UNODC and the European Union join forces to protect the environment from security threats in Southeast Asia

Bangkok (Thailand), 20 August 2021 - This month, the European Union and UNODC signed two agreements that aim to promote cooperation and partnership-building in Southeast Asia to address crimes affecting the environment. While one project focuses on the health risks associated with facilities handling wildlife and wildlife trafficking, the other aims to counter waste trafficking and to promote circular economies. Both projects are funded through the EU’s Foreign Policy Instrument (FPI). 

The project “Safety across Asia For the global Environment” (SAFE) is to support the prevention of zoonotic diseases linked to wildlife trafficking. By identifying and addressing the risk factors of possible transmission of zoonotic diseases in existing wildlife facilities, SAFE will support institutions in four target countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion to better respond to illegalities along the wildlife supply chain, in line with the One Health approach. Within this project, UNODC will cooperate closely with UNEP and FAO, as well as with several other organizations.

The project “Unwaste: Tackling waste trafficking to support a circular economy” will specifically address the illicit flows of waste from Europe to Southeast Asia and will promote good practices for the detection of waste shipments that are in violation of national and international regulations. Unwaste will be piloted in four countries in Southeast Asia, but it will also aim to develop regional standards at the ASEAN level. UNODC will work in close cooperation with UNEP and other organizations.

With these two new projects, UNODC and the European Union are cooperating to bring improvements across three critically interlinked themes in Southeast Asia: rule of law, public health, and environmental protection,” says Jeremy Douglas, Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific at UNODC. “These are areas that we cannot look at in isolation, and we are grateful for the support of the European Union and its Foreign Policy Instrument that will allow us to jointly put theory into practice.”

“Partnering with the European Union on these innovative and timely projects will not only support Member States in Southeast Asia but will also help raise awareness of these challenges that are global in nature.” noted Jorge Rios, Chief of UNODC’s Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime. “These projects will open the door for replicating the good practices elsewhere, where similar work is much needed.”


For further information, please contact:
Giovanni Broussard
Regional Programme Coordinator
UNODC Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime
Bangkok (Thailand)