The ASEAN Ministers responsible for the implementation of CITES officially launched the establishment of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) on 1st December 2005. This follows the adoption and endorsement of the ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora (2005 – 2010), in particular to fulfil the second objective of the Action Plan which aims “to promote networking amongst relevant law enforcement authorities in ASEAN countries to curb illegal trade in wild fauna and flora”.
ASEAN-WEN aims to address illegal exploitation and trade in CITES-listed species within the ASEAN region. It is an integrated network among law enforcement agencies and involves the CITES authorities, customs, police, prosecutors, specialised governmental wildlife-law enforcement organisations and other relevant national law enforcement agencies.
In principle, ASEAN-WEN will:
- conduct awareness raising programmes, such as the production of publications and other promotional materials to raise awareness of wildlife crime and illicit trade in wild fauna and flora;
- produce training materials on combating wildlife crime and illicit trade in wild fauna and flora, and organise training activities for wildlife and other law enforcement officers;
- establish and implement measures to improve collaboration, cooperation and information exchange between and among law enforcement agencies and CITES management authorities.
ASEAN Member Countries at the 1st Meeting of ASEAN-WEN on 25 May 2006 agreed to allocate necessary financial and human resources, and to collaborate in cross-border cooperation and coordination to ensure the effective enforcement of legislation governing conservation, trade and sustainable use of wild fauna and flora.