Royal Thai Customs Officers enhance capacities through the CITES Virtual College

During a special course held from 14 March to 23 May 2012 at the National Institute Development Administration, in Bangkok, the Royal Thai Customs Officers used training materials available through the CITES Virtual College to enhance their capacity in dealing with the challenges posed by illegal trade in wildlife.

Participants from the Royal Thai Customs to the training course.
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A special section of the course introduced Customs officers to the provisions of the Convention, the species that are included in the CITES Appendices and the restrictions that may be placed on the import and export of wildlife. Participants also had the opportunity to learn through role-playing and to familiarize themselves with a terminology that is often unique to CITES.

Materials and courses from the College, especially the Training course for enforcement officers, provided participants with quizzes and exercises on issues related to trafficking in wildlife as well as an introduction to the basic principles of the Convention. Participants were also encouraged to make use of Train the trainers presentations, including presentations developed for the Green Customs Initiative.

Mr Tachapon Kitikovitana, Customs Chief Inspector, described the College as "providing the Royal Thai Customs officers with a relevant and useful course on international trade in wildlife. Use of the College has certainly enhanced the CITES training module, and offered participants up-to-date training materials and resources. I would encourage use of the CITES Virtual College by other Customs and enforcement agencies."

The CITES Secretary-General, Mr John E. Scanlon, added that “Customs play a crucial role in ensuring that international trade in CITES-listed species is legal, sustainable and traceable. We are delighted that the CITES Virtual College was beneficial to the special course for the Royal Thai Customs, which illustrates the great value of this new online capacity-building resource”.

The CITES Secretariat will launch a course designed specifically for Customs officials in the next few weeks. The course will be open to Customs and enforcement agencies and to the CITES community.

The CITES Virtual College was developed with the support of many partners and organizations. The CITES Secretariat would like to recognize in particular the contributions of the European Commission, whose financial contribution made development of the College possible, and the International University of Andalusia for hosting the Virtual College.

More information on the CITES Virtual College is available at: https://eva.unia.es/cites/