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Wildlife trade
Economic growth, expansion of infrastructure, free trade agendas and a general push for development are all factors that are contributing to a rapidly changing socio-economic dynamic within the Lower Mekong Basin nations and its trading partners. Under an increasingly liberalised trade policy environment, it is all too easy to treat wildlife as just another commodity. The available statistics on wildlife trade in the Lower Mekong Basin is alarming and there is no doubt that is one of the major threats to biodiversity. It is now being recognized that regulating trade by paying attention to the management needs of natural production systems is of utmost importance and therefore, interventions and support will need to take this approach.

Following Lao PDR’s accession to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in early March 2004, all 4 riparian of the Lower Mekong Basin are now Parties to the Convention. This has provided for the first time, a common basis upon which to conduct legal and sustainable wildlife trade. Using this opportunity, in partnership with other initiatives, the MWBP aims to develop strategic interventions in addressing the issue of wildlife trade.

Specific interventions planned under the Mekong Wetlands Programme include:
Production of a assessment report on wetland flora and fauna threatened by wildlife trade.
Monitor international trade in wetland flora and fauna originating in the Mekong.
Develop and deliver training courses for border control guards on CITES and national CITES legislation.

(Further strategic interventions are currently being identified in discussion with TRAFFIC Southeast Asia. Please check for updates on this page soon)