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Joint Press Statement of the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Illegal Wildlife Trade

1. We, the Ministers responsible for CITES and Wildlife Enforcement, hereby convey our Statement on Illegal Wildlife Trade in the occasion of the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Illegal Wildlife Trade on 21-22 March 2019 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, under the chairmanship of H.E. General Surasak Karnjanarat, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Kingdom of Thailand, representing the 2019 Chair Country of ASEAN. 

2. We endorsed the Chiang Mai Statement of ASEAN Ministers Responsible for CITES and Wildlife Enforcement on illegal wildlife trade. We commit to strengthen our cooperation to advance the fight against illegal wildlife trade, especially through the following approaches: (i) global and regional wildlife trade policy, (ii) demand reduction, (iii) law enforcement, and (iv) wildlife cybercrime. Global and Regional Wildlife Trade Policy 

3. We reaffirm our commitment to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal.15 Targets 15.7 and 15.c and recognise the important role of international agreements, in particular the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) that ensures conservation and sustainable use of wild animals and plants through strict implementation of international trade regulations. We are also pleased with the initial achievement of the implementation of the Plan of Action for ASEAN Cooperation on CITES and Wildlife Enforcement, 2016-2020. Demand Reduction 

4. We will further enhance collaborative actions among AMS in combating illegal wildlife trade through demand reduction and public awareness campaigns, including the celebration of significant events such as World Wildlife Day. Law Enforcement 

5. We reaffirm our commitments to strengthen collaborative actions to tackle the illicit financial flow associated with illegal wildlife trade with public/private collaboration and 2 step up efforts in enforcing law against corruption and money-laundering activities. We will enhance effort to enforce the effective domestic law to give deterrent effect to wildlife offences. The actions to combat wildlife trafficking by enhancing international cooperation through Wildlife Enforcement Networks (WENs) were also encouraged. 

6. We welcome the development of the ASEAN Guidelines for Detecting and Preventing Wildlife Trafficking, including ASEAN wildlife crime database to improve regional mechanisms and collaboration in dealing with wildlife enforcement issues. Wildlife Cybercrime 

7. We acknowledge the contribution of governments in fighting against wildlife cybercrime by allocating enforcement resources to curb with cybercriminal, and welcome the increased recognition of wildlife cybercrime through CITES with the adoption of a strong Resolution and Decision on combating wildlife cybercrime. 

8. We expressed our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Government and People of the Kingdom of Thailand for hosting the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Illegal Wildlife Trade and for their warm hospitality and excellent arrangements for the Meeting. 

9. We extend our appreciation to international partners including CITES, UNODC, INTERPOL, IUCN, and various NGOs for their constructive recommendations and collaboration to support ASEAN cooperation in addressing illegal wildlife trade. 

10. The Meeting was attended by: 

(1) H.E. Abdul Halidi Mohd Salleh, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Brunei Darussalam 

(2) H.E. Prof. Thuok Nao, Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Kingdom of Cambodia 

(3) H.E. Rasion Ridho Sani, Director General of Law Enforcement, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia 

(4) H.E. Mr. Thongphath Vongmany, Vice Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao People’s Democratic Republic 

(5) H.E. Dato’ Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim, Director General, Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources, Malaysia 

(6) H.E. U Ohn Win, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, Republic of the Union of Myanmar 

(7) H.E. Ricardo L. Calderon, Assistant Secretary for Staff Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Republic of the Philippines 

(8) H.E. Dr. Yap Him Hoo, Director General, Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, Ministry for National Development, Republic of Singapore 

(9) H.E. General Surasak Karnjanarat, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Kingdom of Thailand 

(10) H.E. Prof. Pham Van Dien, Deputy Administrator, Viet Nam Administration of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Socialist Republic of Viet Nam 

(11) H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN 

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