On February 27, the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC), Armenia’s Ministry of Nature Protection (MNP), and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) concluded a 5-day training workshop in Armenia on combatting illegal wildlife trade.
The “Prevention of Wildlife Trafficking Training” workshop was intended for all Armenia’s national institutions related to import and export. The theoretical and practical trainings tackled issues such as wildlife status by species, wildlife crime and enforcement, international trade conventions and organizations, as well as national legislation. The trainings were conducted by experts from IFAW Vivek Menon, Charles MacKay, Mohamed Elsayed and Maria Vorontsova.
“Armenia is a special country because it is in a part of the world through which a lot of wildlife trade occurs. Wildlife crime depletes a country’s economy and spreads the risk of global health epidemics. Most importantly, for Armenia, preventing wildlife crime means preserving its natural heritage, which is comprised of unique plants and animals,” says IFAW trainer Vivek Menon.
The purpose of the trainings was to reduce the levels of trade and improve animal welfare standards by providing necessary knowledge and skills to law enforcement officials. The workshops focused mainly on the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), of which Armenia became a member on January 21, 2009.
On February 25, IFAW trainers met with Armenia’s Vice Minister of Nature Protection Khachik Hakobyan, during which time they discussed prospects for future campaigns and collaborations aimed at decreasing Armenia’s role as a transit country for wildlife trade. The guests extended an invitation to Armenia’s Ministry of Nature Protection to join them at the upcoming CITES meeting, which will take place in South Africa.