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Home » Illegal Take and Trade

Illegal Take and Trade of Marine Turtles in the IOSEA region

WWF-IOSEA Fact sheet based on the IOSEA synthesis paper

Executive Summary and Full Draft Synthesis paper

Further reading

Marine turtle trade online news featured on the IOSEA Website and on other websites

List of organisations active in the fight against marine turtle trade in the IOSEA region

How you can get involved

Activities of the IOSEA Working Group to address issues related to marine turtle trade


How you can take part in combatting wildlife crime


Resources for Government officials

In mid-2012, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in partnership with other members of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), developed the Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit. The Toolkit is a technical resource to assist government officials in wildlife and forestry administration, customs, as well as other relevant agencies. It aims to help them to comprehensively analyse the strengths and weaknesses of preventive and criminal justice responses and other measures related to the protection and monitoring of wildlife and forest products which are crucial to curtailing wildlife and forest crime, both nationally and internationally

The Toolkit is available for all Governments interested in undertaking a national analysis mission with regard to wildlife and forest crime in their country. ICCWC supports requesting countries during the entire implementing process - including mobilizing funds, hiring experts, analyzing the results, designing and delivering technical assistance. Base on the results, ICCWC and relevant government authorities will design a work plan for national capacity-building programmes and technical assistance delivery.

The ICCWC Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit is available in English, French and Spanish from the UNODC website.

Resources for individuals

These days, online tools allow anyone to play a role in combatting wildlife crime including incidents involving marine turtles by helping to alert appropriate authorities. Additionally, more traditional wildlife crime telephone hotlines have been set up in many countries.


WildLeaks is a non-profit website created in February 2014 that allows users to anonymously report instances of wildlife poaching and trafficking. Backed by the Elephant Action League, it is available in 16 different language versions. WildLeaks was set up by Andrea Crosta, a security consultant who first revealed how the al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia generated funds via ivory smuggling.

One can upload documents, photos, videos and observations securely and remotely, with the option of using the Tor anonymity network. After tips are submitted, they are evaluated and validated by an international team of investigators who determine whether to begin an investigation or share the information with trusted partners. Response teams will not take action if it is deemed too dangerous for a leak’s source.

It was reported that the WildLeaks website had attracted major wildlife crime leads in the first three-month trial period, with 24 serious tip-offs. According to Crosta, the lack of internet access in many parts of the world where wildlife crime is rife is not a major barrier, because WildLeaks is aimed at exposing the key players in the international crime networks, rather than low-level operatives on the ground.

Links to the WildLeaks website and an article on The Guardian's website reporting on its first months of success.


WildScan is an endangered species identification and response mobile application launched in September 2014 by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Freeland. The mobile application is designed to empower law enforcers and the public at large across the ASEAN region to work together and fight back to counter wildlife trafficking. It is available for free download on Android devices via Google Play and it supports Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese languages.

Many endangered animals, including marine turtles, are smuggled along with non-protected species, making timely identification difficult for authorities. WildScan contains photos and critical information for over 280 endangered species and illegal wildlife products commonly trafficked into and throughout Southeast Asia to assist in proper identification and rapid response without having to use large reference books. In addition, WildScan provides information about endangered and protected species to help consumers make informed decisions when choosing pets. Upon recognition of a protected species, users can photograph the animal and report it directly to law enforcement authorities by sending the photo.

The WildScan app can be downloaded from the Freeland website (which includes a one-minute video presenting the app). Link to an article published on the ASEAN-WEN website on the occasion of the launch of the app in September 2014.

UNEP © IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU Secretariat, c/o UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific,
United Nations Building, Rajdamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok, 10200, Thailand
Tel: + (662) 288 1471 ; Fax: + (662) 288 3041 / 288 1029; E-mail: IOSEA Secretariat
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