Lao PDR-Cambodia One Health Surveilllance and Laboratory Network (LACANET)

Wildlife trade and consumption has contributed to the emergence of several zoonotic diseases including SARS, plague, HIV, monkey pox virus and more. Through wildlife trade, animals move along trade/import/export routes, increasing their exposure to a broader geographic and taxonomic range of other animals, linking previously spatially distinct populations and enhancing the potential for pathogens to spread between diverse taxa regionally and internationally. In addition, the crowded and stressful conditions to which animals are exposed to during trade facilitate disease expression and viral shedding. When humans encounter traded wildlife – through handling, consumption or more passive exposure through contact with excreta – they risk contracting pathogens carried by the wildlife. More needs to be understood on the role of wildlife and its trade in diseases outbreaks of regional importance to mainland Southeast Asia (typhus, anthrax, rabies, leptospirosis and trichinella). The project aims to provide valuable information on the prevalence of these pathogens in wildlife found in markets and help to guide disease outbreak response and mitigation/prevention strategies.

Photo Credit: ‘Wildlife stall in LAO PDR market’ by Lucy Keatts WCS

Strengthening capacity and commitment of authorities and the private sector to sustain prevention of wildlife crime in Lao PDR

Lao PDR is confronting numerous challenges in disrupting transnational wildlife crime and complying with recommendations under the CITES Article XIII process (which focuses on compliance with CITES). Gaps and loopholes in national legislation for implementing CITES and penalizing wildlife crime prevent effective enforcement from disrupting and prosecuting wildlife crime. There remains a lack of knowledge and understanding in the criminal justice sector on the serious nature of wildlife crime, coordination and information sharing to assist in investigations and prevention at border crossings, and sustained outreach and awareness-raising efforts by the government, not only for the general and targeted sectors in public but, more importantly, to build greater political willingness and commitment within the government sector. The project aims to strengthen the capacity and commitment of policy, regulatory, and criminal justice authorities and the private sector to sustain wildlife crime prevention policy and legal frameworks, enforcement, and outreach interventions to reduce wildlife crime occurring in Lao PDR.

Photo Credit: ‘Panel Discussion during the World Wildlife Day Celebration in Lao PDR launching the Wildlife Health Surveillance SOP & the Government Decree on CITES’ by Chrisgel Ryan Cruz WCS

Improving the effectiveness of multi-sectoral collaboration in combatting illegal wildlife trade from Africa to and within Viet Nam

In the context of existing barriers to the strengthening of the Vietnamese government’s response to illegal wildlife trade such as lack of information and intelligence on ever-changing, sophisticated wildlife trafficking networks, especially those from Africa to Viet Nam; low priority given to IWT and insufficient investigative skills to cope with the evolution and development of wildlife trafficking networks; and limited involvement of non-traditional stakeholders including those with the mandate for anti-corruption and money laundering investigations in IWT investigations. Particularly, enforcement cooperation with the source countries on countering wildlife trafficking (CWT) or other matters is not yet prioritized. This project aims to improve the effectiveness of information sharing and cooperation mechanisms between governments, journalists, NGOs and the financial sector in combating illegal wildlife trade from Africa to and within Viet Nam.

Photo Credit: ‘Exchange letter of interest with Attorney General Office of Angola’ by WCS


PREDICT significantly contributed to strengthening global surveillance and laboratory diagnostic capabilities for known and newly discovered viruses within several important virus groups, such as filoviruses (including ebolaviruses), influenza viruses, paramyxoviruses, and coronaviruses. PREDICT activities supported emerging pandemic threats preparedness and the Global Health Security Agenda, primarily in Africa and Asia. A decade later, more than 30 countries around the world have stronger systems to safely detect, identify, prevent and respond to viral threats. PREDICT initiated One Health Surveillance, a transdisciplinary collaborative approach to understanding infectious disease risk at high-risk animal-human interfaces, including (but not limited to) those associated with wildlife trade. The PREDICT-trained workforce, including zoonotic disease specialists and laboratory scientists at more than 60 national, university and partner laboratories, is one of the best response resources to assist with safe and secure detection and response to COVID-19 and other emerging biological threats.

Photo Credit: ‘Sampling of bats hunted to sell for food in Cambodia’ by Lucy Keatts WCS