The Lao PDR is a country rich in natural resources and biodiversity. Wildlife is an important part of the nation's natural heritage, comprising mammals, birds, reptiles, aquatic animals, and amphibians of national and global significance, with several species only found in Laos, such as the Laotian langur and the Laotian rock rat.
However, Laos’ wildlife population is declining rapidly. It’s clear that one of the major causes is the illegal wildlife trade (IWT). IWT is a challenge that has a huge impact on wildlife survival, especially for rare and endangered species. Dealing with illegal hunting, as well as domestic and cross-border wildlife trade, is not only important within Laos, but also internationally.
While the Lao PDR is party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which regulates wildlife trade in order to prevent illegal trafficking, the illicit trade continues. Both native and non-native wildlife and wildlife products can be readily found at local markets, border crossings, and even on social media. The ongoing demand for such products comes from domestic consumers, tourists to the country, and foreign buyers.
Lao Wildlife Heroes is a campaign with the goal of reducing this illegal and harmful trade in the Lao PDR. The campaign was initiated by GIZ’s Protection and Sustainable Use of Forest Ecosystems and Biodiversity (ProFEB) project, in partnership with the Lao government’s Department of Forestry and Department of Forest Inspections — both under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry — and the Lao Conservation Trust for Wildlife, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the World Wide Fund for Nature. Together, these organizations are working towards better protection of Laos’ wildlife.
Be a model wildlife protector.
Stand up against wildlife crime.
Cooperate with local authorities to end illegal wildlife trade.
Please see the messages below to fully understand how to integrate these calls to action into your daily life, and then click on the illustration for additional detailed information.