September 28-29, Thimphu: Poaching and illegal wildlife trade are the most serious and immediate threat to Asia’s many charismatic and iconic species, such as tiger, rhino and elephants. The steady draining of biological resources from Asian countries has continued largely unabated and thus negated the increasingly high conservation investments made by us. This should be of no surprise, given the increasingly sophisticated financing mechanisms, breadth and resources deployed by international poaching networks themselves. Recent studies have shown that illegal wildlife trade is one of the top-five of most lucrative illicit economies globally; recently its value was estimated to fall within the range of US$50-150 billion per year.
A huge proportion of this activity occurs in Asia, and there is broad recognition that this threat will not recede without a clear region-wide up-scale of response.
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