Indonesia’s rich biodiversity has made it a major source country that supplies a thriving wildlife trade, which is conservatively valued at US$1 billion per year. This trade poses a significant threat to numerous species and escalates the risk of zoonotic disease spillover and emergence of future epidemics and pandemics. Wildlife trade takes two main forms — legal (but unsustainable) and illegal — both of which are pervasive across Indonesia’s rich forest landscapes and seascapes. Much of this trade is conducted by criminal networks that tend to evade detection by operating across Indonesia’s multiple ports and porous borders. However, our experience is that, through constructive engagement, government law enforcement agencies are responsive and effective if provided with the right training and technical assistance through mutually reinforcing partnerships.
In Indonesia, wildlife is heavily hunted for local wild meat consumption. Many species are also poached and trafficked to supply an illegal domestic trade. Much of this trade has moved to online platforms, which requires a different response and new regulations.
Addressing all forms of wildlife trade in Indonesia requires overcoming many barriers, including: limited government resources and capacity to conduct investigative activities; limited understanding of how criminal networks operate; lax stockpile management; limited knowledge of the laws pertaining to protected species and how to accurately identify these species; and, inadequate preparation of legal documents. There is also a uniquely strong cultural practices.
There are two overarching aims of this Program. Firstly, to continue strengthening the capacity of GoI’s law enforcement agencies in the use of intelligence-led approaches with improved inter-agency coordination to yield a robust, multi-agency counter wildlife trafficking response. To support this, our field teams will prioritise preventing the trafficking of key species in our priority landscapes and seascapes. The second aim of this Program is to support GoI in strengthening policy frameworks and data management systems for species protection and trade.