CITES-Led Training Workshop to Combat Wildlife Trafficking in Central Asia

By Nina Rygh, Asia Reporter

A training workshop on CITES implementation covering legislation, science and enforcement aspects of the Convention was held from May 22nd to 25th in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The workshop addressed issues regard the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and brought together local partners and representatives from the national CITES Management and Scientific Authorities, as well as customs authorities from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The workshop focused on species that are traded as hunting trophies, on captive breeding and trade in specimens of tortoises and exotic and native birds. Participants discussed how frequent cross-border movement of live falcons could be allowed under the Convention, specifically in the context of the upcoming World Nomad Games, hosted by Kyrgyzstan in September 2018. Participants also discussed ways and means to better control trade in sturgeon products, including through DNA testing. 

At the invitation of the state agency, participants attended a demonstration by the canine unit training centre of the Customs Services of Kyrgyzstan, where four dogs have been trained to detect the products of falcons, snow leopards and argali and have already assisted in several important seizures.

At the end of the workshop, all four countries made clear commitments to improve their legislative frameworks.