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Malaysia clamps down on wildlife violations

Updated On: Mar 10, 2009

Malaysia is clamping down on marine turtles which are targeted by poachers in Malaysian waters.

Wildlife crime is not considered a priority within Malaysia’s judicial system and penalties for such crimes are often extremely low and therefore do not serve as a deterrent.

With the current economic crisis, more of Malaysian natural resources were smuggled out so the CEO of WWF-Malaysia Dato’ Dr. Dionysius Sharma recommended that the borders be locked down to stop poachers from entering or exiting with precious wildlife and to enhance border security with additional support from the army and the police.

The ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) and the Federal Courts of Malaysia organized a national judiciary workshop on wildlife crime and prosecution being held in Kuala Lumpur on 3-4 March 2009, co-sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and supported by the Federal Courts of Malaysia.

ASEAN representatives participated in discussions on mutual legal assistance, enforcement and the prosecution of wildlife crimes, as part of the judiciary’s commitment to tackle organized poaching and trafficking of wild animals and plants in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

The illegal trade of wildlife is a major threat to Southeast Asia’s biodiversity that contributes to the extinction of internationally protected species.

This project is meaningful because it is one of the few regional projects focused on enhancing capacity to increase transnational law enforcement.

The United States is also committed to increase information sharing and capacity-building between ASEAN-WEN and the United States to stop East-West wildlife crime.

The highlight of the workshop is sharing information and technical expertise within ASEAN, and cooperation with the United States are vital to this effort.

Sources:

LeGuen, Roger, "Malaysian judiciary brush up on wildlife crime and punishment" dated 3 March 2009 in the WWF website [downloaded on 9 March 2009], available at http://www.traffic.org/home/2009/3/3/malaysian-judiciary-brush-up-on-wil...

Malaysian Nature Society, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF-Malaysia, "Urgent need for on-the-ground protection for tigers" dated 28 Jan 2009 in the Malaysian Nature Society website [downloaded on 3 March 2009], available at http://mns.org.my/article.php?aid=315







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