Jakarta, Ekuatorial – Indonesia and China signed on a memorandum of understanding to increase their cooperation in wildlife trading, said a senior official in Jakarta.

As a country with diverse biodiversity, Indonesia is known as one of the largest exporter of plants and animals. Meanwhile, China is the largest importer for these wildlife.

“We have been cooperating with China, in terms of wildlife trading and conservation, for many years. With the MoU, we are hoping that both nations can strengthen and enhance the cooperation,” said Sonny Partono, director general of the forest protection and nature conservation, at the Ministry of Forestry, in an official release, Wednesday (3/9).

Indonesia-China wildlife trading cooperation includes agar wood, freshwater tortoise, arowana, snake, reptile skins, and cycas. Partono said these species were listed in the Appendix II CITES [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora] as not threatened with extinction but its trade must be closely controlled.

Nevertheless, Partono said that the MoU also included illegal wildlife trading law enforcement though there was no specific elaboration on the cooperation.

Illegal wildlife crimes are still rampantly going on. Based on the Protection of Forest and Fauna (PROFAUNA) data, there were at least 22 cases of illegal wildlife trade and poaching between January-June 2014.

In its official website, http://www.profauna.net/en/content/profaunas-note-indonesian-wildlife-crime-first-half-2014#.VAgtasWSyBU, PROFAUNA stated that thousands wildlife victims confiscated from suspects. Among them were orangutans, slow loris, javan langur, siamang, pangolin, green sea turtle, palm cockatoo, stuffed Sumatran tiger and ivory.
These items were confiscated from cities, like Jakarta, Tangerang, Denpasar, Aceh, Jember, Lampung, and Palangkaraya. Most of them sent off illegally to countries, such as China, Kuwait, and France. Fidelis E. Satriastanti[:]

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