What we do:
Since 2014, UNODC has been working with Member States in the Southeast Asia and Pacific region to implement the
Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime. Through this programme, UNODC aims to ensure that wildlife crime, illegal logging, and related crimes are treated as serious transnational organized crimes.
UNODC delivers specific technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of criminal justice systems and the wildlife law enforcement community to prevent, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate crimes against protected species of wild fauna and flora. Following are some examples of our work from across the Southeast Asia region.
1. Strengthening policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks
UNODC provides technical assistance to review and revise laws and regulations. For example, in Viet Nam we supported the review and revision of the Environmental Crimes chapter of the Penal Code. The new law was approved in June 2017 and came into force on 1 January 2018. It contains some important improvements to the wildlife crime provisions, including:
- Introduction of criminal liability for legal persons
- Protection for CITES Appendix I and II species
- Inclusion of "possession" of protected species as a criminal offence
- Increased penalties for wildlife and forest crimes
UNODC works with government partners to provide training and assistance to disseminate laws and regulations. For example, as the new Penal Code has come into force in Viet Nam, we have worked with the CITES Management Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and Supreme People's Court to conduct a range of
training workshops on the new wildlife crime provisions for law enforcement stakeholders across the country.
UNODC promotes movement towards harmonization of wildlife legal frameworks. For example, UNODC was a co-convener of the
Africa-Asia Pacific Symposium on Strengthening Legal Frameworks to Combat Wildlife Crime, held in Bangkok, Thailand in July 2017. One of the main outcomes of this event was the development of an agreed set of minimum provisions to harmonize wildlife legal frameworks, including categories of protected species, illegal acts, aggravating circumstances, and penalties.
2. Enhancing knowledge and skills to investigate and prosecute related criminal activities
Crime scene management Risk profiling
Prosecuting wildlife cases
Specialized training courses: UNODC has developed a range of very practical training courses to apply specialized and advanced investigation techniques to wildlife and forest crime cases. These courses aim to build capacity of police, customs officers, border officials, rangers, wildlife/forestry officials, and prosecutors.
Law enforcement advisory programme: This is a new approach in delivering regular and sustained law enforcement mentorship and capacity building support, which has been trialed in Lao PDR and Myanmar
since 2017. UNODC's team of international law enforcement advisors are working on a regular basis with interagency investigation teams in each country to utilize advanced investigation techniques in real transnational wildlife crime cases and support information and intelligence exchange with investigators from other countries.
e-Learning Programme: UNODC provides law enforcement officers with access to
online training courses on topics relating to investigation of wildlife and forest crimes, to complement the face-to-face training and expand UNODC's reach to a wider audience.
3. Enhancing cooperation at bilateral, regional and international levels
Bilateral cooperation: UNODC supports countries in conducting bilateral cooperation in terms of policy and law enforcement issues. For example, we organize activities such as
bilateral policy dialogues on wildlife trafficking issues, and bring relevant authorities together to facilitate bilateral intelligence exchange, skills exchange, etc.
Regional cooperation: UNODC is supporting regional cooperation by regularly organizing workshops on various issues such as
mitigating and preventing corruption in the environmental sector; as well as providing support through ASEAN mechanisms, particularly the Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC)
Working Group on Illicit Trafficking of Wildlife and Timber.
International cooperation: In cooperation with
ICCWC partners, UNODC organizes Wildlife Inter-Regional Enforcement (WIRE) meetings. These meetings offer specialized platforms for Asian and African law enforcement officers to discuss specific issues, exchange information, and develop ties with their direct counterparts across the two regions. Since 2016, UNODC has organized
WIRE-Police, WIRE-Prosecutors and WIRE-Customs meetings.
4. Data gathering, analysis, and reporting
Criminal justice response assessments: UNODC conducts assessments to identify strengths and challenges in national criminal justice responses to wildlife and forest crime, and where relevant, recommend solutions to improve the response. Since 2015, assessments have been conducted in the following ASEAN countries:
ICCWC Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit Report:
This resource provides comprehensive guidance in analyzing administrative, preventive and criminal justice responses to wildlife and forest crime, as well as identifying the different actors in the offences chain and providing an understanding of the factors that drive their activities. In 2015, UNODC conducted Toolkit analysis in
Viet Nam, and since then has been implementing activities that contribute to the recommendations.
Other reports: UNODC also periodically conducts other research, such as research on
illicit financial flows related to wildlife crimes, and contributes to regional working papers such as an assessment of
legal frameworks in the region.
5. Increasing awareness of the nature and scale of environmental crimes
National roundtable meetings: UNODC organizes meetings to discuss criminal justice issues related to wildlife and forest crimes, raise awareness at ministerial levels, and help build political will to address environmental crime. Since 2015, UNODC has organized such
meetings in 5 ASEAN countries.
National workshops on specific topics: UNODC organizes national workshops on other specific topics, such as workshops to raise awareness of
corruption risks and develop mitigation and prevention strategies; awareness raising workshops for the
judiciary; workshops to promote interagency cooperation, etc.
Other events: UNODC also conducts other awareness raising activities, such as hosting
press conferences, publishing
editorials in national newspapers, producing
public service announcements and
other communication materials, etc.
How we do it
Partnerships are crucial for our work. We collaborate with other organizations and projects whenever possible for economical use of resources and to extend the reach of our activities. Some examples include:
Synergies: We also collaborate with other UNODC programmes to leverage their expertise and experience on cross-cutting topics, such as:
UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme: Integration of CITES and wildlife/timber issues into CCP standardized training courses; conducting specific joint training courses.
Border Management Programme: Integrating topics on wildlife/timber laws and investigating environmental crimes into the standardized training courses for Border Liaison Offices.
Anti-Money Laundering Programme: Conducting joint training courses on financial investigation and anti-money laundering techniques for environmental crimes.
Anti-Corruption Programme: Organizing joint national and regional workshops on corruption and integrity issues in the environmental sector.
Why we do it
Target 15.7 | Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products.
UNODC is currently implementing the
Asia Wildlife Enforcement and Demand Management Project in partnership with CITES. This project is working with targeted countries in Asia to strengthen their capacity to address the serious and growing problem of trafficking in and demand for African wildlife species in Asia, as well as to reduce the illegal killing of key Asian wildlife species impacted by international trade.
This project is funded by the European Union.