We work with enforcers to interrupt cross-border wildlife trafficking routes.
Stretching across Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda, the Greater Virunga Landscape is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet. With Virunga and Queen Elizabeth National Park at its center, it is home to some of the world’s rarest species of plants and animals. But rampant poaching and trafficking are threatening the park’s wildlife. Populations of hippos, elephants, monkeys, and pangolins are plummeting as poachers catch these animals and sell them for their parts. Limited resources and political insecurity make it even more difficult for law enforcement officers to protect wildlife.
The US Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) funded IFAW and The IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands to begin implementation of a project to build capacity to stop the poaching and trafficking of protected wildlife between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
First, we provided training to law enforcement officers on the ground who can act as the first line of defense against poachers. Next, we created a team of intelligent officers and wildlife crime analysts who can review data and collaborate with governmental agencies thanks to the addition of camera traps and new patrol equipment. Community members also play a critical role in the protection of local wildlife. We engaged 20 community wildlife monitors who help us gather information that can lead to arrests of poachers and the confiscation of deadly traps.