American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Kin Moy joined Council of Agriculture Minister Tsao Chi-hung, Forestry Bureau Director General Lee Tao-sheng and Taipei Zoo Director James Chin at the opening session of the first-ever U.S.-Taiwan counter-wildlife trafficking technical workshop at the Taipei Zoo on May 25, an AIT effort in partnership with the Council of Agriculture’s Forestry Bureau, the NGO TRAFFIC, and the Taipei Zoo. The three-day program, titled “Counter-Wildlife Trafficking Law Enforcement and Species Identification Capacity-Building Workshop for Taiwan,” focuses on law-enforcement and species identification techniques. Participants from the Taiwan interagency will receive instruction from visiting experts from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the participation of representatives from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s International Technical Assistance Program and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, as well as from Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture Forestry Bureau, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Foreign Trade, and Taipei Zoo. The workshop will assist Taiwan in developing law enforcement capabilities for identifying and preventing wildlife trafficking, a growing global problem that has led to the slaughter of thousands of elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers, and other protected species in recent years.
At the event, Director Moy launched a new wildlife public outreach campaign in collaboration with Taiwan Forestry Bureau, Taipei Zoo, and museum partners including the National Palace Museum, National Taiwan Museum, National Museum of Natural Science, National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, National Museum of Prehistory, and the National Museum of History. These museums, which house some of the greatest collections of art, science, and culture in the world, draw millions of visitors every year. These visitors will now have an opportunity to see a new poster developed by AIT and its partners to raise awareness about how individuals can help stop illegal trade in wildlife.
The United States has taken action to improve its own monitoring and enforcement of wildlife trafficking. President Obama signed an Executive Order on July 1, 2013, directing U.S. government agencies to take steps to combat wildlife trafficking at home and abroad and imposing sweeping new restrictions on importing ivory and other wildlife products. The Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking released its first annual Progress Assessment on March 3, 2016.
This progress assessment is available here: www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/03/253942.htm