DENR National Capital Region through its Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit (WTMU), inspected and confiscated illegally imported carnivorous plants at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City on Monday, 5 July 2021.
In a report prepared by the WTMU, a variety of flytraps and pitcher plants arrived from Amsterdam, Netherlands on 27 April 2021. Bureau of Customs officials, however, flagged the shipment as its registered consignee failed to present the necessary wildlife import permits from the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of DENR.
The WTMU then requested the inspection and transfer of the subject plants. During the inspection, WTMU found that of the 276 pieces of imported plants, only 19 survived. Likewise, some imported plants require a special permit as they are listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or CITES.
CITES is an international agreement between governments that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. All imports, exports, re-export, and introduction of species covered by the Convention have to be authorized through a standard permitting/licensing system.
DENR National Capital Region will use the confiscated plants as evidence for filing the appropriate charges against the consignee. Republic Act No. 9147 or Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 prohibits illegal trade of wildlife and their derivatives, including the introduction of exotic flora and fauna in the wild.