The MoU has provisions to ensure that agencies and official in the Lao-Wildlife Enforcement Network (Lao-WEN) and Provincial-Wildlife Enforcement Network (P-WEN) taskforce have the capacity necessary to support investigations, and enable intelligence led enforcement actions that deliver effective Provincial, National and International wildlife enforcement outcomes in Laos.
The new MoU represents a long-term commitment by WWF to support the Government of Lao PDR’s efforts to implement Prime Minister Order No.5 (PMO5) and meet its international obligation under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). WWF aims to do this by supporting WEN agencies to strictly enforce wildlife laws, stop the establishment of illegal wildlife farms and investigate and prosecute those found trading prohibited wildlife. PMO5 is a landmark order supported by the important legal changes enacted under the Criminal Procedure Law and the New Penal Code.
Key objectives of the MoU include: the formation of a Lao-WEN led rapid response interagency task force with highly trained officials to quickly and effectively investigate wildlife crime; provide advanced training for relevant law enforcement agencies in investigation and prosecution, including intelligence analysis capacity and how to combat the ever-growing online trade in wildlife; conducting financial investigations related to organized crime networks; and building strong wildlife crime cases that can be taken to court and prosecuted.
(Read more about this new phase of the project HERE)