International collaboration on preventing wildlife crime is critical to protecting species that are being exploited for profit. IFAW combats wildlife crime through activities designed to maximize law enforcement impact.
IFAW has trained more than 2,300 customs and wildlife law enforcement officers around the globe to identify and stop illegal wildlife products and live animals from being poached and trafficked across international borders.
IFAW has entered into a partnership with INTERPOL, the world’s largest international police organization, on suppressing and dismantling criminal syndicates involved in the trafficking of high-value wildlife species and products. Together, we work on training workshops and wildlife law enforcement operations.
IFAW and INTERPOL have signed the first Memorandum of Understanding between INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Sub-Directorate and a non-governmental organization.
IFAW provides assistance to law enforcement by providing financial assistance for investigations and operations that aim to suppress domestic markets and international supply chains. We also support the development 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 help pave the way for developing a wildlife enforcement network for the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa region. The event marked the first time countries in these regions gathered to decide on a regional mechanism for cooperation to fight wildlife trafficking.
IFAW further supports 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. In 2012, a team from IFAW’s office in France alerted international media that poachers had been slaughtering hundreds of elephants over a period of several weeks in Bouba Njida National Park in Cameroon, compelling the government to send in the military to stop the poaching.
IFAW continues to work with our staff and networks on the ground to provide the appropriate authorities with reliable information to prevent the poaching and trafficking of wildlife.