ASEAN Security Ministers Make Landmark Decision to Protect Wildlife and Timber

Delegates from ASEAN member states at the 10th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo: Royal Thai Police

A decision that will help protect biodiversity in the region was made on October 1. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) security ministers added wildlife and timber trafficking as a transnational crime on a par with drug and human trafficking. The landmark decision came at the ASEAN 10th Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime in Kuala Lumpur and illustrates the region’s commitment to stop wildlife trafficking. With assistance from USAID for the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network and USAID ARREST programs, the lead implementing partner on both initiatives, Freeland, has been supporting this process since 2009. Governments across ASEAN will now allocate additional resources to strengthen efforts to stop wildlife and timber trafficking in the region.