laos and Viet Nam participated in the training workshop.
The workshop aimed to update and assess the situation and trend of illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products, especially lion bones, in Viet Nam and Laos, and across the border of Viet Nam - Laos. The two countries’ delegates discussed and proposed solutions to strengthen the connection and cooperation between relevant law enforcement agencies of the two countries in combating wildlife trafficking. The workshop is also an opportunity for the EP of both countries to evaluate the results achieved in the cooperation between the two agencies since the bilateral meeting in Da Nang city, in July 2019.
At the meeting, representatives from Viet Nam People’s Police Academy and WCS - Viet Nam and Lao Programs shared information on emerging issues in illegal wildlife trade (IWT) in the Mekong sub-region since the COVID-19 outbreak, such as the trend of using high technology in IWT, the risk of zoonotic disease transmission from trafficked wildlife, and IWT associated crimes such as corruption and money laundering. In particular, representatives of the two WCS programs also introduced to Viet Nam and Laos’ law enforcement agencies models of information analysis that can be applied to the detection and investigation of cyber IWT crimes, or develop a red flags on the illegal lion bone trade in Viet Nam and Laos to support law enforcement efforts.
General Tran Minh Le presented souvenirs to the delegation of the Lao Environmental Police Department, Photo by: Cong an nhan dan online