IFAW experts to brief MEPs at wildlife trafficking workshop

Tuesday, 26 February, 2013
Brussels, Belgium

IFAW experts will tomorrow brief MEPs on its global strategy to combat wildlife crime as part of a workshop organised by the European Parliament’s ENVI committee.

IFAW Political Officer Satyen Sinha, will describe the vast scale of global wildlife crime and outline how IFAW combats wildlife trafficking internationally on its own and in partnership with INTERPOL and others.

“January 2013 saw almost 5 tonnes of ivory seized globally,” says Satyen Sinha. “It was one of the worst months ever for elephants and a sign that the surge in ivory trafficking in the last few years is not abating but getting worse. These recent seizures of illegal wildlife highlight the critical law enforcement work being done in international airports and other major transportation crossroads and show how serious a threat the illegal wildlife trade is to the survival of endangered wild animals.

“That’s why IFAW has joined forces with INTERPOL to launch a training programme that provides enforcement officials with the tools they need to strictly control wildlife trade in their countries.”

To date, more than 1,000 officials around the world have benefited from this training, from the Middle East, to North and Central Africa, to the Caribbean, to East and Central Asia.

Satyen Sinha will also brief the MEPs on Operation WORTHY which saw IFAW and INTERPOL team up to implement what is to date the most wide-ranging operation coordinated by INTERPOL against the illegal ivory trade. More than 300 officers were deployed across 14 African countries which led to:

  • 214 arrests
  • 2 tons of contraband elephant ivory seized
  • 20 kilos of rhinoceros horn recovered
  • 30 illegal firearms, mostly military-grade weapons confiscated

The operation is just one component in IFAW’s long-term plan for reducing the trafficking of ivory and rhinoceros horn in Africa and beyond.

Other speakers at today’s conference include representatives from INTERPOL, TRAFFIC, the European Commission, other conservation NGOs and MEPs

Press Invitation

IFAW will be holding a joint press conference with Mr Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy MEP, at 14:00 at the European Parliament, Altiero Spinelli, A5E-2 Rue Wiertz 60, Brussels. The workshop will take place between 15:00 and 17:30 at A5E-2

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
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Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
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Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
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Dr. Joseph Okori
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Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
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Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
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Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
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Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
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