Asia’s leading wildlife conservationists gather in Hua Hin for WARN 2023

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Image: WFFT

First in-person event since the pandemic focuses on post-COVID recovery and strengthening conservation efforts

The AVANI+ Hua Hin Resort played host to the 15th annual Wild Animal Reduce Network (WARN) conference, bringing together Asia’s prominent conservationists, wildlife experts, and animal campaigners to tackle the pressing issues facing the continent’s wildlife.

The event, held from 13-15 June, marked WARN’s first in-person gathering since the pandemic, with a theme centered around “After COVID19, Back In Action.”

The conference kicked off with the formal opening by Mr. Attapol Charoensharn, he Director-General of Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation.

His presence highlighted the significance of the event which aimed to address urgent issues affecting wildlife conservation throughout Asia.

Organized by the Wild Animal Rescue Network (WARN), a network of conservation and wildlife assistance organizations in the Asian region, the conference was attended by representatives from over 10 countries, both national and international organizations, who were also present, reflecting the global significance of the conference.

As a collaboration to exchange experiences, news, and essential information supporting wildlife conservation and assistance efforts in Asia, WARN focused on addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic and exploring how organizations and conservationists have adapted to rebuild stronger than before.

Throughout the conference, a wide range of speakers, seminars, and workshops delved into a range of topics.

These included the impacts of the pandemic on wildlife conservation, innovative strategies for conservation management, sustainable practices, and fostering public awareness.

Participants shared their experiences, best practices, and success stories, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation and knowledge exchange to effectively protect and preserve Asian wildlife.

In his welcome message, WARN Secretary General Edwin Wick said:

“Since our last WARN annual meeting in 2019 we have not been able to meet up in person due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. This pandemic that costed so many lives, financial losses and has also costed the wildlife conservation community dearly”.

“While many of us in early 2020 thought this pandemic would blow over in a few months and probably stay within the regions of Asia, it actually went global with complete lockdowns of whole countries and continents.

“The data that showed that this virus originated in wildlife and was most probably spread to humans through the illegal trade and consumption of wildlife made it for most of us an even more bitter pill to swallow”.

Image: WFFT

Local wildlife rescue center and sanctuary, the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), played a crucial role in hosting this year’s conference.

Attendees were treated to a post-conference tour of WFFT’s expansive 520-rai sanctuary in The Yang, Phetchaburi.

The tour showcased the center’s impressive efforts in rehabilitating and caring for rescued wildlife, allowing participants to witness firsthand the important work being done to safeguard the region’s biodiversity.

For more information on the Wild Animal Reduce Network (WARN) and their ongoing conservation efforts, visit https://www.warnasia.org/

 

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