The Special Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for the Implementation of CITES

Bangkok, 1 December 2005

Recognizing that each Member Country of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is also a Party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);

Convinced that enforcement of CITES and related national legislation must be a constant concern of the Parties at the highest level if they are to succeed in fulfilling the objectives of the Convention;

Convinced of the need to strengthen enforcement of CITES and other legislation for wildlife protection to address serious problems caused by illegal domestic and international trade in wild fauna and flora, and that the available resources for enforcement are inadequate;

Recognizing that the preamble of the Convention states that international cooperation is essential for the protection of certain species of wild fauna and flora against over-exploitation through international trade;

Recalling that Article VIII, Paragraph 1, of CITES provides that the Parties shall take appropriate measures to enforce the provisions of the Convention and to prohibit trade in specimens in violation thereof;

Recalling the ASEAN Statement on CITES, declared on October 11, 2004 by ASEAN Ministers responsible for CITES committing to regional co-operation on improved implementation of the Convention, including law enforcement collaboration, which supported the proposal by the Prime Minister of Thailand;

Recalling the adoption of an ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora (2005-2010), by the Special Meeting of the ASEAN Experts Group on CITES (AEG-CITES) on May 3 2005 in Jakarta, in which under Objective Two of the Regional Action Plan, Thailand was designated to lead activities of network development for wildlife law enforcement;

Recalling the endorsement of the ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora (2005-2010) by the 8th Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry (ASOF), held 18-20 August 2005 in Phnom Penh;

Recalling the expression of full support for the ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora (2005-2010) by the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) on 29 September 2005 at the 27th Meeting of AMAF in Tagaytay City, The Philippines;

Recognizing that concerted and coordinated joint actions are required to address the illegal exploitation and trade in CITES-listed species within the ASEAN region;

Believing that strengthened enforcement efforts at the national level and increased cooperation between the Member Countries of ASEAN will increase the effectiveness of implementation and enforcement of CITES and aid in the combating of illicit harvesting of and trade in wild fauna and flora;

Believing that regional problems are best solved through regional effort;

Acknowledging the importance and benefits of regional cooperation and coordination in developing, coordinating, implementing and enforcing laws and regulations on conservation of wild fauna and flora;

Aware of the importance of involving ASEAN Member Countries as well as all relevant governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in these efforts; and

Stressing the importance of financial and technical support and assistance from the international community in helping countries in ASEAN to build resources, expertise and capacity to address illegal exploitation and trade in wild fauna and flora;

Aware of the importance of sharing information and technical expertise within ASEAN with a view to increasing the capacity of ASEAN as a whole;

We, the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for the Implementation of CITES, hereby:

1. Launch the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN), previously referred to as the ASEAN CITES Enforcement Task Force in the ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora (2005-2010);

2. Membership of the Network is open to officials from CITES Authorities, Customs, Police, Prosecutors, Specialized Governmental Wildlife-law Enforcement Organizations and other relevant national law enforcement agencies;

3. The first meeting of ASEAN-WEN will be held in early 2006 in Thailand.

List of ASEAN Ministers Responsible for the Implementation of CITES or,
Their Representatives

For Brunei Darussalam:
Honourable Dato Paduka Haji Hamdillah H. A. Wahab,
Deputy Minister of Industry and Primary Resources,
Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources

For Cambodia:
H.E. Mr. Uk Sokhonn,
Undersecretary of State,
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

For Indonesia:
H.E. Mr. Ibrahim Yusuf,
Ambassador to Thailand

For Myanmar:
H.E. U Ye Win,
Ambassador to Thailand

For the Philippines:
Honourable Mr. Virgilio V. Vitug
Director of Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau,
Department of Environment and Natural Resources

For Singapore:
H.E. Mr. Peter Chan,
Ambassador to Thailand

For Thailand:
H.E. Mr. Yongyut Tiyapairat,
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment,
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

For Viet Nam:
Honourable Mr. Ha Cong Tuan,
Director General of Forest Protection Department,
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

For ASEAN Secretariat:
H.E. Dr. Wilfrido V. Villacorta,
Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN.