International collaboration to prevent wildlife crime is critical to protecting species that are exploited for profit. IFAW combats wildlife crime through activities designed to maximize wildlife law enforcement impact.
In 2015, IFAW and the Kenya Wildlife Service established the framework for an innovative project called tenBoma, which includes the development of a counter-wildlife crime intelligence fusion center and the modernization of KWS security operations to stop poachers before they kill elephants and rhinos.
IFAW has been working with INTERPOL, the world’s largest international police organization, since 2003 and signed the first-ever Memorandum of Understanding between INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Sub-Directorate and a non-governmental organization in 2013.
Together, we work on training workshops and wildlife law enforcement operations designed to disrupt and dismantle criminal syndicates involved in the trafficking of high-value wildlife species and products.
In addition, IFAW has trained more than 2,900 customs and wildlife law enforcement officers in almost 40 countries to identify and stop illegal wildlife products and live animals from being poached and trafficked across international borders.
IFAW provides assistance to law enforcement by providing financial aid for investigations and operations conducted to suppress domestic markets and international supply chains. We also support the establishment of enforcement networks in critical regions.
In 2014, IFAW contributed to a 28-nation ground-breaking operation spanning China and Africa to combat wildlife poaching and trafficking, codenamed “Operation Cobra II.” Officials seized thousands of live animals and wildlife products and arrested several wildlife criminal kingpins.
In 2012, IFAW teamed up with the U.S Department of State, as well as governmental and non-governmental institutions in Ethiopia and Botswana, to pave the way for developing wildlife enforcement networks for the Horn of Africa and the southern Africa region. This was the first time countries in these regions met to decide on a regional mechanism for cooperation to fight wildlife trafficking.
IFAW further supports wildlife law enforcement by gathering and disseminating key information from the field. Following a tip-off from IFAW in December 2011, Chinese wildlife authorities stopped the sale of hundreds of bottles of tiger bone wine and rhino horn carvings at a high-profile auction in Beijing.