Thailand Ivory seizure: IFAW reiterates importance of inter-agency collaboration

archive photo © IFAW
Wednesday, 29 April, 2015
Nairobi, Kenya

In the wake of the over 3 tonnes of ivory seized in Thailand, The International Fund for Animal Welfare - IFAW continues to reiterate the importance of inter-agency collaboration amongst wildlife law enforcement, the judiciary and, customs officials.

The ivory seizure is a testament of a large global problem that threatens the existence of the elephant. “The only way countries are going to stop poaching of elephants and illegal trade is by cooperating with agencies such as Interpol, and the law enforcement bodies of other governments to map and profile those behind this most tragic slaughter of elephants,” stated James Isiche, Regional Director IFAW East Africa. “No country or organization can single-handedly combat wildlife killing and trafficking hence the need to develop strong partnerships not only amongst countries but international agencies. IFAW is happy to support such initiatives and strongly believes that a coordinated inter-country and inter-agency approach amongst source, transit and destination countries is critical to effectively mitigate wildlife crime,” he said.

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.

Most illegal ivory is destined for Asia, in particular China, where it has soared in value as an investment vehicle and is coveted as “white gold”. Limited availability of legal ivory in China purchased form the stockpile sale in southern Africa in 2008 has, in turn, boosted demand encouraging illegal ivory trade and the poaching of elephants to meet market needs.

As part of a worldwide capacity building initiative IFAW has trained over 2,450 law enforcement officers in wildlife trafficking prevention in several countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, and the Caribbean since 2006. Trainings are held in collaboration with national institutions in the respective countries and other organizations including Interpol. The organization has a Memorandum of Understanding with Interpol, the first ever signed by Interpol’s Environmental Crime Programme with an NGO. IFAW and Interpol have collaborated on numerous projects since 2005 including Interpol’s largest-ever illegal ivory trade operation in 2012.

Ends

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

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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