From March 3-16, eighteen senior environmental officials from nine Asian countries came together in Thailand for the 4th Protected-area Operational and Tactical Environment Conservation Training (PROTECT) Managers course.

The course is designed to help protected area enforcement managers counter the intense wildlife poaching and illegal logging taking place across Southeast Asia, which feeds the global multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife trade.  The course focused on essential protected area management skills such as patrolling and nature crime investigations.

The training course launched the PROTECT-FIST (Field Information Support Tool) program, a cutting-edge software application that allows park chiefs and managers to monitor and communicate with ranger patrol teams at all times, in any location, for real-time analysis.  The course also used new, interactive park management simulation and mapping technology, which produces realistic scenarios for training and testing of counter-poaching patrols.

Experts from USAID partner Freeland worked together with Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and ASEAN-Wildlife Enforcement Network to provide the training.  The course was held as part of the USAID-sponsored Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking program—the U.S. Government’s largest counter wildlife trafficking initiative working throughout Asia to stop wildlife crime.

Source: USAID/RDMA Regional Environment Office Weekly Update