ACRES And Lao Zoo Open First Wildlife Rescue Center In Vientiane
March 28, 2012
Singapore-based animal charity, ACRES, together with the Lao Zoo, announced today the establishment of the first Wildlife Rescue and Education Center in Vientiane, Lao PDR.
AsianScientist (Mar. 28, 2012) – Singapore-based animal charity, ACRES, together with the Lao Zoo, announced today the establishment of the first Wildlife Rescue and Education Center in Vientiane, Lao PDR.
ACRES signed a landmark MOU with the Lao Zoo today in a ceremony in Lao PDR, witnessed by H.E. Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Lao PDR and Mr. K Shanmugam, Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minster for Law.
In recent years, Lao PDR has emerged as a source country in Asia’s illicit wildlife trade, and if left unchecked, may threaten its rich biodiversity and those that depend on it.
The five-hectare ACRES Wildlife Rescue and Education Center (AWREC), a project also in collaboration with the Love Wildlife Foundation, will provide sanctuary to animals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade, primarily bears.
Most importantly, the AWREC will serve as a landmark educational facility in Lao PDR, to create much-needed awareness on the wildlife trade, environmental protection and a host of animal protection issues.
As part of the MOU, ACRES will also be providing technical assistance for the operation and management of the Lao Zoo.
A new Wildlife Crime and Rescue Hotline will also be set up to help combat the illegal wildlife trade. The hotline, similar to those in Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia, will provide an avenue for those who know of anyone who buys, owns or trades in protected species, to blow the whistle on these wildlife traders and buyers.
ACRES and the Lao Zoo will work in close collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Division of the Department of Forestry Conservation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for all project activities.
The center will also hire at least 24 Laotian members of staff to work with the ACRES Singapore team, said Mr. Louis Ng, Executive Director of ACRES, the first animal welfare NGO in Singapore to go international.
“We look forward to working with ACRES to build on the success and achievements of Lao Zoo. Since 1994, we have been serving the Lao community in partnership with the Ministry of Defense in areas of environmental and wildlife protection which is aligned with the goals and objectives of ACRES” said Mdm. Somvang Kiasrithanakorn, Managing Director of Lao Zoo.
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