Combating wildlife crime in Uganda

Combating wildlife crime in Uganda
Tuesday, 20 February, 2018
Kampala, Uganda

A training workshop to increase the expertise of law enforcement officers to tackle wildlife trafficking began today in Kampala, Uganda.

The training workshop hosted by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) aims to empower the officers from Uganda, with the necessary skills to detect, interdict and stop illegal wildlife crime at Uganda’s entry and exit border points.

“Illegal wildlife trade has for a long time been a major challenge in protected area management and we recognize efforts to bring this vice to an end. We have noticed an increase in illegal wildlife trade over the past few years. The rate of ivory trafficking through Uganda has increased and we believe Uganda is being used as a transit for this ivory in illegal trade. This training therefore comes as a good opportunity as we join efforts to make advancements in protection of all our wildlife species,” stated Dr. Andrew G. Seguya, Executive Director Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

During the training, interactive sessions will teach practical, hands-on skills used in the identification and correct handling of species commonly trafficked in the East Africa region, a transit and source hub in the illegal ivory supply trade chain.

“Over the years we at IFAW have learned that we cannot combat wildlife trafficking, and the ivory trade in particular, on our own. Effectively tackling the mounting challenges posed by illegal wildlife trade requires a coordinated, transnational, multi-agency approach and this is what makes training workshops like these so essential and critical,” stated Sonja Van Tichelen, Vice President – International Operations IFAW, at the official opening ceremony.

The scale of animal poaching and trafficking of high value wildlife species is on the rise and in need of an urgent response. Wildlife trafficking which involves amongst others elephant ivory, rhino horn, reptile skins, pangolins and leopard skins destroys biodiversity, damages local and national economies, damages human health and well-being, contributes to corruption and violence and causes immense cruelty and suffering to animals. It is one of the world’s most lucrative criminal activities – valued at billions of US dollars annually and ranks in the top most lucrative transnational organized crimes, behind drug trafficking, money laundering and counterfeiting.

According to an IFAW report Criminal Nature: The Global Security Implications of the Illegal Wildlife Trade, ivory smuggling and the wildlife trade has been linked to other forms of organized crime including terrorism, illegal arms and drug trafficking.

Since 2007, IFAW has held more than 95 training workshops on the prevention of wildlife trafficking where more than 3,300 officers from 39 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, and the Caribbean have been trained. Trainings have been held in collaboration with national institutions in the respective countries and other organizations including Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Interpol, Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) and, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).


About UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority)

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is a semi-autonomous government agency that conserves and manages Uganda’s wildlife for the people of Uganda and the whole world. This agency was established in 1996 after the merger of the Uganda National Parks and the Game Department, and the enactment of the Uganda Wildlife Statute, which became an Act in 2000. UWA is mandated to ensure sustainable management of wildlife resources and supervise wildlife activities in Uganda both within and outside the protected areas.


About IFAW (The International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals 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 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. High Resolution photos are available at

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