About Us

For over a decade, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been working to counter wildlife trafficking in Asia. In 2016 USAID, working closely with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), launched USAID Wildlife Asia, a five-year $23 million regional initiative to advance regional action towards ending illegal wildlife trafficking in Southeast Asia and China. In line with the United States’ Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking (END) Act of 2016 and the U.S. Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing Federal Laws with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking 2017, the activity addresses wildlife trafficking as a transnational crime.

Elephant ivory, rhino horn, and tiger and pangolin products are among the top items illegally traded in global wildlife trafficking “hotspots” across Southeast Asia and China. Illegal wildlife trafficking drives extinctions, spreads zoonotic diseases that threaten human lives, harms livelihoods, and has links to organized criminal networks. Protecting wildlife from poaching and illegal trafficking helps secure our global heritage and fights against the criminal networks that exploit humans and nature. USAID works with law makers, law enforcement, and regional and local partners to reduce demand for wildlife products and stop the flow of illegal products.


  • Reducing Consumer Demand - USAID Wildlife Asia implements an innovative and evidence-based social and behavior change communication approach to change practices and build new social norms around the use of wildlife products. Activities include targeted behavior change campaigns and partnering with influential wildlife champions to help amplify demand reduction messages.
  • Strengthening Regional Law Enforcement - Working with Interpol, ASEAN National Police and the ASEAN Working Group on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and Wildlife Enforcement, USAID Wildlife Asia trains regional police, customs officers, and prosecutors to effectively locate, apprehend, and prosecute illegal wildlife traffickers. The project also brings together enforcement authorities in Asia and Africa to collaborate in dismantling transcontinental trafficking syndicates.
  • Enhancing Political Commitment and Support - USAID Wildlife Asia promotes countries’ commitment to end wildlife crime, working with key government counterparts, Supreme Courts, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, and judicial and legislative champions to improve respective legal and policy frameworks, to share legal and policy innovations and good practices, and to harmonize legislation and penalties for wildlife crimes.
  • Supporting Regional Cooperation - USAID Wildlife Asia supports END Act focus countries, U.S. Inter-Agency Counter Wildlife Trafficking Strategies, and brings together external counter wildlife trafficking stakeholders from across the region in major counter wildlife trafficking initiatives.


The USAID Wildlife Asia Theory of Change (TOC) is depicted in the Activity-level Results Chain diagram below. The Activity’s purpose or highest-level result will be achieved through anticipated results based on seven strategic approaches. This TOC proposes to improve regional action to end wildlife crime through increasing risks to perpetrators of wildlife crime and reducing profits for those that engage in wildlife crime. To achieve this, it is necessary that,

  1. Consumer demand is reduced through using effective Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) methodologies
  2. Counter Wildlife Trafficking (CWT) capacity for law enforcement is institutionalized
  3. Regional law enforcement cooperation and coordination is strengthened
  4. National legislative, policy and regulatory reform is supported
  5. Political will and host country commitment is increased
  6. Monitoring of and response to status and trends of wildlife crime is improved
  7. Regional coordination of CWT strategic approaches is reinforced.


Activity-Level Theory of Change Diagram

 Activity-Level Theory of Change Diagram - full image