From September 23-25, anti-corruption authorities, law enforcement agencies, private sector organizations and NGOs met in Bangkok, Thailand for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Pathfinder Dialogue with ASEAN (Association of South East Asia Nations) and the Pacific Islands Forum Partners on Corruption and Illicit Trade. The meeting provided a platform for stakeholders to network and discussed shortfalls, potential obstacles and best practices in combating corruption and illicit trade across the Asia-Pacific region.  

Discussions emphasized environmental crime and trafficking in persons as opportunities for corruption to flourish.  The agencies highlighted the important role NGO partners play, not only in engaging the general public on illicit trade, but also in providing capacity building initiatives and communications support.  Steve Galster of the USAID-funded ARREST Program (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking) and officers from FREELAND showcased the successes of the ARREST Program in building regional partnerships between governmental, non-governmental and international organizations in the region and by supporting transnational cooperation through agencies such as ASEAN-Wildlife Enforcement Network (WEN).

Source: USAID/RDMA Regional Environment Office Weekly Update