Building Capacity for Tanzania Government Officials to Fight Wildlife Crime

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

More than 30 officials from wildlife law enforcement, customs, immigration, ports, judicial and park management in Tanzania are attending a national training workshop to enhance their capacity and ability to fight and prevent wildlife crimes.

The weeklong training workshop is jointly organised by the Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism through the Wildlife Division and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org). It aims to train the officials to tackle issues of wildlife crime and enforcement, international trade conventions and organisations, inter-agency cooperation and national legislations and enforcement.

By integrating practical and interactive sessions, the workshop will equip the officials in the prevention of illicit wildlife trade and provide hands-on skills used in the identification and proper handling of wildlife species and products, such as elephant ivory, commonly traded illegally in Africa and smuggled into other regions.

Speaking during the workshop opening, James Isiche, IFAW Regional Director for Eastern Africa, lauded the Government of Tanzania for its efforts in combating illegal wildlife trade.  He further commented that wildlife crime levels are on the rise in Africa. “It is becoming apparent that illegal wildlife trade, particularly in elephant ivory and rhino horn as exemplified by the seizures made in 2011, is growing more sophisticated. Criminal syndicates are using complex smuggling methods, and are changing these constantly to avoid detection by law enforcement agencies.

“Law enforcement agencies need to be ahead of criminals and IFAW is partnering with governments in the region to conduct such trainings to address that challenge,” added Isiche.

IFAW has in the past organised similar training workshops for Eastern, Central, Southern and Northern Africa, Horn of Africa, Middle Eastern countries, Oceania, Central and South Asia, and the Caribbean. Over 1300 front-line government officials have been trained since 2006.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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