IFAW brings together unlikely suspects to fight wildlife crime

IFAW brings together unlikely suspects to fight wildlife crime
Friday, 11 March, 2016
Washington, D.C

As part of its tenBoma initiative, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) sponsored a Congressional Forum to examine concrete intelligence-driven approaches to dismantle criminal networks involved in the illicit killing and trafficking of protected animal species.

The forum brought together a diverse group of thought leaders, government officials and advocates, such as U.S. State Department Senior Director of National Security and Diplomacy David Luna and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Resources Judi Wakhungu who were joined by INTERPOL, Lawyers without Borders, Invisible Children, The American Geographical Society, U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation and several other geography, mapping and intelligence experts and IFAW to talk about how the various players can share date and other intelligence resources to put an end to wildlife trafficking.

Currently, wildlife trafficking is a $19 billion industry, dominated by sophisticated international criminal networks killing protected species at unsustainable rates. The profits they make fund terrorism by wiping out protected and endangered wildlife as is documented in IFAW’s report, entitled Criminal Nature: The Global Security Implications of Illegal Wildlife Trade in 2013.

“Elephants, rhinos and other wildlife are falling victim to sophisticated criminal syndicates in astounding numbers. We are building a network to fight the network,” said Azzedine Downes, President and CEO, (IFAW). “Together we will translate the accumulated knowledge through research, policy and practice into effective intelligence-driven action to conserve wildlife.”

tenBoma is an ongoing effort created by IFAW to protect wildlife and combat this growing security concern utilizing a community based intelligence project and high-tech data analysis. The idea is based on an existing Kenyan community policing concept where every ten houses form a network of eyes and ears to enhance safety. Conservation groups, government and the private sector are now joining forces using this approach to protect wildlife in the tenBoma program.

About IFAW

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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Experts

Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Joseph Okori
Regional Director, Southern Africa and Program Director, Landscape Conservation
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jeffrey Flocken, Regional Director, North America
Regional Director, North America
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy