TRAFFIC Leads Training of Hundred of Police to Address Wildlife Trafficking in Guangxi, China
More than 350 border police attended training sessions held last week in Guangxi Province, China, to increase their awareness about illegal wildlife trade and enhance their capacity to detect wildlife smuggling in the region. They included 200 police officers from 29 border checkpoints and police stations in Chongzuo who followed the proceedings through a live closed circuit television broadcast.
The sessions were organized for border police from the cities of Fangchenggang, Chongzuo and Jingxi in Guangxi Province by the Nanning Branch of China’s CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Management Authority (MA) in collaboration with TRAFFIC, and took place on 25—27th April.
The province, officially known as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in the far south of China is an area rich in biodiversity. However, with mountainous terrain and a long border with neighboring Viet Nam, it is an important gateway for cross-border smuggling.
Mr Wan Ziming, Director of the Enforcement & Training Division in China’s CITES MA opened the workshop with an introduction to CITES and its implementation in China. He spoke about the current situation regarding illegal wildlife trade in China, based on an analysis of relevant seizures from forest police and Customs, and highlighted where wildlife smuggling hot spots exist in Guangxi.
Other speakers included Mr Li Chun, former Deputy Director of the Kunming branch of the CITES MA, who spoke about existing wildlife laws and regulations, and Professor Huang Qun, Director of the Judiciary Identification Center of the National Forest Police Bureau, who drew on his experiences on various wildlife seizures to speak about the basic and effective skills for identification of endangered species and their products.
Ling Xu, TRAFFIC’s Senior Programme Officer in China, gave an overview of the illegal wildlife trade and the methods used by smugglers to conceal their wildlife goods.
The meeting was part of recent intense efforts by the government in Guangxi to clamp down on illegal wildlife trade, which included collaborative enforcement actions between May and November 2011.