Vixay Keosavang is one of the most ruthless and prolific wildlife criminals operating in South-East Asia today. Some call him the “Pablo Escobar of animal trafficking” in Laos, the tiny one-party communist state bordered by Myanmar, China, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam that continues to harbour him
Alongside significant trade and abundant forests, some reports have estimated as much as US$17 billion dollars' worth of illegal trade flows from the East Asia Pacific region, with the Mekong particularly susceptible because of poor forest governance, weak regulation, corruption and porous border controls
A propaganda battle – or charm offensive, if you’re feeling expansive – is already under way in a bid to win over hearts and wallets if not minds to secure international approval for a legal trade in rhino horn, overturning a ban which has been in place for more than 30 years
Our Tiger Campaign head, Debbie Banks, reports back from the CITES CoP16 meeting in Bangkok that only 15 minutes were allotted to tigers which is extremely disappointing. However, the meeting did at least decide to review implementation and compliance of various Parties in respect of CITES reporting requirements.