On August 28, the chairperson of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) and a representative of the USAID-funded Asia's Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) Program shared best practices and key lessons from ASEAN-WEN with delegates attending the second Annual Meeting of the emerging South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN).

The delegates, including representatives from all eight South Asian governments, China’s government, the U.S. government, ASEAN-WEN, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Secretariat, Interpol, World Bank, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, various Nepal government agencies, and civil society organizations including Freeland, the World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC gathered in Kathmandu to inject further momentum into the recently established SAWEN.

The event highlighted the importance of developing sound mechanisms to support the sustainability of wildlife enforcement networks, and how initiatives such as Operation Cobra are successful because they are government-led and civil society-supported.  ASEAN-WEN and SAWEN, through USAID ARREST, have promoted staff exchanges and secretariat management operational training in the past.  At the Annual Meeting, SAWEN and ASEAN-WEN discussed formalizing partnership procedures and continuing reciprocal ties for official representations to their respective Annual Meetings and Specialized Investigations Groups. 

Source: USAID/RDMA Regional Environment Office Weekly Update