Wildlife trafficking workshop for Iraqi officials

A CITES Management team of eight, together with leaders in the scientific community, attended a four-day training course on wildlife trafficking and CITES implementation.

UPDATE:The Iraqi officials have started to transfer the knowledge they gained from this workshop to their colleagues in the Ministry and other institutions of the Iraqi government.

On 20-21 Feb 2017 they held a workshop for veterinarian quarantine and animal’s health departments in Baghdad. Another workshop was held a week later for the Environmental police, Ministry of commerce, General Department of customs and Ministry of Internal affairs. 

We can confidently say that the training provided by IFAW in Iraq started to spread out between officials and give its positive results at the national level.--AD

Since the Republic of Iraq joined CITES in 2014, Iraqi officials have had an urgent need for increasing the country’s capacity to implement the requirements for CITES Convention membership, namely controlling Iraq’s border points to prevent wildlife trafficking.

IFAW received a formal request from the Ministry of Environment in Iraq to carry out a training workshop for eight Iraqi officials so they can continue to implement  CITES’ programs in Iraq.

The workshop was held in Amman, Jordan in cooperation with the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature.

A CITES Management team of eight, together with leaders in the scientific community, attended a four-day training course on wildlife trafficking and CITES implementation. Shatha Khalaf, General Director of the Technical Department in the Ministry of Environment, also attended the event and extended her thanks to IFAW for its support and interest in helping Iraq, noting “IFAW is the first organization to take interest in Iraq.”

The training was an overview of CITES and how to implement the program. It also covered commonly traded species in Middle East –  including big cats, primates, reptiles and birds – cases of wildlife trafficking, smuggling techniques and how to identify the species using the CITES identification guides produced by Environment Canada.

There is an ongoing discussion on how to best support Iraq in drafting national legislation. IFAW will continue to contribute and organize additional CITES workshops for Iraqi officials, and Khalaf promised her team will also  help further work done by the CITES convention in Iraq. IFAW is honoured to help Iraq increase its ability to combat illegal wildlife trade.

--AD

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