Police and customs officers from 13 Asian countries pledged Tuesday to improve cross-border cooperation to curb the illegal smuggling of tigers and other endangered animals.
Bengal Tiger [File photo]
Protecting tiger concerns transnational organized crime, high profits, widespread corruption, money laundering, fraud, counterfeiting and violence, Yury Fedotov, executive director of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told the Heads of Police and Customs Seminar on Tiger Crime.
Seizures alone are not enough to contain tiger crime. Efforts must result in prosecutions, convictions and strong penalties, said John E. Scanlon, secretary general of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
"If we get the enforcement system right for the tiger, we will help save countless other species together with their ecosystems," he said.
"If we lose an emblematic species like the Tiger, mankind will be acknowledging that it is prepared to lose any animal on the planet. This must not be allowed to happen." Yury Fedotov said.
The 13 tiger range countries include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam.