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23 October 2015

Strategy to combat illegal wildlife trade in Central Asia marks International Snow Leopard Day

LYON, France – A new enforcement strategy to combat the illegal wildlife trade in Central Asia has been welcomed by INTERPOL as an important step in addressing emerging environmental security threats across the region.

Published to mark International Snow Leopard Day, the strategy provides an overview of the strategic direction and focus for the newly created Snow Leopard and Wildlife Enforcement Network (SLAWEN) in addition to identifying law enforcement action points for involved countries and organizations.

The creation of national and regional environment security networks to share intelligence, planning of law enforcement operations, training for frontline officers and development and sharing access to forensic support for wildlife crime investigations are also highlighted as areas for action by the strategy.

With support from INTERPOL’s Project Predator team, the strategy was developed at the first regional workshop on combating illegal wildlife trade in Central Asia held in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek in September.

The two-day meeting brought together specialists from environmental and law enforcement agencies from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Tajikistan as well as INTERPOL, the United Nations Development Programme, Panthera, the Snow Leopard Trust and the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystems Protection Program.

International Snow Leopard Day recognizes the global importance of this unique endangered species which lives in the mountain ecosystems of 12 Central and South Asian countries.

INTERPOL’s Project Predator, which targets the illegal poaching and trade in Asian tigers and other big cats, including leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards and Asiatic lions, is primarily funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Department of State.