KUCHING: Sarawak has called for better regional co-operation to check illegal wildlife trade.
Sarawak Forestry said experts at the Asean regional wildlife law enforcement networking meeting in Bangkok yesterday, had estimated global illegal wildlife trade to be between RM22.8bil (US$6bil) and RM30.4bil (US$8bil) a year.
In a press release, it suggested that joint operational activities be carried out and technical aid be increased to curb illicit wildlife trafficking in the region.
Sarawak Forestry Corporation security and asset protection unit general manager Sani Bakar said there was a need for information channels to plug the gaps in communication and to facilitate information exchange within the region.
“Such exchange is fundamental to an effective regional enforcement network,” he said in his presentation entitled “Sarawak – wildlife protection and international challenges.”
Twelve countries, including Asean member nations, the United States and China, and several international environmental organisations attended the function to identify problems and solutions to trans-boundary illegal wildlife trade.
Sani said Sarawak was concerned over trans-boundary poaching and illicit international trafficking of endangered species, including parts, along its border areas.
He added that the state had taken several initiatives at regional level, such as engaging Indonesia, China and the World Customs Organisation regional intelligence liaison office, to curb illegal timber and wildlife trade.
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