What would you like to search for?

A black market worth millions.

© shutterstock
ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE

ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE PROGRAMME

WHY ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE?

The Illegal Wildlife Trade is is a multi-million dollar business run by dangerous criminal syndicates that deal in the harvesting and trading of wild species and their body parts. With high demand from a growing Asian middle class stoking the fire, this trade is the biggest threat facing wildlife today.

Myanmar is a global hub for illegal wildlife trade. Because of our remaining wilderness and abundant wildlife our forests are a prime source for some of the most poached species such as tigers, Asian elephants and pangolins. To make matters worse, Myanmar is situated next to the notorious lawless Golden Triangle region, the global illegal wildlife hypermarket.

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

We are working with government and partners to end the open sale of illegal wildlife products within the next two years, and then to close the Golden Triangle markets. In Yangon, markets have already agreed to end sales of ivory and other wildlife products and across the country we are training law enforcement to identify, seize and deal with wildlife products. At a policy level we have helped to close the loopholes in existing laws, making Myanmar’s one of the strongest illegal wildlife trade laws in the region, and have been asked to draft a national Illegal Wildlife Trade action plan.

Tackling the illegal wildlife trade in Myanmar is a huge challenge, but this challenge also presents significant opportunity for conservation gains - allowing us to tackle the problem right at its very source.

MEET THE TEAM

Ax
Ax
Illegal Wildlife Trade Programme Manager

What do you do?

I lead the enthusiastic and multi-skilled Illegal Wildlife Team in Myanmar. We support and work alongside law enforcement, authorities and other partners on projects across the country to combat the trafficking of wildlife. Our approaches are holistic, strategic and practical with an emphasis on transboundary collaboration at key nexus points in the Golden Triangle, the Dawn Tenesserim Landscape and the borders to the West. Capacity building and public awareness campaigns work in tandem with proactive trafficking route assessments, investigations and bespoke engagement with local communities and indigenous groups in crucial landscapes.

Why do you do it?

Myanmar is a special jewel and it's an honour to work alongside local nationals to try and protect their future and that of the environment around us. Photo and name withheld for security reasons.

SY
SY
Illegal Wildlife Trade Project Officer

What do you do?

"I am working on monitoring illegal wildlife markets and wildlife trade routes in Myanmar, and giving technical and educational support to participating agencies under Myanmar's National Wildlife Law Enforcement Task Force."

Why do you do it?

"Humans have long been nature's biggest enemy but I believe it is our moral duty to protect and conserve the environment and its wildlife. I get great satisfaction in being in a role where I can make a difference to Myanmar’s biodiversity and our community. It is the most meaningful work I have ever done." Photo withheld for security reasons.

Sofia Venturini
Sofia Venturini
Conservation Programme Officer

What do you do?

"As Senior Programme Officer, I support the Programme in all of the project cycle steps from the strategic development to the implementation of the activities and revision and conclusion of projects. Particularly, I focus on supporting the development of the team strategy, fundraising and grant writing, and the monitoring and evaluation of various project activities. My science and Wildlife Trade background is useful to support the Greater Mekong teams developing research projects to understand and monitor the illegal wildlife trade supply chain of target species."

Why do you do it?

"I am passionate about wildlife. Since I was young, I always wanted to protect wildlife from human-made threats and see them thrive in their natural habitats roaming free. As I grow up I realised that successful conservation programmes could really make a difference for the survival and preservation of biodiversity, especially when informed through evidence-based actions. Therefore, I am determined to support programmes to create a solid and robust structure to deliver activities maximising impacts and outcomes." Photo withheld for security reasons.

Htet Wai Aung
Htet Wai Aung
Illegal Wildlife Trade Law Enforcement Officer

What do you do?

"I work in the Law Enforcement sector mainly on capacity building for the government agencies and also support the government's policy developing process for combating illegal wildlife trade in Myanmar. On the other hand, I am also monitoring the Illegal wildlife trade online via facebook."

Why do you do it?

I do this because I want all the wildlife to live in their home with their real family by thriving freely and healthy." Photo withheld for security reasons.

RESOURCES

ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE

Video Library