With financial support from the U.S. Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the advisory taskforce aims to maintain a high level of interoperability among agencies handling wildlife trafficking cases and investigations.
Concluding the latest advisory meeting, Atty. Theresa Tenazas, Officer-In-Charge and Chief of the DENR-BMB’s Wildlife Resources Division, noted that “the country has become an important source, transit, and destination point for illegally traded wildlife. With UNODC, INL, and all our partners’ support, we hope to see considerable reduction of wildlife crimes, if not the end, in the Philippines and in the region.”
Cooperation stemming from this taskforce is already bearing fruit: the Bureau of Customs reported the seizure of multiple wildlife products, including 198 species of tarantulas that were mis-declared as thermal mugs in Pasay City; DENR-BMB and DOJ are supporting the follow-up investigation. The taskforce will meet again in Q4 2022 to share expertise on DNA forensics to support wildlife crime cases in court.