China is stepping up to the mark in its fight against the illegal wildlife trade with coordinated raids by its newly established Forest Police of the National Inter-Agency CITES Enforcement Collaboration Group (NICECG). The effectiveness of the actions undertaken by NICECG (including recent raids involving 100,000 police officer) have been rewarded with a commendation by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) organisation.
The Secretary-General of CITES, Mr John E. Scanlon, awarded a certificate of commendation to Ms Yin Hong, Vice Administrator of the State Forestry Administration and chair of NICECG on Wednesday 9th May 2012 in a ceremony at the opening of a meeting hosted by China on the Development of CITES E-Permitting Systems, which is being held in Guangzhou and attended by participants from 14 CITES member States.[pullquote] The sheer scale, extent of coordination, and level of success of these intelligence-driven operations exemplify the coordinated enforcement effort that is required at the national and sub-national levels to combat wildlife crime successfully. [/pullquote]
New wildlife crime enforcement agency in China award CITES commendation.
Mr Scanlon declared: “The sheer scale, extent of coordination, and level of success of these intelligence-driven operations exemplify the coordinated enforcement effort that is required at the national and sub-national levels to combat wildlife crime successfully. We commend the Chinese Government for this excellent initiative, which echoes the coordinated enforcement approach that we are promoting through the International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime (ICCWC).”
Ms Yin Hong, stated: “The Government of China attaches great importance to the protection of the ecological system, and has always given high priority to the protection of biological diversity and wildlife law enforcement. China is committed to work with the international community to enhance the implementation and enforcement of CITES.”
New agency coordinated large-scale wildlife trafficking operations.
While barely making the news in the West, China has been undertaking some large and successful anti-wildlife trafficking operations. Recent raids by the Forest Police has seen dealers arrested, shops and markets shut down and over 130,000 wild animals seized.
Another large operation by the Customs Authorities saw 13 suspects were arrested; 1,366.3 kg of ivory, 337,400 kg of red sandal wood; and approximately 30,000 kg of yew timber and 876 horns of saiga antelope seized.
Chinas wildlife crime agency less than 6 months old.
NICECG was set up by China in December last year to act as an intelligence gathering operation and also to provide capacity building for local enforcement organisations and to co-ordinate national operations. The organisation comprises a range of government departments including the State Forestry Administration, the Ministry of Public Security, the General Administration of Customs, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Administration of Industry and Commerce.
As well as operating at the national level NICECG also operates on a province level in China with five CITES enforcement inter-agency groups now operating.
Dr Meng Xianlin, Executive Director-General of the CITES Management Authority of China – which co-ordinates the operation of NICECG – said: “We see the Certificate of Commendation from the CITES Secretary-General as a very positive recognition of the law enforcement efforts made by China in the implementation of CITES, one for which we are extremely grateful. This is an invaluable encouragement to all the wildlife law enforcement officers across China. NICECG will spare no efforts to bring its power into full play in order to gather concerted efforts of all relevant authorities in combating illegal activities in wildlife and to curb illegal wildlife trade effectively. ”
CITES: Commendation for China.