Anti-Wildlife Smuggling Workshops
Every year, thousands of species of wild plants and animals are illegally traded around the globe for use as food, medicine, ornaments, pets and pot plants. Globally, this trade is worth in excess of US$19 billion, and demand for hundreds of species is on the increase in China as a result of burgeoning growth in individual disposable wealth and renewed interest in traditional medicines. The impact this trade has on wild populations of plants and animals is devastating, and is now probably the single largest threat faced by several high profile species that occur in South China and neighbouring countries. CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is the only international legal mechanism by which the import and export of protected species is regulated. However, due to the scale of criminal syndicates on the one hand, and the limited resources of enforcement agencies on the other, illegal trafficking in China continues largely unabated.
KFBG staff with expertise in identifying a range of protected plant and animal species collaborate with the Wildlife Conservation Society China to train Chinese customs officials and forestry police to help build capacity for the detection of illegal trade and the enforcement of CITES, as well as domestic laws which restrict the use of wild species. To date, training workshops have been held in five cities across South China.