Despite concerted efforts by officials to end the illegal wildlife trade through regular inspections at markets throughout the country, the trade continues to flourish. To reduce illegal wildlife trading in Laos, especially in the main towns, the authorities have asked various agencies to join the Cooperative Action to Stop Illegal Wildlife Trade project. The new collaborative initiative was revealed on October 26 by officials from the Wildlife Conservation Society in Laos with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement was signed by the Director General of the Department of Forest Inspection at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Khamphout Phandanouvong, and the Director of Conservation Initiatives for the Mekong Region, Dr Christopher Holmes. The five-year project costs US$832,350 and will be implemented in the provinces of Vientiane, Borikhamxay, Khammuan, Savannakhet and Champassak.