Title of symposium:
Tackling illegal wildlife trade: extent, tools and technologies, and field monitoring methods.

Principal organizer:
Nasir Uddin
Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Co-organizers:
Astrid Andersson
The University of Hong Kong (HKU) Conservation Forensics Laboratory

Olivier Boissier
Independent

Tony Lynam
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Center for Global Conservation

Symposium Summary
Wildlife trade is one of the foremost threats to global biodiversity and conservation. With an estimated annual trade value of 20 billion USD, wildlife trafficking is the 4th most valuable international organized crime category (South & Wyatt, 2011). Along with its impact on biodiversity, wildlife trade also effects national and international security, economic prosperity, law and order, strategic conservation efforts, and public health. Wildlife trafficking depletes biodiversity by funding forest crimes and connecting small-scale poachers with organized criminal networks. Therefore, detecting and monitoring wildlife trade is important at a national, regional and global level. Coordinated efforts should be intensified to reduce illegal wildlife trade by detecting and preventing wildlife crime, as well as apprehending and prosecuting offenders. This symposium is intended as a forum for the research and conservation practitioner community to share their knowledge on practical techniques and strategies to reduce illegal wildlife trade with a diverse audience, with the ultimate goal of aiding counter-wildlife trafficking efforts worldwide. After exposing the scale of the trade and its impacts on specific species, the symposium will highlight efforts by different countries to combat wildlife trade and the connection between wildlife trade and other crimes. Techniques for investigation, forensics, detection, apprehension and evidence processing for wildlife trafficking cases will be a focus of the topics shared by the speakers, providing an avenue for regional collaborative research and conservation. The symposium will conclude with future directions for the conservation community to combat wildlife trade through integrated research and law enforcement efforts.

List of speakers and presentation titles:

1. Wilson Lau, TRAFFIC
“Composition of global wildlife trade”

2. Olivier Boissier, Independent
“Extent of the impact of the Chinese wildlife trade on the world’s tropical wildlife”

3. Chloe Webster, University of Hong Kong
“Enforcement toolkit development for the critically endangered Helmeted Hornbill, Rhinoplax vigil”

4. Daniel Challender, IUCN
“Pangolins: Trade, trafficking and conservation solutions”

5. Serene Chng, TRAFFIC
“Caged in the city: Bird trade in Southeast Asia”

6. Mohan Bikram Shrestha, Wildlife Conservation Nepal
“Psychosocial counseling for wildlife crime prison inmates – a social approach to combat retaliatory killing”

7. Thomas Gray, Wildlife Alliance
“A holistic approach to tackling the illegal wildlife trade: lessons from the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team in Cambodia”

8. Penthai Siriwat, Oxford Brookes University
“Monitoring the Thai rosewood trade using online seizure data”

9. Nasir Uddin, CAS
“Social media as a conduit of wildlife trade in Bangladesh”

10. Astrid Anderson, HKU
“Using stable isotopes to detect laundering in wildlife trade”

11. Tony Lynam, WCS
“SMART and integrated technology for conservation management”

12. Abu Naser Mohsin Hossain, WCCU, Bangladesh Forest Department
“Prevention of illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products in Bangladesh”

13. Kyle Ewart, TRACE Wildlife Forensics Network
“Reproducible wildlife forensic techniques developed to tackle wildlife trade in Malaysia”

14. Rohit Singh, WWF
“The unsung heroes in the fight against wildlife crime”

15. Dwi N. Adhiasto, WCS
“Technology to combat transnational wildlife trafficking”

16. Lian Pin Koh,
Journal of Biological Conservation

17. Sophie Adwick, ZSL
“Using technology to tackle wildlife trade in the field”

18. Ms. Wai Yee Lam, RIMBA
"Vigilance: applying crime science to anti-poaching with small teams in large landscapes"